Lifeguard shortage: Some of Philadelphia's best lifeguards working overtime amid staffing issues

Philadelphia has seen a long stretch of severe summer heat and, unfortunately, the city's lifeguard shortage is at an all-time high. 

In May, the city reported needing 150 lifeguards to fulfill positions at community pools. Now, the city's most dedicated lifeguards are working nearly everyday just to keep the pools open and safe for residents. 

"I was working straight through since the beginning of the summer, but last week was my first time taking off for a whole week," said first-time lifeguard, Milan Howell. 

Howell has been spending her summer by the pool as she dedicates extra time to work every week. She says she is happy to be making good money and city officials are relieved to have a guard so dedicated and willing to work amid staffing issues. 

RELATED: Lifeguard shortage: Philadelphia in need of 150 lifeguards before city pools open

The hunt for lifeguards is not just a Philadelphia issue. Other cities across the United States and even other countries are experiencing the same staffing problems. 

"We've been talking with other cities, spoken with Austin, and throughout the United States, about how they are tackling their own guard shortages," said Andrew Alter of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. "With us working to open 80% of the pools, the ones we were not able to open is essentially due to staffing."


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Among the dedicated guards is 70-year-old Robin Borlandoe, who has been called the "granny-guard." Borlandoe says she trained and passed the test, so now she's calling on others to do the same so that the pools remain open this summer and for the summers to come. 

"It's a job I signed up to do. This is what I wanted, and I knew what I was in for." said Borlandoe. "I volunteered to work an extra day just in case, so that the kids would have something to do."

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation is holding events to entice people to set their sights on guard jobs for next summer.