Here's some more fodder for discussion about the newly reopened McCarren Park Pool. The facility, which just had a multi-year $50 million renovation, has been the site of attacks on lifeguards, long lines, attacks on cops, robberies and poop in the pool in less than its two weeks of existence. Now, the Post chats with a lifeguard for the real scoop on working there.
The unidentified lifeguard, who is paid "$13.55 an hour, plus overtime," reveals, "Every morning when I wake up, I pray for rain. Because if it’s sunny and 90 degrees at 11 a.m., when my shift starts, there will be 1,500 people lined up around the block to get in and just 30 lifeguards to watch over them. And a lot of them are coming in drunk and high." And then about the first lifeguard attack, which started when lifeguards told kids not to do backflips into the pool, "We train for rescuing people from drowning or breaking their necks — we don’t train for being jumped by a group of teenagers, or how to defend ourselves in an attack."
While the lifeguards were given the option to transfer, no one did. The lifeguard also described the incident where a cop was punched (a young pool-goer said, "I’m not scared of no cop") and is thankful for the increased police presence. And then there's poopgate:
One of the lifeguards called me over while I was watching the baby pool the other day. "There’s poop in the pool,' he said. 'It’s scattered everywhere." I saw one kid step on a piece. I tried to tell the parents to get out, but no one listened to me. I had to yell at them that there was feces in the pool.
We cleared out the pool and made everyone stand on the sides. The rule is five minutes for poop and 25 minutes for throw-up. Luckily, there were two new lifeguards, so we made them clean it up.