SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A lifeguard shortage has been a nationwide issue since the height of the pandemic. The Springfield Park Department has overcome that problem and will soon re-open its popular Forest Park swimming pool.

Springfield could very well be the envy of other Massachusetts communities that haven’t been able to recruit enough lifeguards. Trainees went through their paces Tuesday and will again Wednesday to get them ready for the July 1st start of the city’s aquatics program.

Aquatics director Joe Federico understands why there’s so much turnout among those committed to swimmer safety, “in the lifeguard profession there seems to be a fast turnover. We have guards for two years and they then go to college and find something better.”

But since the height of the pandemic, when the lifeguard shortage went coast to coast, Springfield’s recruitment program has paid dividends and the city has slowly recovered.

“Each year it seems to be getting better, now we’re able to run our training courses so we’ve slowly been rebuilding. We definitely have seen an improvement.” Aquatics director Joe Federico

On July 1st when the Forest Park pool re-opens for the summer, families can feel secure there’s a highly trained lifeguard to protect them and their children.