Iowa Aquatic Centers Forced to Close After Lifeguard Certifications Revoked
One Iowa community is reeling from the abrupt announcement that the city's aquatic center has had to close until further notice. It's the result of the majority of the facility's lifeguards losing their certifications from the American Red Cross, by no fault of their own.
Wednesday afternoon, the Hampton Aquatic Center announced Adult Lap Swim would begin on Monday, July 24. However, less than 24 hours later, came the shocking news of a surprising closing.
In a Facebook post, Hampton Aquatic Center said "Due to unforeseen/unavoidable staffing circumstances we need to close the pool. We will post here when we are able to reopen. No water aerobics, parties or lessons."
The news couldn't come at a worse time, with temperatures expected to climb into the late 80s by the end of the weekend and be in the middle-90s most of next week. So what happened?
According to KLMJ in Hampton, American Red Cross lifeguard certifications for the "majority of the staff" were revoked. The revocations impact all lifeguards who were certified under Christina Coleman.
Coleman worked for the Mason City Family YMCA when she did lifeguard training. However, KLMJ says the American Red Cross believes she "failed to deliver the class in accordance with all applicable lifeguard training requirements for certification."
The lifeguards impacted were certified between June 29, 2021 and June 5, 2023. Since many lifeguards are high school students, it's not surprising that a large percentage of the Hampton Aquatic Center's lifeguards are impacted.
So now what? Hampton Aquatic Center is going to get its lifeguards recertified just as quickly as possible. That will begin next week.
Hampton isn't the only aquatic center that's impacted. The same goes for the Mason City Family Aquatic Center, which is closed until further notice.
Closing the facilities is clearly the right move as safety is paramount. Hopefully, the proper certifications can be achieved soon. In the meantime, the waters will remain empty as the hottest temperatures of the summer make their way to Iowa.