Yost Pool, YMCA dive into summer partnership

By Laura Daniali | May 29, 2014

The City of Edmonds is diving into a partnership with the Dale Turner YMCA to provide staffing to Yost Pool for the three-month summer swim season.

The city provides about $50,000 to $80,000 per season in subsidies to the pool, and will save about $15,000 through the partnership.

“We wanted to look at a different way of operating that would save us some money, and provide great customer service,” Parks and Recreation Director Carrie Hite said.

The YMCA has a full, year-round aquatics staff, which can accommodate the fluctuating needs of Yost Pool by providing temporary, seasonal instructional staff.

“If we have a high demand, we can’t just hire people to add a class for a week,” Hite said.

Drawing from the YMCA’s staff will allow Yost’s programs to adjust to meet higher or lower demands.

Hite said the Parks Department thoroughly reviewed the YMCA’s safety records, and was impressed.

“We believe adhering to our high safety standards has contributed to our strong safety record,” said Brian McLaughlin, associate executive director of the Dale Turner YMCA.

Lifeguards are held to a safety code of conduct, and go through monthly training sessions where they work on individual skills and run through various scenarios.

“We have never experienced a drowning in any of our 12 aquatic facilities, and our rehearsed emergency action plans provide a swift response to medical emergencies,” McLaughlin said.

The lifeguards are closely observed throughout the day by aquatic directors, and are given feedback on their performance multiple times per day.

A YMCA pool manager will supervise the aquatics staff and eliminate the need for the City to staff this position.

In previous years, the seasonal managers were typically college students who were home for summer break, and looking for temporary work.

“The YMCA has career managers, and will provide the city with a more experienced manager,” Hite said.

The City will continue to provide cashiering and front desk services, and maintain all operations, while the YMCA provides on-deck staffing.

The City’s master plan permits the Parks Department to look for public or private partnership opportunities that will create efficiency within the department, Hite said.

“I am looking forward to this partnership,” Hite said. “We are dipping our big toe in the water with them this year.”

If the YMCA provides a “good, fun experience,” Hite can see the partnership continuing beyond its initial year.

Swim lesson registration was scheduled to begin May 28, and Yost Pool opens on June 16.  For more information, call 425-771-0229, or visit www.yostpool.edmondswa.gov.

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