Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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May 13, 2014

Park looking for more lifeguards

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — There’s still time to be part of the “army” of lifeguards being rounded up for the fast approaching first full swim season at Pauls Valley’s new water park.

Park officials are still on the lookout for more of those lifeguards as preparation work pushes toward the start of the park’s season on Saturday, May 24.

Leading the way has been new aquatics director Robert Rennie III.

Rennie believes there are enough lifeguards right now to open the season but not enough for the entire summer.

“I’ve been busy trying to operate this place,” Rennie said about the Bosa indoor pool, “and get ready for the water park’s opening.”

“The biggest thing right now is to get enough lifeguards,” he said. “That’s really been the only stumbling block.”

Finding enough lifeguards has been pretty much Rennie’s main focus since he was hired in March to oversee both the outdoor water park and indoor Bosa pool located on the local high school campus.

A big part of that search has been to actively recruit students from high schools in the Pauls Valley area.

“We’re recruiting at basically Paoli, Wynnewood, Stratford and here,” Rennie said. “I would really like to get 10, maybe 15 more people.

“We have enough lifeguards to operate. Long term over the course of the summer we still need more people.”

The goal is to get at least 40 lifeguards on staff. Currently there are about 30, Rennie said.

Helping with that is a lifeguard certification class scheduled to begin Thursday and continue through Sunday.

Once the park does open next week it needs a minimum of 15 lifeguards to be on duty for each shift to operate all of the park’s features.

For Rennie that means even more are actually needed to cover breaks and the limited number of working hours allowed for the seasonal employees.

Lifeguarding application forms are available at the Reynolds Recreation Center, which operates the new water park in the local Wacker Park.

As for the park’s opening day on the 24th, Rennie believes it will likely be more like any other day as no big blow-out celebrations are planned.

Until then park officials are working with a consultant from a water park construction company, who is helping to get the pool cleaned and ready for all systems and pumps to go through the testing phase.

City officials are also working on coming up with a permanent solution for a gate booth at the park’s entrance.

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