A grandmother from Ohio emerged from her retirement to secure a summer position as a lifeguard, aiming to guarantee the operation of her local swimming pool despite a shortage of personnel nationwide.
According to local news Fox19, Gail Rodgers, 66, accepted the new position after the Montgomery Towne Condominiums, where she lives and acts as the head of the board, faced the prospect of decreasing pool hours due to a shortage of lifeguards.
Rodgers worked as a lifeguard during her teenage years and made a choice to test if she could wear the crimson attire once more, over five decades later.
“I thought, ‘Well, I did this lifeguard thing back in the late ’60s’ so I thought maybe I can do this again,” she said to Good Morning America.
Rodgers completed all the required courses and acquired certification last year following successful completion of the physical examination.
Her recently appointed superior, chief executive officer of Cincinnati Pool Management Jeff Blume, stated that the examination is not a simple task.
“[Lifeguard candidates] have to swim a 300-yard length and that is 12 laps at a traditional swimming pool. They have to tread water for the allotted amount of time and then they have to swim a length and then submerge and grab a 10-pound brick off the bottom of the pool,” Jeff Blume stated to the morning show.
Rodgers, a parent of two and grandmother of three, successfully completed all sections and commenced her role as a part-time lifeguard on May 27 — substituting for the other guards when they require leave.
She said to Fox 19 that, “There’s a need out there and there’s a population that can fill that need. “I think it’s great to be able to sit outside and enjoy the nice weather. It keeps you in shape, you find out you can do things you weren’t really sure you could do like swim 300 yards.”
Blume expressed that Rodgers is a “joy” to have as part of the team, further stating that lifeguarding is not merely a profession for her but rather an encounter.
“We love her enthusiasm, we’re happy she’s here,” he noted. “She brings a new perspective to the lifeguarding world.”
Rodgers additionally mentioned that she is relishing her fresh occupation, “It’s been fun watching the kids playing with their parents and people enjoying the nice weather in the pool. It’s been a lot better and more pleasant than I expected it to be.”
She intends to increase her workload during the latter part of summer as her junior colleagues return to school.
Rodgers suggested that other seniors and elderly individuals should contemplate lifeguarding primarily because the entire nation is struggling with a scarcity of lifeguards.
Gail Rodgers said, “I hadn’t done a lot of swimming in a long time so I was a little concerned myself, but I think a lot of people could be doing this, and it might be good for them to get out and do this even. It pays well. You can set your own schedule. Doesn’t get much better than that.”
But is it really a shortage of workers, or just more corporate greed leading to a shortage of wage increases?