Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

February 17, 2014

Search on for pool boss, lifeguards

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — The arrival of warmer weather this week serves as a reminder summer and splashing good times at Pauls Valley’s still new water park is not really that far away.

It’s still only February but efforts are starting to move forward for park officials like local recreation director Jennifer Samford to get the water facility ready in time for its first full swim season.

Making that chore way more difficult is the fact Samford must find a new aquatics supervisor after the recent departure of Billy Tomlinson.

Another big one on the to-do list is get enough lifeguards in place not only for the park’s opening in May but for the entire season.

“We’re asking anyone interested in being a lifeguard to call the recreation center or come by the rec center and fill out an application,” Samford said.

“I would like to start making a list of people interested in lifeguarding,” she said. “Then we’ll start scheduling the certification classes.”

As for the search for a new supervisor, Samford said it’s critical to get a replacement in soon to help with the enormous amount of work involved in getting the water park’s “army of lifeguards” trained and in place by the season’s first day now scheduled for May 24.

“It’s important we find the right aquatics supervisor,” she said.

“That person needs to have the certification, pool maintenance experience and supervisory experience.”

Tomlinson, who started as the aquatics supervisor in late 2012, left the job in late January.

Whether Samford alone or partnered with a new aquatics supervisor, the focus is lifeguards as the park prepares for a full season after its inaugural opening late last summer.

According to Samford, there are around 30 hours of training in American Red Cross classes required for the certification needed to be a lifeguard.

“It includes a combination of classroom and in-water skills for the certification, and there will be testing.”

Those who complete the training will be certified in lifeguarding, CPR and first aid.