INDIANAPOLIS — As the temperature heats up, it’s almost time to head to the neighborhood pool. Indy Parks is preparing to open several locations next weekend.
Jordan Elder, the manager for aquatics for Indy Parks, said this year, they have 200 lifeguards on deck. At this time last year, they only had about 100.
“We started early this year with hiring so we could get on that jump, and the fruits of our labor paid off,” Elder said.
Indy Parks threw in bonuses and put more money on the table by raising the pay to $15/hour, up from $13.
Elder said this led to more than 600 applicants this summer, which is double last year’s total. In fact, he said it’s the most they’ve seen in five years.
“Us having the staff is one of the biggest hurdles that we have to overcome when opening a pool. So, just having that is that much less of a headache for us,” Elder said.
Last year, Indy Parks struggled to find lifeguards and those that did apply couldn’t pass the mandatory test. As a result, only 10 out of the 18 city pools opened.
This year, Indy Parks hopes for a lot more.
“As many as we can. I can’t promise any numbers right now, but we are gearing up to come back full-force,” Elder said.
Elder said even though the summer roster is getting full, he said there is still room for plenty of lifeguards. He encourages anyone to apply.
Indy Parks plans to release an official list of pool openings sometime next week.
On Saturday, all Indy splash pads will be open. You can find a list here.