Austin officials say there is no lifeguard shortage
UPDATE: Austin's ongoing lifeguard shortage issues may not be a problem this year.
The city's parks department says they believe enough people will be on the payroll this year for them to open every city pool on time.
They say right now, there are already about a 100 more lifeguards signed up than there were at this time last year.
One of the big things the city is crediting for the change is a pay bump for lifeguards to $13.50 an hour, with bonuses being offered as well.
Austin Parks and Recreation is looking to fill lifeguard positions as they prepare for pool season this spring and summer.
It takes around 700 employees to keep Austin city pools fully staffed. So far, about 200 positions are still vacant.
A lack of lifeguards has caused pool opening delays in past years.
This year, the city has raised the hourly rate of pay for a life guard position to $13.50 an hour hoping it'll attract more applicants.
They've also moved job fairs out into the community for prospective employees who may not have transportation.
"It's really important to remember it's a 40 hour life-guarding course, and so if you wait until school is out to come in and apply, then that's a delay in getting through the hiring process," Austin Aquatics Division Program Manager Jodi Jay said.
The city says there's also a need for pool attendants. That position starts at $12 an hour.
To apply for a lifeguard position, call 512-974-9330 or visit here.