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Appleton discovers many of its lifeguards are uncertified; closes pool

Local News

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – On a bright, sunny, hot summer day in Northeast Wisconsin you’d think all of the pools in the area would be swarming with swimmers.

But Appleton had to close one of its two city pools after they found out many of their lifeguards hadn’t been properly certified during the spring. Appleton city officials say once they found this out on Thursday, they pulled all uncertified lifeguards from the schedule which created a staffing shortage.

The city closed both pools early on Thursday. Mead Pool will remain closed through the weekend. The city says they have enough certified staff members to keep Erb Pool open though.

“We were notified from one of the instructors that the course material wasn’t completed the way it should be and they notified the Red Cross,” says Appleton Director of Parks, Recreation, and Facilities Dean Gazza. “I don’t know if it was compressing material together to get it done quickly or the very specifics of it.”   

The city says about two-thirds of their lifeguards will need to complete their recertification. The city says the goal is to have all the staff finish their certifications this weekend and for Mead Pool to reopen Monday.

“It’s a matter of us taking a lot of precautionary measures and making sure the public was safe as soon as it was brought to our attention from the Red Cross,” says Gazza.

Gazza says the city will continue to investigate to figure out what exactly went wrong with the certification process this time around.

Andy Steidl took his girlfriend’s son Ian to Mead Pool today to celebrate Ian’s birthday. Andy says he’s disappointed the pool was closed.

“Pretty upset because trying to come swimming here for the first time in 20 years and I get a sign that it is closed,” says Steidl.

However, Andy and Ian hopped on their bike and scooter and made the couple mile trek over to Erb Pool so they could still celebrate Ian’s birthday in the water.

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