It may be a holiday weekend, but it's never too early to start thinking about the summer vacation. And as they do each year around this time, the city is calling out to those looking to be a lifeguard.
The Aquatic and Nature Based Program Division of the Austin Parks and Recreation Department employs over 650 lifeguards each year. In order to get lifeguards hired quickly, the city held a job fair on Friday.
Austin Aquatics Program manager Wayne Simmons said the department ideally wants to hire 750 employees.
As an incentive to apply early, the city will give a $100 VISA gift card to the first 400 lifeguards hired by May 23.
"This is what Austin's about," said Austin Aquatics Program Manager Wayne Simmons. "In the summer, it's hot. There's no better place to go than one of our swimming pools. For us, the most important thing we can do is make sure our pools are open."
Simmons said the department will have to cut programs if they do not have a full staff. In rare instances, he said, the city might even be forced to close pools.
"It may mean a reduction in access to certain parts of a pool," he said. "We may need to close down the diving well at a pool for instance."
Anyone over the age of 15 is eligible to apply. According to Simmons, the pay starts at $8.00 an hour and increases with age and experience.