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Splash into summer: Richardton Park Board seeks lifeguards

The Richardton Park Board is in desperate need of additional lifeguards to keep the community pool open for regular hours this summer.

Pool
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Theerawat Payakyut/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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RICHARDTON, N.D. — The Richardton City Swimming Pool is seeking to hire three to four additional lifeguards for the summer pool season, as the park board currently doesn't have enough to keep the pool open during regular operation hours.

Richardton Park Board member John Schutt said the lifeguard positions start at $9 per hour or higher, and raises are given to those who come back the following summer. Schutt noted it’s a great opportunity for young people who want to get their foot in the door of the labor market and build valuable skills for their future. This includes the lifesaving CPR method taught in the prerequisite lifeguard certification course, which is paid for by the park board.

“Obviously, we’re in a small community so there’s not a ton for kids to do,” Schutt said. “It’s pretty important to have something like this that’s available. We’re trying to make sure it’s open and operational as much as possible timewise for them to be able to take advantage of it.”

Applicants must be at least 15 years old and available to work 20 to 30-plus hours weekly of varying shifts.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows how vital lifeguards are to pool safety. Second only to birth defects, drowning is the leading cause of death among American children from ages 1 to 4. Adult and adolescent males are also at higher risk of drowning, as 80% of those who die from it are males. The CDC noted this could potentially be attributed to increased exposure to water, riskier behavior and higher rates of alcohol consumption.

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Even those who experience a drowning incident but survive can suffer long term health detriment when the brain is deprived of oxygen. This can include brain hypoxia, brain ischemia and problems with other organs as well.

“For every child who dies from drowning, another eight receive emergency department care for non-fatal drowning,” the CDC’s website states.

Parents can mitigate these risks by enrolling their children in swimming lessons at a young age, which are available at Richardton’s pool.

During an April Richardton City Commission meeting, park board member Adam Hosselton noted that his group is a five-member board, but two of the three members whose seats are on the ballot June 14 are not seeking reelection. Aspiring new members have to be write-in candidates as the deadline to get on the municipal ballot was April 11. Hoselton said this would be fine as park board candidates typically don’t receive more than a few votes each anyway.

For information about summer lifeguard job opportunities, swimming lessons or serving on the Richardton Park Board, contact Coley Hueske via email at coleyhueske@hotmail.

Jason O’Day is a University of Iowa graduate, with Bachelor’s Degrees in Journalism and Political Science. Before moving to Dickinson in September of 2021, he was a general news reporter at the Creston News Advertiser in southwest Iowa. He was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa. With a passion for the outdoors and his Catholic faith, he’s loving life on the Western Edge. His reporting focuses on Stark County government and surrounding rural communities.
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