MT. VERNON — With spring break around the corner, teens may start to think about summer job opportunities.
Mt. Vernon Parks and Recreation Department Recreation Director Wes Plummer hopes that is the case since the new Aquatic Zoo Waterpark will be opening this spring.
A challenge facing the department is the staffing growth that the new facility will require, including certified lifeguards.
“We’re probably looking for a total of 40 to 50 guards. At the old pool, we had a staff of about a dozen. At full capacity, we had four guards working at a time. At the new facility, when we’re at high capacity and all the guards are in their locations, we’ll have a rotation. If we have a high number of swimmers, we’ll need 16 guards at a time,” said Plummer.
The department will be holding a Starguard course in late March for anyone aged 15 and older interested in becoming a lifeguard. The course will be held at the Rend Lake College Natatorium from March 24 through 28. Registration deadline is March 19. The course requires an online prerequisite that takes between 8 to 12 hours. The $105 course fee can be refunded during the 2014 season for any qualified lifeguards that are hired to work at the AZ Waterpark.
“We’ve got about 30 applications turned in. Some of those are certified and some are getting certified soon,” Plummer said. “We would like to get a good number and go through the applications to make sure we have a staff that committed to do the job and be professional at it.”
Plummer said the course has a capacity of 20.
“I anticipate we’ll be close to fill. With spring break coming up and students thinking about what they may be doing this summer, it gets a little more real for them. Since we’re just a couple of months away from opening season, it’s time to get those jobs for the summer planned out for them,” he added.