Spend a summer guarding the lives of Galena’s swimmers

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The Alice T. Virtue Memorial Pool had enough lifeguards for this past summer, but they are looking for people again for summer 2023.

During the nationwide lifeguard shortage, the Galena pool still had enough to be able to operate at normal hours this past summer, but back in April, they needed more people.

The day before the pool opened, the pool certified 11 new lifeguards.

“One of the great things about the pool is that we have somebody who can certify our guards in-house, so they don’t have to go somewhere else for the training. And that really kind of helped streamline everything at the last minute,” Galena Facilities Manager Hillary Dickerson said.

The pool hired 23 new employees, including lifeguards, concession stand workers and safety guards. By the end of the season, the pool certified another two guards.

The pool will need lifeguards again for summer 2023. People ages 15 and up wishing to become lifeguards can contact Dickerson at city hall at 815-777-1050. Two-year lifeguard certification will be held in late spring.

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Additionally, the pool will need instructors for swimming lessons.

“We need people who have gone through the lessons program and learned all of those skills, you know, the strokes and can teach them,” Dickerson said.

The pool is also receiving some updates. At the recent city council meeting on Sept. 12, Dickerson said that she ordered 24 new deck chairs. The chemical system and new pool grates are being worked on by the Cedar Corp.

The city council also gave approval for Dickerson to write an Open Space Land Acquisition and Development Grant for a splash pad to replace the kiddie pool.

Dickerson said the city can receive up to $400,000 through this grant, which the city needs to match. She will submit the grant by the end of September and should receive a response this winter.

Construction would begin as early as spring 2024 and possibly conclude that summer. Dickerson said this could also be expanded beyond the current kid area.

Along with the splash pad, the grant could also cover shade structures for the pool.

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