Lifeguards in high demand as Memorial Day approaches and pools fill up

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It’s a big weekend for enjoying outdoor activities. Community pools open for the season, but just like many businesses, they are struggling to fill positions.

Lifeguards are in high demand.

It’s a tough job to do. And it’s even proving tougher to find people to do the job.

“We are trying to play catch up from the staff we didn’t hire last year in addition to the new staff we had to hire this year so we are really set back worth a year and half of hiring,” said Travis Smith, a recreation specialist.

Smith oversees pools on the west side of the valley.

In Clark County, there are 75 lifeguard positions still open.

And it’s not that they are unable to hire. It’s the low turnout of interest in becoming a certified lifeguard that’s causing hiring gaps.

“That extra step of getting the certification and having those skills is making it harder to compete with other agencies hiring right now,” Smith said.

Smith said it takes seconds for an adult or a child to drown.

Parents need to know that if your child is under 8 years old, you are always required to stay by their side when at the pool.

“People think lifeguards arent doing much because they are just sitting there for the most part. But when they are needed, they do save lives,” said Ahmed Kaboudan, a lifeguard.

Lifeguards are required to reach a person in distress within 20 seconds.

“I remember there was a little kid who had gone away from his parents and that was my moment,” said Kaboudan. “I was like, oh, I have to react and jump in, and they were starting to go under water. I jumped in and the parents were very thankful after.”

Desert Breeze is offering a certification class in June. One of the ways they are trying to entice new applicants is with a low fee for certification.

And the Red Cross tells us they are offering certification classes every weekend.

The next Lifeguard course at UNLV will be held June 21-25th, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8 a.m.-12 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday 8 a.m.-2 p.m. The cost of the class is $175 and trainings are held on campus in the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Class space is limited. For more information or to register please email

The UNLV Student Recreation and Wellness Center is currently hiring American Red Cross certified Lifeguards and Water Safety Instructors. All applicants must be a NSHE student in good academic standing. Incoming freshmen are welcome to apply. To apply: email resume to

Anyone interested in obtaining a Lifeguard certification in June or in the future at UNLV is invited to email

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