City offering incentive to fill vacant lifeguard positions

$700 will be paid in increments; will also cover cost of training needed

SAN ANTONIO – The city of San Antonio owns and operates 24 public pools and to operate all of them at 100% they need roughly 180 lifeguards.

San Antonio Parks and Recreation officials say after this weekend, they hope to have 75-90 on staff.

To attract more people to apply, the city is offering up to $700 in incentives.

The money will be paid in increments during the pre-season, summer season, and the extended season. That money will also cover cost of any training or courses needed by an applicant.

“That’s amazing, like I said, we didn’t have that kind of money when I was growing up. Being a lifeguard you know, it was chump change. That’s a lot of money. Sign up man, make some money,” Noel Pompa, a grandfather who watching his granddaughter swim, said.

Currently the only public pool open is the San Antonio Natatourium, as it is open year-round. The city plans on opening four regional pools in a month or so. That includes the Heritage pool, the Woodlawn pool, Southside Lions Park, and Lady Bird Johnson Park.

A manager with the Parks and Recreation department said they have enough staff to operate the regional pools. They’ll just be making a strong push to hire more people -- that way they can open all their pools in June or July.

If they don’t get the numbers they need, some pools will have to remain closed or have limited access.

“That’s a great incentive, maybe I should lifeguard this summer,” said Meredith Vigil, a mother taking her kids to swim lessons. “It’s a really important job and its hot in San Antonio, so we need our pools open.”

About the Author:

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.