By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The city of Philadelphia is already planning for the summer as they prepare to open neighborhood pools. But they need help and have issued a plea for lifeguards.

The city requires 350 Red Cross certified lifeguards to operate all 70 pools in neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia.

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Officials say they started the hiring process as soon as last year’s season ended, but they still need to hire and train about 170 more lifeguards.

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“We cannot open these pools if we cannot do it safely,” Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell said. “The only way to ensure safety at our swimming pools is to have enough staff, especially lifeguards on the pool deck to make sure kids stay safe.”

The city has also increased the hourly rate for lifeguards to between $16 and $18 per hour.

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For more information on how to become a lifeguard, click here.