Lifeguard shortage leads to closure of pool at Lackawanna State Park

Local News

BENTON TOWNSHIP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE 28/WYOU 22 EYEWITNESS NEWS) — If you’re camping or planning to head to Lackawanna State Park Tuesday, the pool will be closed. The closure comes as there are not enough lifeguards to keep swimmers safe, and it’s unclear when it will reopen.

Lifeguards are the eyes and ears of the pool at Lackawanna State Park, making sure all stay safe.

“We like it because it’s a good environment and pretty much like kid friendly. There is a splash park and a little pool, so you don’t have to worry about the young kids getting in the deep end,” said Chris Ula from Scranton.

Ula decided to come to the park to cool off with her kids, only to find out:

“That they were closing. Due to the short staff. So, we were kind of upset.”

“As far as making a decision, it’s not a decision. You either have lifeguards or you don’t have lifeguards. If you don’t have lifeguards and you don’t have the appropriate amount of lifeguards, you can’t safely run a pool,” said Robert Barrese, manager at Lackawanna State Park.

Barrese says usually the pool has 10 lifeguards and a manager. When the pool closes on Tuesday, there will only be three.

“This is a problem for everybody. Everybody that is running a pool this summer is having a really hard time finding lifeguards,” Barrese said.

Barrese is working to pull lifeguards from the southeast portion of the state, where the pool there could not open this year.

“If they are able to send me guards then we might actually be able to stay open.”

“I understand what they are doing. As opposed to helping us as well,” Ula said.

The park is looking for lifeguards and if you are interested, applicants will have to take the civil service commission test. The park manager says to monitor the park’s Facebook page and its website for when the pool will reopen.

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