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'Water Park Capital of the World' Struggles with Lifeguard Shortage

WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. (CHANNEL 3000)

 With so many hotels and attractions, the Waterpark Capital of the World, the Wisconsin Dells, is dealing with a lifeguard shortage.

Many places are feeling the lack of staff, including the Wilderness Resort in the Wisconsin Dells.

“I think we are kind of a microcosm of what is happening in the area. We have continued to expand our business and add features that require more employees,” said Brandon Schindler, the aquatics director at the Wilderness Resort.

The Wilderness Resort is far from the only resort looking to hire more lifeguards.

“It's really stressed the system,” Schindler said to Channel 3000.

Wilderness Resort staff said they would like to have even more lifeguards, but they are doing all right, all things considered. At any given time there are 250 lifeguards on the Wilderness grounds, and they are training the ones they have constantly.

“We provide 32 hours of aquatics instruction, in order to earn your American Red Cross certificate,” Schindler said.” We certify students across a number of different certifications from shallow water to deep water and then we add on an additional component for our wave pool.”

Last year, Wilderness lifeguards made 500 water rescues.

“We did not have any serious water injuries,” Schindler said.

The Wilderness Resort exceeds the number of lifeguards they are legally required to have on staff by the state.

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