Community rallying to save season at Dunsmuir Pool

Cassandra Tiersma

After learning that there weren’t enough lifeguards to open the Dunsmuir Pool this summer, the community has rallied to find applicants and save the swimming season.

The Dunsmuir Parks and Recreation District announced last week that despite outreach, only one applicant had turned in necessary paperwork to sign up for the lifeguard certification course, and at least six lifeguards are needed to operate the pool safely.

Dunsmuir city councilor Dave Keisler said he is working to solve the problem after more than a dozen private citizens and local businesses stepped up to sponsor the cost of the certification course for applicants. Keisler said the cost for the two-weekend course for each lifeguard is $195.

In addition, Keisler said STAGE has offered to provide free or low-cost transportation for any lifeguards who don’t live in Dunsmuir but would like to work at the pool this summer.

Lauri Strandberg, who co-owns Sten’s Burger Strand (formerly Micki’s Better Burgers) said she would like to add an incentive to attract applicants by offering them free lunches. She and her husband, Sten, are also considering obtaining a grant to increase the hourly wage for lifeguards.

Sten’s Burger Strand is scheduled to open for business this summer on June 5 and much of their business comes from those who enjoy the pool and want a bite to eat.

Daniel Reagan, pastor of Community Cascade Church, and father of six, an advocate for Dunsmuir youth and director of Dunsmuir’s summer Mega Sports Camp, encouraged applicants to apply.

“It would be a great part-time job for a teenager,” he said.

Part-time positions are available for teenagers 15 and up as well as adults, said Keisler, and they must be able to pass a drug test.

Keisler will be meeting with the Dunsmuir Recreation and Parks District at their regular meeting on Thursday, “begging for a continuance,” to be able to fill the needed lifeguard positions at this late date in the game.

“I'm willing to beg” for the sake of the kids of Dunsmuir, Keisler said.

DRPD Administrator Mike Rodriguez said there is a course offered at Redding’s Caldwell Park’s Aquatic Center on May 18-19 and 25-26. In order to be certified, applicants would need to attend the two-weekend course.