LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – For the first time since 2019, the Lancaster County Pool is opening on time for the summer season.

“As difficult as things were last year, I think it brought a lot of attention to the situation and why we need lifeguards,” said Tammy Agesen, Program Manager of the Lancaster County Parks Department.

The COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on pool operations and teenagers who rely on summer jobs looked elsewhere. In order to open the pool, eight lifeguards and a pool manager need to be on duty.

“I think the public didn’t understand that last year, that we weren’t trying to be difficult, we just could not safely operate a swimming pool,” said Agesen.

Pools across the midstate have been scrambling to find lifeguards and teens willing to do what it takes to become one.

“Being a lifeguard is not an easy task, they’re first responders and it’s a difficult process,” said Agesen.

“This year we started back in January talking with the high school, YMCA, other schools around the county, trying to make sure they knew about it,” said John Trescot, Lancaster County Commissioner.

The Lancaster County Pool has 30 lifeguards heading into the new season and enough to keep the pool open throughout the summer.

“It’s all about fun and having a great time but my job is to make sure every person who walks through that door has the safest experience and walks out of that door at the end of the day,” said Agesen.