At last Thursday’s Dunsmuir Recreation and Parks meeting, Keisler beseeched board members to reconsider their previous decision not to open the pool for the summer due to a lack of lifeguards.

“July 8th is opening day, I will be there that day to jump in that damn pool!” said Dunsmuir City Councilor Dave Keisler on his Facebook page after hearing that 15 people applied to be lifeguards, saving the season at the Dunsmuir Pool last week.

At last Thursday’s Dunsmuir Recreation and Parks meeting, Keisler beseeched board members to reconsider their previous decision not to open the pool for the summer due to a lack of lifeguards.

“I’m here to beg on behalf of little kids in my town,” Keisler said, stating that he has pledges for donations of $4,000 to cover the cost of the required lifeguard training and certification course for up to 19 applicants.

Keisler made a formal request to re-open or extend the Dunsmuir lifeguard pool application period to give prospective applicants one final chance.

Lauri Strandberg, one of the owners of Sten’s Burger Strand, discussed her desire to provide an incentive for lifeguards to work at the Dunsmuir Pool by either offering a complimentary lunch at the end of their work shift, or by applying for a grant to supplement lifeguards’ $12 an hour minimum wage with the possibility of a cash bonus.

“I’m very concerned about the fate of the pool,” said Tim Holt, a member of the Friends of the Dunsmuir Pool Committee.

“We’re not here to close it,” assured Dunsmuir Recreation and Parks Administrator Mike Rodriguez, adding, “My goal is to keep it open.”

DRPD board member Kate O’Grady explained the stringent lifeguard requirements, explaining that candidates will need to pass three tests. She said they must be able to swim continuously for 300 yards; tread water for two minutes with no hands; and swim 25 yards, dive 10 feet to retrieve a brick, swim back, and exit pool without aid of a ladder – all in a minute and a half.

Rodriguez added that lifeguards must be able t work with youth, be dependable, be respectful, follow directions, be a team player and have a fun, cheerful, positive attitude.

Ultimately. the board approved the motion to extend the application period until May 10.

“I want to thank Dave for doing something,” said DRPD board member Will Newman, by being proactive in getting the word out about the need for lifeguards.

On Friday, promptly at 1 p.m., the first two lifeguard applicants arrived. The first to get his application turned in was 19 year old Dunsmuir High School graduate Trent Price.

“I remember swimming here as a little kid, and it was amazing,” said Price.

Justine Joaquin, an 18 year-old graduate of Golden Eagle Charter School, was the second candidate to turn in her application.

By the 5 p.m. deadline, Rodriguez said there were 18 applications received. “We are just ecstatic, encouraged and super excited,” he said.

The next critical step is for all of the individuals who already pledged to sponsor, or who would like to sponsor, a Dunsmuir lifeguard candidate’s training and certification is to follow through in donating.

The cost to sponsor a lifeguard candidate is $195 and their certification is good for two years.

The other, equally important part of the lifeguard hiring process, is for those 18 applicants to complete the four-day training and certification course in Redding. The class will be eight hours a day, on the weekends of May 18-19 and May 25-26.

Once the new lifeguards are trained, certified, and hired, and the necessary pool maintenance is completed, the Dunsmuir Pool will officially open on July 8.

With such a good number of lifeguards, it is possible that the pool could be open seven days a week, Rodriguez said.