The BV Pool and Recreation Centre will be closed for it annual maintenance shutdown from Sept 3-16. Tom Best photo

Staff shortage closes pool on Sundays

The Bulkley Valley Regional Pool and Recreation Centre needs more lifeguards.

The Bulkley Valley Regional Pool and Recreation Centre is too short staffed to stay open seven days a week.

A press release sent out Wednesday by facility manager Tamara Gillis on behalf of herself, pool staff and the Bulkley Valley Aquatic Centre Management Society said the board and staff weighed options and decided to close on Sundays until further notice.

The Sunday evening Toonie Swim & Gym is moved to Saturday from 5-7 p.m. in the meantime.

“We hope this adjustment will be short lived. Our goal is to hire and train a few more staff as soon as possible and then be able to get back up to normal operations,” read the release.

The release said it welcomes, “both people seeking a new career path or those who might re-visit this option.”

As a selling point, the release gave a quote it said was from current employees describing what they enjoyed about working at the pool:

“It is a positive place, people are happy because they come here to have FUN, relax or workout. It is an honour to be a part of our patrons’ regular routines; they arrive and then leave our facility HAPPY and accomplished. Our workplace is fun, interactive and supports healthy lifestyles. Our wages are competitive and we offer good benefit packages for permanent staff.”

Anyone thinking about becoming a lifeguard is encouraged to contact the pool. The phone number is 250-847-4244 and email is info@bvpool.com.

The annual shutdown to clean the pool is scheduled to end Sept. 16. Courts are still open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday until then.

Hours were also reduced due to a staff shortage in 2015.

The full press release as written follows:

RE: Reduced Hours of Operations in Fall 2018

The BV Regional Pool is coming up on their 28 year anniversary of operations this December. This facility was build with love by POOL PEOPLE. The vision becoming reality has made an outstanding, positive impact on our community’s quality of life because we have a pool to utilize.

This fall we are facing very low staffing levels. Similar to 2015, to operate the facility we are required to reduce our hours of operations. The board of directors and staff have carefully reviewed a number of options weighing the impacts. We have decided to close on Sundays until further notice. With this change we recognize that our well used Sunday evening “Toonie Swim & Gym” time is affected and we will be offering toonie swim on Saturday from 5-7pm while we remain closed on Sundays.

We hope this adjustment will be short lived. Our goal is to hire and train a few more staff as soon as possible and then be able to get back up to normal operations.

We would like to take this opportunity to put a call out to those of you who have a connection with our facility and/or have thought about a career in Aquatics. We welcome both people seeking a new career path or those who might re-visit this option (we know there are many ex-lifeguards out there!) When we ask our current employees what they love about working here, this is what they say: “It is a positive place, people are happy because they come here to have FUN, relax or workout. It is an honour to be a part of our patrons’ regular routines; they arrive and then leave our facility HAPPY and accomplished. Our workplace is fun, interactive and supports healthy lifestyles. Our wages are competitive and we offer good benefit packages for permanent staff.”

Becoming a Lifeguard and Swim Instructor has many benefits. It is a fantastic job for high school students, university students, and young professionals. The job builds many skills which are transferable to any career; building leadership, interpersonal and communication skills. The flexible work hours at a recreation facility are accommodating and great career change for stay at home parents or others looking for part-time work to supplement household income. We encourage all recreation lovers looking for a change in life to think about this as a viable option. To all those Ex Lifeguards in the community, we encourage you to consider recertifying your awards to come join our team!

Anyone thinking about becoming a lifeguard, please come talk with us. Working together with Houston Leisure Services (they need Lifeguards too!), we will have all the courses you need before January to become a fully certified lifeguard. On September 29th we are hosting FREE lifesaving skills workshop. This program is for anyone over the age of 15 interested in becoming a lifeguard to have their swimming and lifesaving skills evaluated; feedback and drills will be provided to help you strengthen your skills.

We ask for your patience and understanding while we adapt to this circumstance. Sincerely,

Bulkley Valley Aquatic Centre Management Society, Tamara Gillis, Facility Manager, and all of our staff

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