By Cryss Walker

(CBS DETROIT) – A summer without pools?

That scenario could become a reality.

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A lifeguard shortage is forcing thousands of public pools to cut hours or possibly not open at all.

“Your swim is not going to be as comfortable if you’re swimming with other people who you know can not swim,” said Boll Family YMCA Aquatic Director Krystalyn Rivera.

“You’re going to be more uneasy of the fact that something could happen at any point in time. If there’s not a lifeguard on stand who are watching everyone.”

According to the American Lifeguard Association the labor shortage could close a third of public pools across the nation.

That’s roughly 309,000 centers.

But the Boll Family YMCA in Downtown Detroit is trying to stem the tide by hiring.

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“We have what is a $300 bonus when you sign on,” Rivera said.

The aquatic director says  lifeguards are lifesavers.

“There’s a lot of people out there who do not know how to swim and unfortunately a lot of accidents happen,” Rivera explained.

“A drowning can happen as quick as within six seconds.”

And she has a message for anyone who wants the job.

“This is something you can take pride with,” Rivera said.

“Like people are really glad that you’re here. That we’re able to open our doors in the morning. They’re glad to be able to come in for that swim.”

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Cryss Walker