The Mayor’s office and administration is aware of the ongoing staffing shortages at our beaches, especially seen at Niles and Plum Cove. I can assure you that we are actively working on this issue, which is affecting all of the Commonwealth and especially here in Essex County. This staffing shortage is due to the fact that there is a high demand for lifeguards with a limited pool of qualified candidates currently available. Our DPW wisely suggested that we start our lifeguard hiring earlier in the season, which our team started conducting earlier than any past year.
Thankfully, we hired new lifeguards this past week with more interviews, training and outreach being conducted through next week. Additionally, I authorized a pay rate increase for lifeguard candidates to better compete in this tough job market.
As always, our larger beaches remain staffed, but the fact remains that young, certified and available lifeguards are a difficult commodity. Even though we opened up our hiring process earlier, we hope that this pay increase and additional networking will help attract the candidates we need to better patrol our beaches.
Please remain patient and thank you for the understanding.
Mayor Sefatia Romeo-Theken