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The dog days of summer are here, and they are sure to last well into September.  But soon, city pools in the county will close.  Its a by-product of school start dates falling ever earlier in August.  Lifeguarding has traditionally been a summer job for high school and college aged youth, and when the kids can no longer work, city pools have no choice but to close.   
Hoisington City Council members Monday questioned City Manager Jonathan Mitchell why the pool couldn’t simply be open on the weekends.  It was clear Mitchell had asked the same questions prior to the meeting.  He explained participation in sports keeps too many lifeguards from being able to serve even in that limited capacity.  
A lifeguard is needed for every 25 pool goers, he said.  There simply aren’t enough to accommodate the demand for the pool during those final weeks of summer.  
Council members Karen VanBrimmer and Michael Alyward suggested maybe it’s time for more older folks to become certified so the city has a larger pool of lifeguards.  They may have something there.   
Clearly, young people need to head back to school.  Those responsible enough to go through the rigorous training required to become certified lifeguards are bound to be involved in lots of school related activities and sports, so it only makes sense they won’t be available when school starts.  
We can’t overlook our adult population when it comes to temporary employment of this nature.  Swimming is a life-long sport, and those willing to continue to put themselves through the rigors of lifeguarding not only are bound to be healthier and happier, they can play a big part in building community, and making our quality of life ever better.

—Veronica Coons