In 2015, six children drowned in Fort Worth, Texas swimming pools – a record number for the city. In an effort to prevent pool drownings in 2016, Fort Worth Local 440, Fort Worth Firefighter Charities and Cool Children’s Medical Center launched a “Peaks and Ladders” swimming pool safety campaign.
“Even one drowning is too many, so we wanted to do whatever we could to reduce last summer’s number,” says Michael Glynn, Local 440 President. “We knew a public education campaign would be a key part of that effort. I am really proud we were able to make a difference.”
Through the collaboration, pool safety tips signs (in English and Spanish) were posted at 900 public swimming pools around the city. Additionally, each pool had designated as “pool watchers” who wore an identifying wrist-band and handed out pool safety tips to pool-goers.
“It is so important to keep your eyes on the pool at all times,” says Local 440 Public Relations Director Mike Drivdahl. “Many of these unfortunate incidents happen when the parent or responsible adult looks away just for a moment.” Drivdahl is pleased to note that no drownings were reported in 2016.
Next year, Local 440 hopes to expand the program to include a loaner life jacket program at the pools.