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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Feb 15

Ollie

Posted to Animal Services Successful Adoptions by Regina Ryan

We adopted Maverick, now "Ollie" on Dec. 22, 2016 - our first sweet dog having passed a year prior. We'd gone to the shelter to look at two (under 2 yrs of age) dogs I'd seen online. This VIP 4 year old wasn't even being considered, but managed to get my husband's attention with some persistent barking! It's now been 2 months, and Ollie hasn't put up so much as a peep! The quietest dog ever, but an independent little fellow. It's been a slow but steady process getting him to trust us, but we're in this for the long run! He's crazy about car rides and will get his fill of them with two long road trips this year. Meanwhile, our Fitbit's are getting a real workout with all of the walks. He's not interested in bones, but keeps us laughing by taking just one of each pair of shoes he finds, and moving them to different parts of the house. Fortunately, they haven't become chew toys. Ollie is a keeper for sure!

rsz_1Oollie
Mar 07

Stand apart, save a life—be a lifeguard for Plano Parks and Recreation

Posted to Parks and Recreation by City of Plano Parks and Recreation

lifeguard  guardgames

It may look like an easy task on the surface, but being a lifeguard for Plano Parks and Recreation is one of the most rewarding positions on our team. These highly trained employees are a critical component for providing a fun and safe aquatic experience year round here in Plano. 

Each summer our aquatics division hires roughly 150 lifeguards, water safety instructors and teaching assistants to work at our recreation and aquatics facilities, and this year is no different. As our aquatics supervisors begin the hiring, now is the perfect time to attain a Red Cross certification as a lifeguard or water safety instructor. 

Our entire aquatics staff plays a vital role in educating the public on pool and water safety. As qualified and innovative instructors, they are also essential for providing our preschool, youth and adult swim classes. These positions are particularly ideal for high school and college students looking for a fulfilling first job experience, said Kelly Kessler, aquatic supervisor at the Tom Muehlenbeck Recreation Center.

“It’s a fun environment for them and I think that’s what brings many lifeguards back every year,” she said. “One thing we try to do for many of them is promote them to head guard positions to serve as a resume builder. This supervisory role is something they can take with them into their next job.”

But these jobs offer much more than fun with friends—lifeguards train once a week and also have the opportunity to participate in state lifeguard competitions. All positions also include recreation center membership, growth opportunities and flexible schedules.

Lifeguards are also trained in emergency rescue procedures, including CPR.  Our lifeguards serve as first responders for the entire recreation facility in which they work. Lifeguards hired through Plano’s Parks and Recreation Department also receive an added level of waterpark training in order to handle emergencies on pool slides and other equipment.

“We are a big team here. They all play a huge role in an emergency situation and their level of training prepares them to respond to anything that may come up in the facility, be it a breathing emergency or a drowning,” Kessler said.

How to apply
All candidates must complete the 28-hour Red Cross course in order to be eligible for hiring. Taught by our lifeguard instructors, this class provides hands-on and classroom instruction related to water safety and rescue. Students must then pass a skills test in order to work with the public. 

Spring break is a great time to take these certification courses, which are offered at Tom Muehlenbeck Recreation Center, 5801 W. Parker Road. Check our Leisure Catalog for dates, times and pricing. 
You can also view these postings and job descriptions at plano.gov/employment. See below for a list of other prerequisites. For more information, call 972-769-4404. 

Lifeguard qualifications:
1. Must be 15 years old on or before the final scheduled session of the course.
2. Must swim 300 yards using the front crawl, breaststroke or a combination of both.
3. Must tread water for two minutes using only the legs.
4. Must complete a timed challenge within 1 minute 40 seconds

Water safety instructor qualifications:
1. Must be at least 16 years old on or before the last day of the instructor course
2. Must demonstrate the ability to perform several swimming skills, such as breaststroke, sidestroke and butterfly.

Swim teaching assistant qualifications:
1. Must be at least 14 years old.
2. No pre-qualifications,  training provided 
Mar 23

I’M BACK! Even though I never left….. ;)

Posted to The Bug Blog by Regina Ryan

A new mosquito season is upon us. We have been active here in the Environmental Health Department working on mosquito related activities. We are now essentially operating year round to review, plan and act at a moment’s notice to keep mosquito populations at bay and keep Plano safe from West Nile virus, as well as new emerging diseases such as Dengue and Chikungunya. We are prepared to trap for the mosquitos that could transmit these viruses, but we need your help! This year we have already begun larviciding as well as seeding areas in Plano with Gambusia minnows (mosquitofish) to combat mosquito larvae before they can emerge as adults.

Habitat reduction is a major key to controlling mosquito populations. It is much easier too because mosquitoes spend nearly 10 days in stagnant water before maturing into adults. By eliminating (DRAIN) areas of stagnant water around your home you can have a great impact in not only making your yard safer this summer, but your neighbors as well.

Repellent is another major key to keeping yourself healthy this summer. During the summer of 2012 when West Nile was the worst that the Dallas-Ft. Worth area had seen, most of the people interviewed that contracted the West Nile virus stated that they had not been wearing repellent. Always make sure to DEFEND yourself while you are outdoors in the evening/early (DUSK/DAWN) morning and DRESS to minimize skin exposure to potential mosquito activity.

Always remember your 4 D’s: DEFEND, DRESS, DUSK/DAWN, DRAIN

If you have any questions about the City of Plano’s integrated mosquito management plan, concerns for mosquitoes in your area or would like to know more, please check out www.plano.gov .