Mesa Fire and Medical and the Glendale Fire Department have joined forces to use social media to promote the importance of water safety.
Both departments posted a video on their social media accounts, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, warning guardians to keep children safe when they’re trying to keep cool in the pool this summer.
“Whether you live on the east side of town or the west side, drownings affect us all,” said Ashley Losch, a spokeswoman with the Glendale Fire Department. “The families see the most profound devastation and suffer unimaginably. But drownings take a toll of firefighters as well.”
In the video, firefighters are traveling to a drowning call. The video then switches to a parent’s performing chest compressions on a child.
“The myriad of emotions felt by a firefighter as they hold a limp child in their arms is indescribable,” Losch said. “The pressure of a family looking on and praying that you will save their child is unlike anything you have ever experienced before. But what everyone needs to understand is that this is all preventable.”
According to first responders, supervising children around water is the easiest and most effective way to keep them safe. During gatherings, there should be a designated water watcher.
First responders also recommend that phones be left inside to decrease distractions.
“A drowning can happen in a matter of seconds,” said Ben Barrios, a spokesman with Mesa Fire and Medical. “Stay safe around water with constant supervision.”
Pools aren’t the only place a child can drown; water hazards are everywhere. Bath tubs, toilets, and buckets can be disastrous. There was a case in early May when a 11-month-old infant drowned in a toilet. A 16-year-old was babysitting the infant and the infant’s siblings at the time.