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Lifeguard shortage jeopardizes hours at Barton Springs Pool

Barton Springs Pool is on a condensed schedule while the city tries to fill out its lifeguard roster.

The popular pool is currently closed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays while it navigates a lifeguard shortage. The city is offering bonuses to new applicants who can start by early June.

Austin Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Jodi Jay said there are 207 lifeguards ready to work and 100 incoming but the department needs 750 to be fully staffed.

Zoom out: The pandemic has had a lasting impact on hiring—in 2019, the city was able to hire 850 lifeguards. The Aquatic Department has been unable to match those numbers since it reopened training classes in spring of 2021.

Why it matters: The city needs at least 400 lifeguards, plus 30 with open water certification, to open pools on a modified schedule by June 4. Without hitting that mark, some facilities could limit hours or close.

The job pays between $16-19 an hour, anyone over 15 can get certified and there are bonuses on the table:

  • $500 bonus if you get certified and start working by June 6.
  • $500 bonus if you work through August 14.
  • $250 bonus if you get advanced certification.
Austin Parks and Rec’s Aquatic Division serves 45 public aquatic facilities—including Barton Springs pool and a number of regional pools. Find the full list here.


Bites & Sips: what's new in food and drink
Consumable Content

  • San Marcos favorite Industry Burger opens "mid-October" on E. 5th, featuring "low key healthy" Texas fare.
  • Cinnaholic at The Arboretum opens Friday, October 14, serving "create your own" cinnamon rolls and other sweet treats.
  • San Francisco's Marufuku Ramen opens next Wednesday, October 12, in the Mueller District.
  • Carpenter Hotel announces its popup food truck, Lil Carpenter, open Fri-Sun both ACL weekends, serving what you want, early to late, coffee to donuts, to dogs/burgers/fries/beer.
Airport braces for high traffic this month with ACL and F1 drawing in travelers

(AUS airport/Instagram)

With major entertainment events slated for October, the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is gearing up for a busy month.

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