Hay River takes new approach to recruiting lifeguards

Hay River’s recreation director and the town’s aquatic supervisor had a problem: they were having trouble finding lifeguards.

In response, they have decided to do something a little different. Now, applicants are being offered free lifeguard training and certification.

The Don Stewart Aquatic Centre, which is open year-round, has a rotating crew of casual staff. The town is looking to add three full-time lifeguards to the mix.


Lifeguard training is typically a time-consuming and expensive process that anyone inspired by Baywatch must pay for out of pocket. But Mike Scott, the aquatic director at Hay River’s pool – with 32 years as a lifeguard under his belt – hopes his offer will sweeten the deal for potential applications.

“Because we’re such a small town, we don’t have a big pool to draw from in terms of qualified people,” said Scott, giving no indication if his egregious pun was intended.

“We’re hoping this will draw in someone who’s maybe not fully qualified but interested in learning.”

The position comes with benefits, a pension plan, a housing allowance of $500 a month, free access to the aquatic centre, and pays from $26-37 an hour.

Stephane Millette, the town’s recreation director, said by email that recruitment of full-time lifeguards is “typically very difficult for small communities, especially given the multiple lifesaving certifications that are required.”


Anyone looking to get on board can dive in here.