Elmhurst Park District delays opening of Smalley Pool one week

Due to a shortage of lifeguards, the opening of Smalley Pool is being delayed by one week to Monday, June 13. Fortunately, both East End Pool and the spray ground at Berens Park are open so residents still have ways to cool off despite this delay. To view facility hours, visit the East End Pool page or The Hub page.

A national shortage of lifeguards is being felt locally as other area park districts have announced closures and reduced hours due to the shortage. This past weekend, Elmhurst Park District staff was able to open East End Pool as scheduled, but as the anticipated opening of Smalley Pool approaches, it is clear that the District does not have the number of guards needed to safely open the pool as previously planned.

Last week, Elmhurst Park District staff put out a video to ask for the community’s help to spread the word about the lifeguard shortage and assist with recruiting applicants to fill the open positions. Recruiting efforts began in November, and hiring and training of guards is ongoing, but the current number of guards is not adequate to safely staff Smalley Pool. In a typical summer, the District hires more than 100 guards, but to date, only 70 guards have been hired.

“Hiring for guards has been increasingly difficult in recent years, but this year the shortage of applicants is unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” said Executive Director Jim Rogers, “Staff has been recruiting for more than six months by visiting area high schools, hosting job fairs, hosting weekly walk-in interviews at Courts Plus, posting to college job boards, and spreading the word through the District’s many marketing channels. But unfortunately despite those efforts, we’re still short at this time.”

To learn more about the shortage and to get more information about becoming a lifeguard, please click here or visit epd.org/jobs.