Friday, August 12, 2022

Steady As She Goes: Jenn Blackstock Is Prepared, Ready for Anything

Safety is a high priority for the Southlake team. The extraordinary men and women in our Police and Fire Departments are the poster children for keeping people safe, even if it requires putting themselves in harm’s way. The Public Works teams regularly test water quality. Building inspectors ensure homes are constructed according to code. In addition, the City even has a safety committee that works hard to promote workplace safety. There are many examples of city staff working routinely to protect the community’s well-being. But one of the most notable safety champions on the team is someone you may not always think of – Jenn Blackstock, the Community Services Aquatics Supervisor.

“Champions Club is all about offering fun experiences for our members,” said Chris Tribble, Director of Community Services. “But we also strongly emphasize safety. And when it comes to safety, no one is more focused and effective than Jenn Blackstock.”

A quick review of Jenn’s responsibilities shows the extent of her work:

  • Responsible for all safety training for Marq staff, including CPR/First Aid/AED certification classes, teaching lifeguard certification classes, and is responsible for First Aid and Stop the Bleed kits supplies,
  • Conducts in-service training for aquatics staff,
  • Coordinates annual review of The Marq’s Emergency Action Plan with City’s Emergency Manager,
  • Responsible for Champions Club water quality management and for providing input for City water quality checks,
  • Oversees Learn to Swim program, which provides instruction to over 1,000 participants,
  • In the process of developing and implementing the future Southlake Water Safety Program,
  • And assists with establishing and implementing the Community Services’ Incident Report Form and workflow.

“Jenn is steady as she goes, calm and level-headed; someone you can always count on in a crisis,” said Deputy Director of Community Services David Miller. “She is smart, organized, and always well-prepared. Her leadership strengthens the overall safety at Champions Club, especially in the pool and the pool area.”

For all she does to ensure that the staff and patrons of Champions Club are safe and secure, Jenn is being recognized as one of the City’s unsung heroes. Many thanks to Jenn and her team for their commitment to safety.

 

Tips to “Beat The Heat” this Summer in Southlake

Citizens of Southlake and North Texas are no strangers to high temperatures and humidity during the summer months. Every year, people across the country die due to heat-related illnesses, so it’s important to know what you can do to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke. That’s why the City of Southlake Office of Emergency Management (OEM) wants you to “Beat the Heat” this summer and learn precautions that can be taken during excessive heat.

Below you will find basic information on heat injury prevention and resources available to the community to stay cool.

PREVENTION TIPS TO BEAT THE HEAT

STAY COOL
  • Stay indoors as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun.
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Conduct outdoor work or exercise in the early morning or evening when it is cooler. Outdoor workers should drink plenty of water or electrolyte-replacement beverages and take frequent breaks in the shade or an air-conditioned facility. Those unaccustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment must start slowly and gradually increasing heat exposure over several weeks.
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that permits the evaporation of sweat.
  • NEVER leave children, senior citizens, or pets unattended in a vehicle, even for a short time!
  • A wide-brimmed hat helps prevent sunburn as well as heat-related illness. Sunscreen also protects from the sun’s harmful rays and reduces the risk of sunburn.
  • If the house is not air-conditioned, seek accommodations in air-conditioned facilities during the heat of the day: malls, movie theaters, libraries, etc.
  • Take frequent cool baths or showers if your home is not air-conditioned.
  • Check on the elderly. Take the initiative to visit seniors to look for signs of heat-related illnesses. It takes the elderly nearly twice the time younger people to return to core body temperature after exposure to extreme temperatures. A phone call to the frail elderly is not sufficient to determine the condition of the senior or the home.
STAY HYDRATED
  • Drink more than usual, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.
  • Make sure your family, friends, and neighbors are drinking enough water.
STAY INFORMED
  • Check your local news for extreme heat warnings and safety tips.
  • Keep informed by listening to local weather and news.
  • Keep your friends, family, and neighbors aware of weather and heat safety information. For more information on extreme heat, visit the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

HEAT-RELATED ILLNESSES

Extreme heat brings with it the possibility of heat-related illnesses. The following table lists these illnesses, their symptoms, and the first aid treatment.

HEAT CRAMPS

Symptoms
Painful spasms, usually in leg and abdominal muscles; heavy sweating

First Aid

  • Get the victim to a cooler location.
  • Lightly stretch and gently massage affected muscles to relieve spasms.
  • Give sips of up to a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes. (Do not give liquids with caffeine or alcohol.)
  • Discontinue fluids if the victim is nauseated.
HEAT EXHAUSTION

Symptoms
Heavy sweating but skin may be cool, pale, or flushed – weak pulse. Average body temperature is possible, but the temperature will likely rise. Fainting or dizziness, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, and headaches are possible.

