New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation dealing with lifeguard shortage

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WATERTOWN — The New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is reporting a shortage of candidates to fill lifeguard positions for the 2022 season.

Peyton Taylor, regional director for the department, said 22 vacancies still need to be filled for the upcoming season.

“Our beaches do not open for swimming here in the Thousand Islands region until the third weekend in June,” she said. “So, we still got a couple of weeks to get people up and running, but we’re having a little trouble finding candidates that want to do it.”

There are 66 lifeguard positions in the region, which is defined as Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Franklin and Clinton counties, as well as three parks on Lake Champlain.

Ms. Taylor said she has seen staff shortages in other jobs throughout the state such as maintenance or toll booth workers.

“The lifeguard work seems to be the one where we’re experiencing the most extreme shortage right now,” she said.

If state parks have a severe shortage, then Ms. Taylor said officials would have to consider not staffing lifeguards at the less popular swimming beaches.

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