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My Job Lifeguarding During a Pandemic

[bf_image id="q4zjk7-f5af7s-bhxck2"] I’ve worked at Woodlake Apartments for four seasons now. We have one large pool, three satellite or small pools, and we also staff the pool at another community called Harmony Hill. This season, however, we only opened the big pools at Woodlake and Harmony. As one of the more experienced guards returning this year, I was given the “head lifeguard” position. This entails creating the guard's schedule and training the new personnel in the rules and regulations of our company and New York State.

Under normal circumstances, lifeguarding can be a little hectic at times. The job requires training in not only water skills but also CPR, First Aid, and how to use an AED. Normal daily tasks can include testing and maintaining chlorine and pH levels, skimming and vacuuming the pool, adding water to raise the level, and making sure guests are following the pool rules.

With COVID-19 regulations, we have residents sign waivers for their pool passes, as well as wear masks when entering the pool deck or clubhouse. There are red and green tags on every chair. The green side says “clean and sanitized”, while the red says “not sanitized.” We sanitize all chairs and tables each morning, and when a resident leaves they flip the tag to red so we are aware it’s time to clean once again.

As always, we must remain vigilant and keep everything clean and safe for not only our residents but also our lifeguards and other staff members. It really is worth the extra work and care we take to allow some semblance of normalcy in our complex world right now. The children, parents and elderly really appreciate being able to use the pool as an outlet for some fun and relaxation. Hopefully, next year we’re back to our usual routine and living in a better, safer world.

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Stay safe!

Kaitlyn Bossert is a Senior English Major with a Educational Studies/Spanish Minor at Siena College. She enjoys writing, reading, and having netflix binge sessions with family and/or friends.
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