WESTFIELD, NJ — With a heat wave in effect, Westfield’s Memorial Pool was ready for a strong turnout this weekend, according to Aquatics Supervisor Heather Re.
“We’ve had a lot of rainy days but we are really looking forward to this weekend,” she said.
The pool, which is solely funded by membership and guest fees, is designated as a Green Acres facility, which means that, for a fee, the park must allow anyone to enter — including non-residents and non-members, said Re.
While the majority of the 9,700 members are Westfield residents, non-residents can also become members for a higher rate, she said.
Non-members can pay a daily fee of $25, up five dollars from last year.
“The rate was increased because we increased our lifeguard salaries ... We have 60 guards on staff,” said Re.
“Chemical prices have increased, we updated the entire exterior of the pool building, repainted both slides and other updates to the complex,” she added.
According to Re, this is the first time in five years that the daily rate has increased for non-members.
Management has also made a few changes this year to help serve members and guests, said Re.
“We’ve added more booth staff to help move lines more quickly and on busy weekends two managers will be on-site to do the water testing and to help members and guests,” she said.
Because the lifeguards are responsible for supervising pools, administering first aid and also maintaining the facility, Re explained that the playground and open play areas aren’t managed by the staff and that it is up to parents to supervise their children in those areas.
“Our lifeguards are outstanding,” said Re, who explained the many roles that the guards take on in their position. “I cannot express how great our staff is from the first-year guards to the front desk staff and to our management team.”
The lifeguards put in hours of pre-season work to prep for the summer, including learning new Red Cross safety procedures, undergoing swim testing and emergency drills so that they are able to respond to an emergency, said Re.
“We have lifeguards who are eager to work, enjoy making children happy and are very respectful to myself, the managers and to all of our patrons,” said Re.