Building awareness: McGruff the Crime Fighting Dog and Tim Szymanski, Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Public Education & Information Officer, assist Lois Tarkanian, City Councilwoman, in presenting Joseph Vassallo, president of Paragon Pools, and Duckie, the Float Like A Duck mascot, with the 2014 National Drowning Prevention Alliance Community Lifesaver Award. The presentation was made on behalf of the NDPA during Vassallo’s annual water safety event on May 24 at the YMCA in Las Vegas.

The National Drowning Prevention Alliance presented Joseph Vassallo with the 2014 Community Lifesaver Award.

The president of Las Vegas-based Paragon Pools earns the distinction as the first pool builder to receive the honor.

Vassallo is credited for creating the "Float Like A Duck" program, an awareness campaign that "educates the public on the importance of safety while celebrating the joys of water sports," according to a press release.

The annual event, which celebrates 11 years, is a joint effort between the YMCA, the City of Las Vegas, local media and Las Vegas Fire and Metro Departments. It provides free access to a community pool or waterpark where families can learn water safety techniques and meet Duckie, a kid-friendly mascot.

The NDPA Community Lifesaver Award honors exceptional work in the field of drowning prevention at the community level.

Last year, "Float Like A Duck" received the Communitas Award, which recognizes businesses, groups and individuals for excellence in community service and corporate social responsibility.