First Aid

  • Get the victim to lie down in a cool place.
  • Loosen or remove clothing.
  • Apply cool, wet clothes.
  • Fan or move the victim to an air-conditioned place.
  • Give sips of water if the victim is conscious.
  • Be sure water is consumed slowly.
  • Give half glass of cool water every 15 minutes.
  • Discontinue fluids if the victim is nauseated.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if vomiting occurs.
HEAT STROKE

A severe medical emergency

Symptoms
High body temperature (105+); hot, red, dry skin; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid shallow breathing. The victim will probably not sweat unless they were sweating from recent strenuous activity. Possible unconsciousness.

First Aid

  • Call 9-1-1 or emergency medical services, or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal.
  • Move the victim to a cooler environment.
  • Removing clothing Try a cool bath, sponging, or wet sheet to reduce body temperature.
  • Watch for breathing problems.
  • Use extreme caution.
  • Use fans and air conditioners.​
SUNBURN

Symptoms
Skin redness and pain, possible swelling, blisters, fever, headaches

First Aid

  • Take a shower using soap to remove oils that may block pores, preventing the body from cooling naturally.
  • Apply dry, sterile dressings to any blisters, and get medical attention.

ENERGY CONSERVATION TIPS FROM ERCOT

  • Turn the thermostat up 2 to 3 degrees.
  • Set programmable thermostats to higher temp when no one is home.
  • Use fans to feel 4 to 6 degrees cooler.
  • Limit the use of large appliances (i.e., dishwasher, washer, dryer, etc.)
  • If you cook indoors, use a microwave or slow cooker.
  • Schedule pool pumps to run in the early morning or overnight hours.
  • Unplug devices when you’re not using them.
  • Turn off any unnecessary lights.
  • Close blinds and drapes during the late afternoon.

Other Resources:

Tracking the power grid capacity: https://www.ercot.com/

How to track power outages/report power outages:

Tarrant County Commissioners Court Honors Southlake Fire Inspector and Investigator Angie Lopez

On Tuesday, February 8, the Tarrant County Commissioners Court honored Southlake Fire Inspector and Investigator Angie Lopez for her assistance with an investigation for the Tarrant County Fire Marshal’s Office.

Lopez utilized her investigative skills by serving as a translator to Spanish-speaking couples taken for thousands of dollars in a wedding-reception scam.

Her skills, hard work, and dedication helped bring about a successful outcome for the Tarrant County Fire Marshal’s Office.

“There’s not a challenge that Inspector Lopez will not take on.” Southlake Fire Chief Mike Starr said. “Her skills and desire to help others allows her to respond to any situation with understanding and compassion, which builds trust and bridges the gap between authorities and victims.”

At the March 1, 2022, Southlake City Council meeting, Lopez was also honored for her efforts. She has worked as a fire inspector for the City for seven years.

Inspector was also honored at the March 1, 2022, Southlake City Council meeting.

 

City of Southlake Facilities Reopen Friday, 2-25

All City of Southlake facilities, including Champions Club at The Marq, will reopen for regular business hours on Friday, 2/25.

Trash and Recycling

Residential trash and recycling routes resume their routine schedule on Friday (2/25). For those who missed collection earlier this week, please place your trash and recycling out on your next regularly scheduled collection day. For more information, please visit CityofSouthlake.com/TrashandRecycling.

Road Treatment/Mobility

Road treatments started early Thursday morning in key areas throughout Southlake. As our crews continue to treat the roads and then begin the clean-up, please give them plenty of room to do their job. Look for the latest updates on www.ProtectSouthlake.com and the City’s social media channels.

E-Services

As always, we encourage residents to use the City’s e-services to access the City’s online offerings and quick links. If you have questions, call us during regular business hours at 817-748-8400.

Stay Up to Date
Stay up to date via the City of Southlake’s Facebook page or the Winter Weather webpage on ProtectSouthlake.com.

City Prepares to Offer Warming Center

City staff has been hard at work preparing for the pending winter weather. One of the many ways in which we are ready to continue serving the community throughout the winter weather event is by preparing to open a warming center, should it be needed.

Although the effects of this storm are not expected to reach the levels of impact Winter Storm Uri did last year, city staff will be monitoring conditions around the clock; should there be significant effects such as wide-spread and long-power outages, we are fully prepared to open a warming center for public use.

