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Portland outdoor pools open for summer amid staff shortage

It is officially summer time, and what better way to celebrate warmer temperatures than a dip at one of Portland Parks & Recreation’s outdoor pools.
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 6:30 AM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - It is officially summer time, and what better way to celebrate warmer temperatures than a dip at one of Portland Parks & Recreation’s outdoor pools.

PP&R’s seven outdoor pools opened on Wednesday. Capacity at all seven outdoor pools will be limited for now because of a staffing shortage. That shortage is also impacting the swim lessons that PP&R offers.

In addition to the seven outdoor pools, PP&R has four year-round indoor pools. However, they only have enough staff to host lessons at their outdoor facilities.

Despite the shortage, both indoor and outdoor pools will be open for exercise and lap swim at regular times. Family and open swim sessions are also taking place only at outdoor pools, except for limited indoor play swims at Matt Dishman Community Center.

PP&R said if they can hire more staff, they will offer more lessons.

“The more lifeguards we have, the higher the capacity, the more people we can let in - it’s all based on ratios,” said Teresa O’Loughlin, pool manager at Sellwood Pool.

O’Loughlin said they are looking to hire both lifeguards and swim instructors. Training for all hires is free thanks to a tax levy approved by Portland voters.

PP&R said it’s hoping to diversify its staff to match the community it serves.

“We are looking for people who speak any other languages. We really encourage that,” said O’Loughlin. “It’s easier for communication for our swim lessons. It would be beautiful to have people who speak other languages.”

If you would like to apply for a position with PP&R, click here.