TYLER, Texas (KETK) – East Texas cities are once again asking for lifeguard help ahead of summer. 

Could pools be empty this summer? That’s the question some East Texas cities are asking.  

Over the last couple of years, public pools across the area have experienced major lifeguard shortages. 

There were several reasons for the shortages: the pandemic, people moving onto different jobs and not enough potential candidates getting qualified. This year could be the same if pools around the area don’t attract enough lifeguards. 

The recreation manager for Tyler Parks and Recreation Kandice Johnson said last summer was tough for everyone. 

“Last summer I was on the phone every day with another city asking, ‘what are y’all doing to get lifeguards?’,” said Johnson. “There’s like a shortage. It’s hard to find people. We’re trying to start earlier than last year.” 

Along with Tyler, Jacksonville, Longview, Lufkin and Athens are experiencing similar issues.  

To try and recruit more lifeguards, Tyler has raised the pay to $13 dollars an hour and will pay for the certification as well. 

Johnson added she’s excited for the summer and said she expects it’ll move in a more positive direction. 

“Just knowing that we have started earlier and I already have some positions filled, it does make me feel a little bit better just knowing we’ll probably start on time,” she said. 

Johnson said safety is their number one priority during the summer months. If you’re interested in any of the positions, you can click here