Denver outdoor swimming pools will open in June. First, the city needs lifeguards.

Want a job? The city’s willing to train you.
3 min. read
Ely, 12, flips into the pool at the La Alma Recreation Center, July 11, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Summer swim season is just around the corner. Locals have been wondering whether the public park pools would stay drained as the city faces budget cuts

Happily, pool parties are still on.

Even so, the worry made sense. After all, earlier this year Mayor Mike Johnston slashed Denver's rec center hours to pay for the city's massive new immigration response, though hours will be restored by June 7.

The department also cut its popular summer camp program, one of the few affordable ones in the metro area, though that can't be blamed on the budget.

"DPR has restructured summer activities to reach more recreation centers and more youth," wrote Yolanda Quesada, a spokesperson for Denver Parks and Recreation. "There will be a variety of registered and drop-in youth programs Monday through Friday at various centers throughout the city. Registration for summer programs opens May 7 and will be viewable later this month. " 

So when can we swim under the sun?

“Denver’s public outdoor pools are scheduled to open this summer from June 14 to August 11,” Quesada added. 

That’s a week later than they opened in 2023, but on par with some previous years.  

To open the pools, the city needs lifeguards. Hiring has begun.

The lifeguards will have part-time, hourly jobs. Scheduling will be flexible. Employees won't be allowed to work more than 39 hours a week so the city doesn't have to pay benefits.

The job will be to keep the public safe, clean the pool, teach swimming lessons, maintain pool equipment and more. 

Pay is $18.29 an hour for new lifeguards, and employees can enroll in a city retirement plan. The highest a lifeguard can be paid is $25.06. 

Other than that, there are no other benefits. 

Applicants can be as young as 15. No educational experience is required. 

Luke Howes patrols the Congress Park pool as it finally reopens. Aug. 2, 2022.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

They will have to be able to swim 300 yards continuously while maintaining breath control using either the front crawl or breaststroke; tread water for two minutes using legs alone; and finish a timed event, including pulling a 10-pound object from at least 7 feet of water in less than 1 minute and 40 seconds, according to the job description. 

“This position requires a valid American Red Cross certification in Lifeguard Training,” Parks and Rec notes. “No certification? No problem! Applicants who do not possess current certification may participate in an American Red Cross Lifeguard Training certification course led by Denver Parks and Recreation prior to employment for FREE.”

For more information, see the job description

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