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Stepping up to help with lifeguard shortage in hopes to open Buffalo pools

Posted at 5:27 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 17:27:42-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Outdoor pools all over buffalo are locked shut due to one main thing, a lack of lifeguards. This lifeguard shortage is not exclusive to Buffalo, around the region many municipalities are struggling to staff community pools. It's something that Maureen Tomczak, daughter of former Buffalo Mayor James Griffin, is looking to stop.

"We want to help get some programs paid for and people to get certified, which could help open pools and make a lot of people happy," Tomczak said.

Tomczak is willing to pay for two people to get certified as a lifeguard next week at the University at Buffalo. She grew up swimming in Buffalo pools and would hate if they were closed during another summer.

"We have beautiful summers here, no one wants to see the pools not open," Tomczak said.

According to Mayor Byron Brown, the main reason for the shortage is the lack of available recruiting. Two indoor pools and all 10 splash pads are still open, Mayor Brown is hoping people use those, instead of resorting to natural water which can be dangerous.

"We will continue to remind young people and members of the community not to swim in unprotected bodies of water," Mayor Brown said.

When pressed, the Mayor did say that he doesn't see a way that the pools could reopen this year. He did say that he anticipates the lifeguard shortage to end next year.