Some wonder if lifeguard jobs are worth the trouble

AUSTIN (KXAN) — When Ellen Rozman heard about lifeguard openings with the City of Austin it sounded like the perfect part time job and after one procedural request after another, she was in for one more surprise.

“Red shorts, white shirt, hat, sunglasses a fanny pack, and a whistle and ‘I said are we providing all of that?'” Ellen Rozman asked her son, “And he said yes we need to go get it.”

Ellen said she also had to pay for a $55 certification fee. The parks department said that’s just a fraction of the real cost — about $200. The city paid the difference.

They also say the backlog comes from opening all pools at once.

“Opening all pools from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. …increased our operational hours approximately 50 percent,” Kimberley McNeeley with the City Parks Department explained. “Which meant we need approximately 150 more lifeguards than we needed in the past.”

Which led to 750 immediate lifeguard openings announced last month, but a local aquatics expert says the hiring should have started last year.

“You have to really start working Oct. 1 to come up with 750 or 800 lifeguards,” said Farhad Madani.

Even though Ellen’s son was hired, she says it was not smooth sailing.

“It’s all about communicating the information up front to the applicant,”Rozman said, “so that they know if this is worth it to them.”

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