Despite a lifeguard shortage, the city of Philadelphia will be able to open 80% of its pools this summer, and that is, in large part, thanks to the city’s senior workforce.
Robin Borlandoe, 70, is working as a lifeguard for the city of Philadelphia, NBC News reported.
The grandmother of six told the outlet she “loved” the job when she was 16, and decided to lend a helping hand amid staffing challenges.
“I decided to finally do it to do something for our kids, our community,” she told the outlet.
Fifty of Philadelphia’s 65 pools are currently open, NBC News reported. Several other cities in the U.S. are also facing lifeguard shortages this summer, including New York City, Chicago, New Orleans and more.
Part of Borlandoe’s motivation is to give kids a safe place to spend time during the summer months.
“They have no place to go,” Borlandoe explained. “Pools are closed all around.”
Borlandoe is familiar with the violence currently impacting Philadelphia and other cities nationwide. This year alone, at least 100 kids under the ages of 18 have been shot in the city, per NBC News.
One shooting occurred outside Borlandoe’s own home. She said three young boys died as a result.
“When you see it, it’s scary and it’s very sad,” she told the outlet.
After a few attempts at qualification, Borlandoe landed a lifeguard job with the city of Philadelphia.
Her goal, she said, “was just to do something, no matter how small, to help out.” Now he is excited to be doing just that.
“I’m very much committed to this,” she said. “This is my reputation. This is my community.”