Park Point Beach To Have Full Lifeguard Crew This Summer
DULUTH, Minn. – Park Point Beach will have a full lifeguard crew through the summer season.
“We’re starting with a clean slate,” says Cheryl Podtburg, Risk and Safety Manager for the Duluth Area Family YMCA.
There were concerns if there would be any lifeguards in early April when the YMCA announced no one had applied.
This changed after additional searching was done, and the City of Duluth approved a pay raise in May, from $11 an hour to a range of $19 to $22.
Podtburg says the pay did help in their search. “It’s been a long time coming. Aquatics have been struggling for a long time to pay people what they…to give people pay that’s comparable of the duties that we’re asking them to perform. So it’s been really exciting to finally make that leap and be able to pay people a wage that is reflective of the duties that we’re asking them to perform, and the risk that we’re asking them to take on.”
Of the nine crew members, Podtburg says seven are new with two returning from last year. Of the new hires, half got additional training for working in lakefront conditions. Overall, all are ready to assist with water rescues, first aid, and providing people information about the area and being safe in and around Lake Superior.
“I have a crew that’s really eager for hours and they’re excited to help each other out,” says Podtburg, Risk and Safety Manager for the Duluth Area Family YMCA. “I’m really looking forward to having people on the sand that I can really help make better lifeguards out of them.”
In the end, Podtburg says she’s thankful the added effort to find lifeguards for Park Point Beach was successful. “For those of you who responded by helping spread the word and helping recruit, that’s been a really importing piece of that. If you had done anything down to just telling one person to consider this, thank you for your support for that.”
Podtburg adds lifeguards will not be used if the weather isn’t ideal for large crowds to make their way to the beach.