DUNSMUIR, Calif. -- If the Dunsmuir Parks and Recreation Department doesn't get enough lifeguards hired, the beloved Dunsmuir Community Pool may stay closed throughout the entire summer. The town is coming together to make sure that doesn't happen.
For Dunsmuir, the community pool is more than the chlorinated water that fills it. It brings a sense of pride.
"If you lived in a small town like this and one of your big summer activities and resources to the community were closed, how would you feel about your town?" said Tim Holt. He's a member of the Friends of the Pool Committee dedicated to making sure the pool doesn't stay closed this summer.
The community has banded together to hold on to that sense of pride.
"It's not just a Dunsmuir issue," said Parks and Rec Board Member Barbara Cross. "A lot of people from all over Siskiyou County use this pool."
The Dunsmuir Parks and Recreation Board unanimously voted to extend the application period for lifeguards until 5pm Friday. The first period only yielded one application. Trent Price is the latest person to apply to be a lifeguard for the pool this summer.
"I remember swimming here as a kid," Price added. "It's amazing. I heard this year the department wasn't going to open the community pool because there are no lifeguards. I figured I should help the community a little bit."
The department needs a minimum of six lifeguards in order to open but the board wants eight to err on the side of caution.
"It was a very difficult decision to not be able to offer the pool this summer because of safety and liability issues," said the department's District Administrator Mike Rodriguez.
Those lifeguard applicants also need to pay $200 to undergo the rigorous lifeguard training in Redding and pass the test. The Dunsmuir community is trying to raise the combined $1,200-$1,600 so their future lifeguards won't have to. Even the new owner of the burger stand (now called Wild Land Burger but will be renamed Sten's Burger Stand after its owner) is working with the department to give meals to the lifeguards after their shifts as an incentive to get more people to apply.
"I think it's important for the pool to be down here. For the kids, for the youth, for the whole community to come down here and hangout," said Sten Strandberg, owner of Sten's Burger Stand.
The Parks and Rec Department believes this issue won't just last this summer, but for summers to come.
If you would like to donate to the fund that helps pay for the lifeguard's training, you can call (530) 235-4740.