From the Herald
By AL HACKLE firstname.lastname@example.org 912-489-9454
Physically active work, mostly outdoors; experience as a certified lifeguard who can perform first aid and CPR; or alternatively, training and experience in pool maintenance or customer service at a park that will entertain well over 100,000 guests in a four-month season …
With those benefits, Splash in the Boro fills more than 200 summer job openings each year.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for first-time employees or young folks starting out to definitely build their resumes,” said Steve Brown, manager of Statesboro-Bulloch Parks & Recreation’s Aquatics Division, which operates Splash in the Boro.
The water park and aquatics center, one of the region’s largest summer employers of high school and college students, is now advertising for applicants. The seven general job notices recently issued through the county’s human resources office cover almost all of the 222 specific jobs the park plans to employ, Brown said. So don’t think that the notices for “lifeguard,” “head lifeguard” and “swimming instructor” imply that the park is hiring just one of each.
In fact, Splash in the Boro needs about 100 lifeguards for its main season, which will run from May 16 until Labor Day, Sept. 7.
For the lifeguard positions, Splash requires certification to Starfish Aquatics Institute standards. The Starfish-sanctioned training includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid skills for American Safety and Health Institute certification.
Splash in the Boro is offering six sessions of the five-day pre-employment lifeguard certification course from next week through April. The first one begins Feb. 27, and a schedule of all the courses is available under the “programs” tab at www.splashintheboro.com.
“Those courses are definitely another opportunity for people who want to work for us, or if they want to work somewhere else as well,” said Jenna Campbell, aquatics program supervisor.
Taking one of the courses at Splash is not required to work there, she explained. However, those seeking the lifeguard jobs are encouraged to get their certification somewhere before the post-hire training starts in April, Campbell said.
Three weeks of job training for all summer hires will begin April 20. Lifeguards with certifications from other organizations, such as Red Cross, will then be brought up to speed on Starfish standards and given training specific to working at a water park, she said.
The park will hire far fewer people for the other two jobs involving swimming skills. Splash needs four head lifeguards and hires about five swimming instructors who aren’t also lifeguards, Brown said. But other swimming instructors come from the pool, so to speak, of lifeguard applicants.
Most of the lifeguards work just during the summer water-park season, but about 30 continue year-round, for aquatics programs such as those offered in heated pools under the dome during the cooler seasons.
Just this week, swimming and kayaking fun programs are underway during the Bulloch County Schools’ winter break. These run 3-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with kayaking classes offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday and swimming and other activities Tuesday and Thursday. The fee is $3 per person, or free to season ticket-holders.
Two of the four non-swimming job titles are in the business end of the park.
One multifaceted job is called “guest services,” and Brown said about 28 individuals will be hired for it.
“That includes selling tickets … running the tattoo machine, … working in the gift shop … locker rentals and also being a cabana and birthday party host,” he said. “So that’s a huge guest service experience (for) folks who’ve never had a job or are interested in that kind of thing.”
Concession worker is a separate job classification, for which the park needs 60 to 70 individuals. Some employees can parlay their summer experience into working concessions at the Parks and Recreation Department’s athletic events in the fall, Brown said.
Yet another category of Splash jobs is those in maintenance, for which there are two classifications. The park needs about 12 individuals for the jobs labeled “aquatic maintenance personnel,” as well as about 12 “Splash attendants,” Brown said.
Splash attendants perform general tasks, including those such as picking up trash on the grounds and cleaning restrooms. The aquatic maintenance jobs involve more extensive training for tasks such as monitoring water chemistry and adding chemicals.
Application deadlines are March 24 for guest services and April 1 for concession worker, aquatic maintenance and Splash attendant. The deadlines are March 31 for head lifeguard and May 1 for swim lesson instructor, but the general lifeguard position is “open until filled,” because of the training required and with late-summer replacements sometimes needed.
Pay starts about a dime above minimum wage on the jobs requiring the least training but ranges several dimes higher for the certified and leadership posts. The minimum age is 16, but there is no maximum.
“We’ve had lifeguards who are late 40s and we’ve had lifeguards 16 years old,” Brown said. “The majority of them are high school and college students.”
Applications are available through the department’s website. They can be completed and returned by email, but Brown recommends dropping them off at the Parks and Recreation Department’s Honey Bowen Building.
After rainy days in summer 2013 reduced attendance to about 120,000 guest visits, Splash rebounded to 142,000 visits last season, Brown said.
Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.