A lifeguard shortage is one of those things that you might have thought you’d never need to worry about, or even hear about. However, we find ourselves facing a huge lifeguard shortage.
It is very important that we talk about this and try to do something about it. To illustrate why this is the case, allow us to go on a brief tanged about the oceanic ecosystem.
Human activity has devastated a lot of things, one among them being the numbers of sharks alive today. Illegal and even legal, hunting of these creatures is driving them to extinction.
If you are thinking, maybe the world would be a safer place without sharks, that definitely isn’t the case. Not just because sharks are mostly harmless but because they play a key role in the well being of the oceans.
You see, just like many different ecosystems, the aquatic ecosystem is intra-depended on all its participants. The fact that we are eradicating sharks, in turn means that we are also eradicating other lifeforms in the oceans.
This chain of misery, death and despair eventually leads to the on-mass death of planktons, which in turn leads to a worsening of global warming on a scale far greater than it is right now.
Proving that some of the things that we do as a species aren’t good to say the least is easy, and our goal isn’t to remind you of that. With the tangent over, allow us to draw the parallels between shark extinction and the lifeguard shortage.
There isn’t a high volume of lifeguard hunting going on, but there is something else that is causing the shortage. To understand the effects this shortage might have, we first need to understand the causes.
What Is Causing The Lifeguard Shortage?
As we progress towards the end of the year, it feels more and more like the pandemic was a nightmare that lasted 2 years.
Although, we can’t say that the pandemic is over, we are finally starting to see the ramifications of the pandemic in areas that most people didn’t even expect.
As explained in many news reports, the pandemic is the main thing to blame for this lifeguard shortage that we are facing.
The impact is two-fold here. Firstly, the lockdowns made it impossible for people to get their lifeguard certifications.
A shortage of lifeguard certifications means a shortage of lifeguards. There is also the fact that these certifications most of the time have to be renewed.
The latter was also made impossible due to the lockdowns and the pancemid. So not only did we face a situation which made it impossible for new lifeguards to show up, we were also losing existing ones at a constant pace.
The second part of the pandemic effects were the fear that, very reasonably, a lot of people had from the virus and the whole situation.
Lifeguarding is a very hands-on job, literally, and going to get your certificate means going to somewhat crowded places, and talking to strangers.
It can also be said that people decided to quit this line of work because of that. Very few people would like to risk getting infected.
These two key facts, in addition to some other minor factors (such as: the lack of job opportunities, the lack of funding, etc) has caused the 2021 lifeguard shortage.
What Does The Lifeguard Shortage Mean?
Now that we know the ‘why’, it is time that we unravel the ‘what’? What grim reality awaits if this lifeguard shortage continues to worsen?
First and foremost, there will be a huge decrease in security in anything swimming related. First and foremost swimming at the beach.
A study by the CDC concluded: “There is no doubt that trained, professional lifeguards have had a positive effect on drowning prevention in the United States.”
We have mentioned this study even before. It also goes to mention that the chances of drowning in a lifeguarded beach are astronomically lower than those in unguarded beaches.
It is very obvious why we feel that a lifeguard shortage could have such a devastating effect in our day to day life, especially in the daily lives of those who enjoy swimming as much as we do.
To go to another part of the above-mentioned study, it shows that the majority of drownings happen in natural bodies of water; lakes, rivers, the sea and such.
However, that isn’t the case for children. Where the majority of drowning for children happens mostly in swimming pools.
Without the means of having a lifeguard present, pool parties for example can become downright hazardous.
It is even more scary to think that those who will be impacted the hardest are children. This could slowly lead to a huge decrease in pool parties.
Another thing that we might lose in the near future if this lifeguard shortage continues will be pools. Pretty much every state has regulations at place that ban operation of swimming pools without guards.
If there are no lifeguards to be found, the pool won’t be able to open or to do work at all. Theoretically, this could lead to less people learning how to swim, which could lead to a sharp increase in drowning-related fatalities.
Although this might seem as a far fetch, we do know that the number one prevention for drowning-related fatalities are effective swimming lessons.
Solving The Lifeguard Shortage Problem
If by now you feel like this problem seems to hard and complex to even begin working on, worry not as that isn’t the case.
We strongly believe that as things go back to normal, the lifeguard shortage will solve itself. Mostly thanks to the free market.
There has been a sharp rise in the demand for lifeguards, and inevitably this will lead to better offers of employment, better rates and all other sweet stuff that could lead to lifeguarding being a highly sought after job.
If you are a certified lifeguard and would like to capitalize on this lifeguard shortage phenomena, we highly recommend that you register for work today!
Hopefully, this assessment will be right and we sincerely pray to God, that the lifeguard shortage is something that only causes headaches for business owners and nothing worse than that!