More details will be announced if or when the warming center is opened however, one main change from last year will be the location. If opened, the location of the Southlake warming center will be at the Southlake West DPS Facility – 2100 W Southlake Blvd. Southlake, TX 76092.

To remain informed with all of the latest information regarding this event please visit www.protectsouthlake.com, and remember “opt-in” to Alert Southlake to receive emergency notification via text, phone call, or email from the City if you have not already done so.

Stay safe and stay warm Southlake!

Meet the City of Southlake Emergency Management Team

When it comes to preparedness the City of Southlake takes emergency management seriously. The City employs an Office of Emergency Management that assists the city, local businesses and the community throughout all phases of a disaster cycle: prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

Emergency Manager Amanda Meneses provides strategic guidance and oversight to four program areas in the application of an all-hazards emergency management program. These programs include the emergency operations center, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery. Meneses’ focus is on ensuring the City of Southlake can thrive in any emergency situation that the City may face. She works jointly with other city, state, federal and non-governmental entities in the execution of this mission.

Previously, Amanda served as a federal emergency telecommunicator supervisor in Washington D.C. In this role, she had primary responsibility of dispatching for several federal law enforcement and fire agencies around the Nation’s Capital, coordinated internal training and communications and served as a project manager for new and sensitive initiatives, including the roll-out of a new CAD system.  Meneses also did emergency dispatch for Kitsap County, outside of Seattle, Washington prior to moving to the D.C. area.

Meneses started her career in the United States Navy, serving 14 years. Her main function was military police/working dog handler. Amanda has worked both drug and explosive trained canines. She served both stateside and in Europe, with three deployments to the Middle East. Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree in emergency management from Kaplan University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Columbia Southern University.

Emergency Management Specialist Isabella Uceda began her career at the City of Southlake as an intern with the Office of Emergency Management. Uceda is local to the area, graduating from Argyle High School in 2016.  She then continued her education at the University of Arlington, starting in the nutrition program, then after finding her true passion, majored in public health.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of Texas at Arlington, Uceda came to work full-time at the City of Southlake. Her main focus is working on public education and becoming a continuity practitioner, allowing her to assist with the city-wide continuity of operations plan (COOP). She will also be working on the revitalization of a community emergency response team (CERT) among other emergency management practices to help improve the readiness and resiliency of the Southlake community.

Together, our Emergency Management team wants to make sure the City and the community are prepared and resilient in the event of an emergency.

For more information about emergency management in Southlake, go to www.CityofSouthlake.com/EmergencyManagement.

City Employee Mask Requirement Lifted

With the recent updated mask guidance provided last week by the CDC, the City of Southlake will no longer require face coverings be worn by its employees.

“The City of Southlake has followed federal, state and local health department guidelines throughout this pandemic and will continue to do so as we all move forward navigating the new realities of COVID-19,” Southlake Fire Chief Michael Starr said. “With widely-available vaccines and low local hospitalization and positivity rates, coupled with the new CDC guidelines issued last week, we feel confident that we can now allow our employees to perform their duties safely without continuing to require them to wear masks. Of course, employees who feel they need to continue wearing them may do so.”

This change follows the March 2020 lifting of mask requirements for visitors to City facilities which became effective once state and county mask mandates were rescinded. There are also a couple of other changes happening at the City of Southlake. Beginning May 19, Champions Club will no longer close midday for extensive COVID-19 cleaning. Be sure to check their website for updated hours and program information. Visit ChampionsClubSouthlake.com for more information.

The City will also no longer publish the COVID-19 case data dashboard specific to Southlake. However, residents can still view Southlake data on the Tarrant and Denton County website. Find these links at ProtectSouthlake.com.

The City would like to thank the Southlake community for all you have done in the past year to help protect Southlake and keep families, employees and visitors safe.

Interested in getting the vaccine? Contact your health care provider or find information from the State of Texas, Tarrant County and Denton County on where to get a vaccine at ProtectSouthlake.com.

Southlake Police Department Works Together to Protect Team During COVID-19

There are two aspects of the law enforcement profession that are constant: the call to act in an individual’s time of need and having to rely on others in your own time of need. Both aspects of a law enforcement career carry their own situational rules, all of which are aimed and geared towards providing a level of service to meet any identified need, regardless of the severity or quantity of people effected.

