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'A big gap to fill': Manitoba facing lifeguard shortage, lifesaving society says

The pandemic has left Manitoba with a shortage of lifeguards, prompting one lifesaving society to call on people to sign up for the training.

Christopher Love, the Water Smart and Safety Management Coordinator with the Lifesaving Society Manitoba, said the lifeguard shortage is not just hitting Manitoba; it is being felt across Canada.

"We have two years where programs were essentially shut down, a lot of training did not happen," Love told CTV Morning Live. "A lot of people left the industry because they took jobs in other locations because they were laid off, because the pools were closed."

He said the shortage has led to pent-up demand as swimming classes are now running in many places.

"There is still a big gap to fill," Love said, adding it is a good time to sign up. "Because of the shortage, if you're willing to put in the time to get the training, there are going to be job openings there for you – probably wherever you actually want to work at this point in time."

Kira Penner has been a lifeguard at the Rady Centre for more than two years. She said it is an honour.

"I believe that having the skills to save a life is never something you're going to regret having in your life," she said. "I think there's no downside to it."

The Lifesaving Society Manitoba is calling on people to sign up for the lifeguard training and hit the pool deck to keep people safe. Top Stories

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