PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — CBS3 has been reporting about the need for lifeguards at Philadelphia city pools. There aren’t enough lifeguards to open all the pools this summer.
CBS3’s Jasmine Payoute explains where things stand.READ MORE: MAGA Hat Theft At Last Year's Democratic National Convention In Wilmington Leads To Hate Crime Plea
“It’s like taking a fish out of the water, some kids are just born to be swimming during summer time,” parent Brenda Mwaia said.
It’s not exactly what you want to hear on the first day of summer. Only about 60%, or around 40, of Philadelphia’s 68 pools will be reopening this year.
“My daughter and my son we tried to go swimming but everywhere we go they’re shut down,” parent Richard Casey said.
A Philadelphia Parks and Recreation spokesperson says the change comes as the department struggles to recruit the nearly 400 lifeguards needed to open all pools.
“It effects them a lot because they don’t have nowhere to go swimming, they have to come out here and be in the playground with no pool,” Casey said.
Eyewitness News caught up with Richard Casey and his daughter on a day they would normally be knee-deep in chlorine.READ MORE: WATCH LIVE: Delaware Gov. Carney To Hold Virtual Press Briefing On COVID-19
“I want the pools to reopen,” the daughter said.
But for many Philadelphians, it’s not just about swimming — it’s also about safety.
The pools provide a place for children to go in a year plagued by gun violence – where bullets sometimes strike children.
Parks and Rec say they have increased salaries among others things to maximize interest, but as these seats remain empty, some people say they can’t stop there.
“I think there are people out there, we just have to let the people know that there is a need and people will show up they will show up,” Mwaia said.
A city spokesperson says which pools open will be based on equity, geography, past pool usage, as well as neighborhood crime.MORE NEWS: New Jersey Native Carli Lloyd Makes USWNT Olympic History, Wins Bronze Medal At 2020 Tokyo Olympics
When asked, a city spokesperson said they expect the first pools to open by the end of June. They expect others to open on a rolling basis through the first few weeks of July.