Blue Bayou lifeguards prep for summer season with rigorous aquatic training
BATON ROUGE - As temperatures start to heat up, the local water park is preparing for a busy season ahead. But employers are having a hard time finding qualified employees for the summer.
Dozens of lifeguards were in training Sunday at Blue Bayou Water Park.
16-year-old Julia Peck isn't playing around in the pool. She's training to save lives.
"It's pretty tough. A lot of people are having trouble, but we all work together and we get though it," Peck told WBRZ.
The St. Amant High junior is training to be a lifeguard. But for her, it's more than a just a fun-in-the-sun summer gig. It's a real job, with real responsibilities.
"You are saving people's lives," she said. "They depend on you, and you have to do the right things to make sure they survive."
Aubrie Juneau, the Aquatics Director at Blue Bayou, is working to find teenagers who can pass tough physical exercises in the water.
"They have to come here every single day ready to go, and they have to be on their game," Juneau said. "I'm looking for someone to take on that responsibility, because it can be a very difficult job."
It wasn't an easy task for the water park to find these lifeguard trainees. Out of more than 400 applicants, only 120 of them have gotten this far along in their training.
The park is also facing a low unemployment rate in Louisiana. Other employers are looking to hire for the summer, and in rough, outdoor working conditions.
"It is really hot these days and lot of kids are used to being on their phones and computers. So that does make it a little more difficult for us," Juneau said.
And to become certified life savers, these teenagers must also pass a written exam.
For more information on working at Blue Bayou Water Park, click here.