Extreme heat has blanketed parts of the United States making for a very hot summer. And while many have resorted to staying inside where it’s cooler, others have opted to go to the beach and community pools to cool off. But this year there’s a major problem. There is a lifeguard shortage, and it’s affecting approximately a third of the public pools in the US.
Robin Borlando was encouraged to step up and help when her city put out a call for lifeguards. The former lifeguard, now 70-year-old grandmother, saw it as an opportunity to come out of retirement and help keep the children in her city safe.
“I decided to do it to do something for the community, for our kids,” she told NBC News. “They have no place to go. The pools are closed all around.”
Borlando, a resident of Philadelphia, stepped up when as her city struggled to open their 65 pools due to a shortage of lifeguards.
“The call of what’s been going on in the city,” she said. “We’re in a bad spot and I just wanted to do something.”
Despite not having worked as a lifeguard since she was 16 years old, Borlando was ready to be put to the test.
Although she admitted this time around the training was a bit more intense.
Tests for Philadelphia lifeguards include swimming laps, treading water, and retrieving a brick from the bottom of the pool.
She failed the test several times, but she was determined to pass, and finally she did!
Borlando isn’t the only lifeguard who isn’t a teenager looking to make some extra cash for the summer. She is reportedly one of 16 lifeguards over 60 helping to keep Philadelphia’s community pools open this summer.
With an uptick in violence on the streets, she wants to make sure the children of Philadelphia have a safe place to go and are safe while they’re there.
“I’m very much committed to this. This is my reputation. This is my community.”