Many times officers are called upon by members of the community in times of duress, which can range from being stranded alongside the roadway in need of a tire change to other more serious instances involving a family crisis or in extreme cases, the need for protection against a family member or strangers. Without initially having all the specific facts for these types of emergencies, officers are expected to arrive prepared in their response while still acting within the confines of the law. However, what about the times when officers themselves need help, who can they call on for support?

In situations such as these, officers may turn towards their own and the assistance comes from within the agency or sometimes by other outreach groups within the community. Realizing that none of us have ever lived through the COVID-19 pandemic before, it has become a fast and accelerating learning curve for all. However, during this time, three individuals within the Southlake Police Department have worked behind the scenes and without recognition to keep all members of the agency, as well as other work groups within the City, protected when called upon to protect and meet the needs of the community.

Officer David Aldridge, Community Initiatives Coordinator Valerie Snyder and Administrative Secretary Diana Green have relentlessly searched for, coordinated and gathered needed supplies to keep officers of the Southlake Police Department in business since the beginning of the pandemic.

From the start of the COVID pandemic, Aldridge stepped up and assisted the Police Department in gathering Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other sanitation equipment. As the pandemic continued, Aldridge helped in creating a PPE and sanitation inventory to keep track of all PPE equipment for the department. During that time, he also became the main contact for Purchasing Manager Tim Slifka on receiving all PPE orders from the City and distributing them accordingly.

Aldridge worked closely with Snyder and Green to make sure items were ordered and distributed accordingly.

“Aldridge went out of his way on numerous occasions to be available for anyone who needed the PPE equipment and sort out all the shipments to make sure it got to the right department,” Patrol Captain Jose Luna said. “On top of it all, Aldridge is in charge of the patrol units for the department. During this pandemic, he also took a shipment of three new patrol vehicles and has worked hard to get them ready to hit the road. Officer Aldridge has always been a team player and makes himself available for anyone who needs assistance.”

Through coordinated efforts, Snyder and Green have reached out to numerous companies, supply chains, independent contractors and even generous citizens, in order to obtain basic needed supplies such as: hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, face shields, Tyvek suits and other sanitary products. Through their assistance, they have obtained enough supplies to build Aldridge’s inventory to allow officers to still function within the confines of the law and to respond to emergencies when called upon in time of need.

“I have directly witnessed Valerie’s assistance and the impact she has on the agency. Her ability to think outside of the box coupled with her intuitive nature, allowed her to navigate unknown systems where numerous individuals or corporations were applying and competing for the same resources,” Professional Standards Division Captain Jason Henninger said. “In many instances, it came down to the relationships she had previously built that allowed our agency to receive what was needed, which is immeasurable. Due to her ability to build these types of professional working relationships the agency recognizes her as a true and exceptional asset.”

The work of these three individuals has not been overlooked or forgotten, and will forever stand as examples of Innovation, Commitment to Excellence and Teamwork!

The Dos and Don’ts of Stay-at-Home

There are a lot of questions about what stay-at-home means and what you’re allowed and not allowed to do until the order expires April 7. To help, we created a list of dos and don’ts.

 

DO Walk Your Dog – Outside walks and jogs are permitted. Remember to follow social distancing requirements and stay six feet apart from others.

DON’T Go to the Playground – While City parks are open, playgrounds, basketball courts and other amenities are closed to the public. Here’s a breakdown of what’s open and what’s not. You can take a stroll in the park, as long as it’s not a social gathering or grouping outside of your household and you are following social distancing requirements.

DO Order Takeout or Delivery from a Southlake Restaurant – Restaurants can serve takeout and delivery. So, pick out a restaurant from this list and place your order!

DON’T Go To Work If You’re Not Considered an Essential Service or Business – Have questions? Take a look at our summary of the order. Telecommute when possible.

DO a Scavenger Hunt – While you’re exercising outdoors, play our scavenger hunt! Remember to follow the social distancing requirements.

DON’T Organize a Social Outing – Instead of meeting your friends in-person, organize a video chat.

DO Grocery Shop – Grocery stores are open, so pick up some necessities or order online and use the store’s pick up or delivery services.

DON’T Panic Buy – When shopping, buy what you need. There’s no need to hoard.

DO Have Fun – It’s a stressful time for all of us. Make the most of it with at-home activities. Here’s a list!

Have more questions? Watch Deputy Mayor Pro Tem John Huffman and Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski give a breakdown in this video or review our summary of the order here.

View the full Tarrant County order here.

To help our community find the latest news and resources on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, the City has created an information page on its website at www.ProtectSouthlake.com. Bookmark this page for easy, quick access to the information you need and stay on top of how the City is responding.