Barnstable Board of Health Still Discussing Swimming Pool Lifeguard Requirements

HYANNIS –Barnstable’s Board of Health is delaying their decision on whether or not lifeguards are required at semipublic pools.

Current regulations allow facilities with less than 75 units to operate pools without lifeguards.

That regulation was set to expire last December, but was extended until April 30.

Barnstable Public Health Director Thomas McKean recommended to continue requiring lifeguards.

“In my opinion it’s a safety issue, my recommendation is to continue requiring lifeguards,” said McKean. “This is a tourist community and their lives are at stake, this is a very serious matter.”

Community business leaders want to see the board’s lifeguard requirement eliminated because of the difficulty in finding certified lifeguards.

Heritage House owner Peter Martino said if the new regulations are passed, it would have a big impact on local businesses.

“We’re also looking for a level playing field,” said Martino. “When the town beaches’ lifeguards go home at 5, they don’t close the beach, but yet we’re required to keep a lifeguard on duty whenever the pools are open.”

The regulations affect the town’s motels, hotels, apartments and condos and time-share resorts.

Previous regulation only applied to facilities that had less than 50 units.

Two near death drowning have occurred in Hyannis over the last 10 years, including an incident in 2007 at the Heritage House Hotel and in 2010 at the Doubletree Hotel.

Discussion on the topic will continue at the next board meeting on March 28.

By JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com Newscenter

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