BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – With summer just around the corner, many people are ready to dip their toes in the pool, but the lifeguards who keep everyone safe are nowhere to be found.

Green Bay is still trying to recover since the COVID-19 pandemic, and they still have seven openings left this season to meet their bare minimum staffing needs.

Recreation Manager Ann Moeller says, “No one was able to get certified or renew their certifications. We had limited facilities open, so we just lost a lot of our core staff. We are still recovering from the summer of 2020.”

The city has increased the pay for lifeguards up to $18 an hour and offers free certification to find workers.

They are not the only ones who have lifted the wages for their lifeguards. Ashwaubenon and De Pere have also given their staff more money.

“The village has been really good about watching those seasonal wages and increasing those because that was not the case just two years ago. They were making more like $11 an hour, so the pay increase does really help bring in lifeguards and then keep the ones we currently have,” Aquatic Coordinator Melody Escoto says.

Chelsea Moberg, the recreation supervisor with the VFW in De Pere, says the best advice for garnering more interest in the job is to start early.

She says, “Start in October. Honestly, it starts as soon as the pools are closed. You start for the next season for recruitment.”

Besides the pay, being a lifeguard also has other advantages.

Moeller says, “It builds responsibility. All of our lifeguards learn how to respond in an emergency, quick thinking and critical thinking skills, all of these things that can’t necessarily be taught in school or some other positions.”

Ashwaubomay Lake opens for the season on Friday, June 9th, while the Green Bay and De Pere pools open Saturday, June 10th.

If you are interested in applying to Green Bay, click here.