Trumbull pools cut hours, partly due to lifeguard shortage

Photo of Amanda Cuda
Tashua Pool in Trumbull, Conn. on Monday, July 6, 2020.

Tashua Pool in Trumbull, Conn. on Monday, July 6, 2020.

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media

TRUMBULL — The lifeguards servicing the town’s pools are returning to school as summer winds down.

The combination of fall’s approach and a lack of lifeguards means that the Beach Memorial Pool and Tashua Knolls Pool will be shortening their hours in the coming days.

According to the town’s web site, on Saturday and Sunday, and from Sept. 3 to 5, the pools will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for Beach and noon to 6 p.m. for Tashua. However, the pools would only allow a reduced capacity.

From Monday to Friday, Beach Memorial will be open from 3 to 6 p.m. at regular capacity and Tashua will be closed.

Tashua was also closed from Wednesday to Friday due to the lifeguard shortage, according to the town website. “Unfortunately, this is an issue every year as college students return to school, coupled with a well-known lifeguard shortage. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause,” the site read.

The lifeguard shortage has been a problem both locally and statewide. In previous seasons, the pools were open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. When the town pools initially opened for this season, they were only open until 6 p.m., due to staffing shortages.

After public outcry, the town added back in some of the evening hours, with Beach Memorial Pool open for general swim until 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays (with adaptive swim from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays), and the Tashua Knolls Pool open until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. The hours were to be reviewed in mid-August.

Though town officials said at the beginning of the season that the pools were fully staff with 60 lifeguards for the two pools, Trumbull, like other municipalities, had some struggles attracting staff.

The town pays $19 an hour for lifeguards, matching the new salaries the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection recently announced for lifeguards at state parks. Before the increase, Trumbull lifeguards were paid $16 an hour.