Lowering age minimum to 15 could help ease Wisconsin’s lifeguard shortage | WPRI.org
By JANET WEYANDT | July 20, 2017
In London, American swimmer Katie Ledecky won an Olympic gold medal at the age of 15. In Wisconsin, she wouldn’t have been able to get a job as a lifeguard. Wisconsin law requires lifeguards to be at least 16 — a requirement that may be compounding a shortage that forced a Wisconsin Dells resort to delay the opening of part of its outdoor waterpark this year.“Any extra pool of employees we can draw from is, to me, a net positive,” says Brandon Schindler, aquatics director at the Wilderness Resort in the Dells. Wilderness couldn’t open a section of its New Frontier waterpark on schedule because it didn’t have enough lifeguards, he says.Wisconsin is unusual. The American Red Cross certifies lifeguards at age 15, surrounding states allow lifeguards to be 15 and even federal law allows 15-year-old lifeguards at national parks and other facilities. Read more….