Swimmers flock to public pools, lifeguards still needed

People across Austin are jumping into summer with a dip in a city pool. Monday kicked off the summer pool season.

"I like to cannon ball," said Garret Rule, 7. He loves splashing around Northwest Pool with his family.

"I like that when you are real hot and you can get into the pool and swim," said Garrett.

"I came to this pool when I was his age and coming to the pool means summer and warm weather," said Jill Stimson, Garrett's grandmother.

Garrett and his family are just a few of the many taking advantage of the public pools.

For the time being the city has enough life guards to staff pools but is looking for more.

"We have over 460 life guards on staff but we still need 100 or 150 to get us through the entire season because obviously this is summer break for a lot of our guards," said Cheryl Bolin, a division manager over aquatics for the city's parks and recreation department.

Months ago the city launched an aggressive recruiting campaign to hire lifeguards. Part of the campaign included offering a $100 hiring incentive if applicants applied and were accepted by a certain date. Out of the 460 Bolin says 402 received the bonus.

"We found them last year and we're confident we'll find them this year," said Bolin about the continued hiring efforts.

Cooling off will have to wait at Metz and Dottie Jordan pools. The recent floods damaged the facilities pushing back the opening date. "Unfortunatley mother nature filled the pool for us. The scheduled opening now is June 15th but that could be pushed back depending on the progress," said Bolin.

The city hopes for a successful summer at all 36 pool.

"We'll come back several times," said Stimson.

If Garrett gets his way he'll swim at least 100 times before school starts back.

The city is hosting a lifeguard job fair. It will be held Tuesday, June 9th from 2 pm- 8 pm at the Aquatic Office at 2818 San Gabriel.    

More information on the city's public pools can be found here


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