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In Duluth: Desperate for Park Point beach lifeguards; not a single applicant

Apr 08, 2022 05:13AM ● By Editor
Photo: KBJR-TV

By Nora McKeown from KBJR-TV • April 6, 2022

Duluth YMCA leaders are urgently asking the community to apply to be a summer lifeguard at Park Point beach. According to Duluth’s YMCA risk manager Cheryl Podtburg, by this time of year, 80% of lifeguard positions are filled.

However, the YMCA doesn’t have a single applicant.

Lifeguards are responsible for ensuring the safety of swimmers at the beach as well as educating the public about the water’s conditions. At this point, the need is so urgent, Podtburg says she is willing to hire even those who do not yet have their lifeguard certification.

Those applicants will be provided with a free certification class.


Duluth Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj said the fire department went out for about 40 water rescues last year, and that number will likely increase without proper staffing at the beach.

“Why it’s so important to get these positions filled is, like I said, keep what maybe a little bit of a dangerous situation from becoming a life-threatening situation,” he said.

Podtburg said she’s been a lifeguard since 1995 and her passion for the job comes from her love for seeing folks enjoy Minnesota’s lakes.

“I really am hoping that there’s people in our community that are looking for something to do and that also feel like this could be a way that they could give back to their community,” she said.

The deadline to apply is April 29, so applicants can get proper training before starting on duty.

Rescue stations and flags will be in place beginning on May 26. For more information on where to apply click here.

To watch the video version of this report and see related stories, follow this link to the KBJR-TV website.

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