I am writing to express my frustration over the severely restricted hours at the Emerson Pool this scorching summer. The limited access due to a lifeguard shortage, as confirmed by the Concord Recreation Department, is disheartening and hard to accept.
Apparently we are feeling the effects of a nationwide lifeguard shortage, as highlighted in the NPR article, “Nationwide Lifeguard Shortage Affects a Third of Pools” (June 5, 2022). Communities across the country are grappling with this issue, and now it has hit our beloved Emerson Pool.
The restricted hours deny our community a safe, accessible space to cool off and stay active while promoting physical fitness, social interaction, and community cohesion, particularly for families and those without alternative options.
I urge our community leaders and the Concord Recreation Department to address the lifeguard shortage. Exploring strategies such as recruitment drives, training programs, and competitive compensation, and collaborating with local educational institutions — perhaps offering incentives for lifeguard certification — could be effective solutions. It is in our collective interest to ensure reasonable access to the Emerson Pool with reliable lifeguard staff.
When it’s too darn hot, the Emerson Pool would be a great place to know we can cool off.