Pool
With temperatures rising into triple digits in Central Texas, two pools will open during the summer at Fort Hood, Texas. Fort Hood's Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation are looking for more trained lifeguards to enable them to open more pools on the installation and the swimming area at the post's Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area. (Photo Credit: Eric Franklin, Fort Hood Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT HOOD, Texas - With the rising Texas temperatures and schools out for the summer, the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation have opened two pools here.

“Comanche and Patton (pools) were open last year (the same as this year),” said Jon Cole, chief, Community Recreation Division, Fort Hood DFMWR.

This summer, with a shortage of trained lifeguards, only two pools would open. Still, Cole wants people to enjoy the summer and not have to worry about the safety of their children. He is confident that with more lifeguards, they will be able to provide the fun everyone deserves.

“We would like to open more pools, but must have the lifeguards,” Cole said. “There is a nationwide shortage of guards, and the surrounding communities are feeling the hit from this, as well.”

On June 2, Fort Hood DFMWR wrapped up the first of two lifeguard classes for the summer, with the next set of classes to be held June 13-16. The American Red Cross teaches the class for certified swim instructors and will prepare students in first aid, CPR/AED, professional rescuer and water rescue skills. Upon successfully completing the class, students will receive a two-year certification in all three areas.

Cole said these are blended learning classes where individuals have to do some coursework online after performing the prerequisite swim, before attempting the hands-on portion.

Comanche Pool, located at Bldg. 52932 on Tank Destroyer, next to the youth center, opened for the season June 1. Pool hours are: mission swim (lap and military training) Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. until 1 p.m. at no cost. Recreational swimming hours are Wednesday through Friday from 1-7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m..

If you are looking for a fun and inexpensive activity with family and friends, and a place to escape the heat, the on post pools are the place to be. A daily visit to any of the pools costs $4 per person with the appropriate military or common access card identification. Military families are allowed two guests per cardholder, and civilians are welcome. All pools will be open through Labor Day weekend.

Cole added that DFMWR anticipates opening the Patton Pool on July 8, and the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area for swimming shortly thereafter. Check the DFMWR Facebook page for details or updates.

“It is a truly rewarding job," he said, "and performing it for our heroes in uniform and the rest of our military community just enhances that satisfaction."

For more information , call the post Aquatics Office at (254) 287-9430, or visit www.hoodmwr.com/swim_pools.htm. Call (254) 285-5942 to sign up for the free lifeguard class.