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100 lifeguards still needed as 6 of 17 Indy Parks pools open for summer

As of Monday, pools at Bethel, Frederick Douglass, Garfield, Perry, Thatcher and Willard parks are open.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indy Parks' pools officially opened June 4, but more than half are still closed.

Eight of the city's 17 public pools were supposed to open over the weekend, but families were only able to go to six due to repairs to two of them.

As of Monday, pools at Bethel, Frederick Douglass, Garfield, Perry, Thatcher and Willard parks are open.

The pool at Ellenberger Park will open on Wednesday, June 8, and Indy Island Aquatic Center is set to open in a few weeks once repairs are finished.

On Sunday, 13News stopped by the pool at Frederick Douglass Park, which saw hundreds of families over the weekend. The pool even reached max capacity of 200 people Saturday.

Indy Parks' leaders said the pool at Frederick Douglass Park was able to open on time since they have a smaller pool size and proper staffing of around nine to 10 lifeguards.

However, the parks department said it's still short about 100 lifeguards needed to open some of their remaining pools.

"It depends on the deck space, the amount of water we have to guard and the capacity for that pool," said Kimberly Campbell, the deputy director of Indy Parks. "Our pools need anywhere from nine [lifeguards], [but for] our largest pool, we need about 35 lifeguards to guard that water."

Indy Parks has also raised the starting pay to $15 for lifeguards, while also helping with training and testing.

"You have to swim 200 meters without stopping. You have to get a 10-pound brick from the deepest part of the pool, which is usually around 10 to 12 feet. You then have to tread with no hands for a minute," Indy Parks' pool manager, Ashley Ford, said of the testing. "If they can do all of that, then you go through basic life-training like CPR, first aid, things like that, in the event that we have an aquatic situation."

The department said other pools will open as it hires more lifeguards. The goal is to have them open by the end of summer. Click here to see a list of available jobs.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett previously announced Marion County residents will have free admission to all pools with a pool pass. 

The pass will be available this week at any Indy Parks Family Center or pool location. The customer Service Center at Riverside Regional Park will also have them. 

Residents will need proof of residency to get a pool pass. The following items would qualify as proof of residency:

  • Utility bill
  • Rent or mortgage statement
  • School enrollment info
  • State-issued ID

Passes will be valid through the summer.

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