Philly grandma, age 70, is back on lifeguard duty amid shortage 'to help the community'

·2 min read

For the first time since the late 1960s, Robin Borlandoe is back on lifeguard duty.

"What do they call you? Lifeguard Granny," Borlandoe responds about her new position.

The nationwide lifeguard shortage is what prompted the 70-year-old grandmother to make a comeback.

Says Borlandoe, "70 is the new — what? — 50, 30, 40."

AMERICA'S LIFEGUARD SHORTAGE WILL BE A TOTAL DISASTER COME AUGUST

Hearing public pools in Philadelphia might not be able to open, she decided to step up.

"This was just a small part of what I could do," Borlandoe tells Fox News.

In order to pass the required test, Borlandoe trained daily.

She passed the lifeguard test on her second try.

"We were scrambling to onboard staff," says Philadelphia Parks and Recreation spokesperson Maita Soukop.

The lifeguard chair is empty in this image — and the beach sparsely populated at Old Orchard Beach in Maine last September. <span class="copyright">Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images</span>
The lifeguard chair is empty in this image — and the beach sparsely populated at Old Orchard Beach in Maine last September. Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

In Philadelphia, 80% of public pools in Philadelphia are open.

Yet that is not the case in other states across the country, where the pools have not had the staffing to open their doors.

The American Lifeguard Association says that this summer, one out of every three pools nationwide will not open or will reduce hours due to staffing shortages.

HERE ARE THE HEALTH RISKS OF EXTREME HEAT

Also, Philadelphia police have reported that violent crime in the city is up 7% compared to last year. The Philadelphia district attorney has tweeted that open swimming pools are violence-prevention tools.

Robin Borlandoe says that is one of the reasons she is diving in to make a change.

"The main reason is to help the community and with the way Philadelphia is … The young folks, what are they going to do?"

She mentioned the "murders and the kids that have attacked adults" as a concern.

She says she'll be back next summer.

"What makes me glad to do this job is just [the community's] energy and how enthusiastic [they are] and the fact that they say, ‘Hi, Miss Robin,’" says Borlandoe.

NYC CANCELS SWIM CLASSES AMID LIFEGUARD SHORTAGE

To try and get more lifeguards to sign up for duty, some park districts across the country have had to be a little creative.

In New York City, officials are offering nearly $20 an hour to be a lifeguard.