TUCSON – Ten years ago in 2009, News 4 Tucson launched its Lifesaver campaign, cutting down the high number of child drownings.
In 2013, News 4 Tucson partnered with the YMCA of Southern Arizona for its Swimfest events, teaching local children and their families about the ABC’s of water safety. This partnership has made a huge impact ever since.
Going to a drowning-related incident is a terrible thing for a first-responder to attend to. For families, it’s their worst nightmare.
To avoid that nightmare, experts say it all starts with the ABC’s of water safety – A for active adult supervision, B for barriers and C for CPR, swim classes and coast guard approved life vests.
Officials say it is important to reinforce those lessons, not just during the summer months, but throughout the year.
“We want to make sure kids can have fun and be safe, and being able to partner with KVOA, allows us to reach so many more kids,” said Kurtis Dawson, President and CEO of the YMCA of Southern Arizona. “We’ve had a great summer.”
This Lifesaver season, the News 4 Tucson, along with our community partners and the YMCA of Southern Arizona, teamed up to offer more than 1,000 free swim classes to hundreds of children, as young as six-months-old. This is the sixth year News 4 Tucson and its partners have offered this service to the community.
“For some of us parents who don’t have the resources to put our children in swimming lessons, it gives us a chance to provide that for them,” said Cindy Acuna.
Children and their parents were able to have fun in the water while learning life-saving skills during News 4 Tucson’s nine free Swimfest events. Through these events, participants now know that drowning can be a silent killer.
“It’s not like in the movies where you see a lot splashing and a lot of screaming, it’s a silent event,” said Chief John Walka, from Rural Metro Fire. “At that point, the victim is at the point where they’re just fighting for their life.”
Even though the News 4 Tucson Lifesaver Swimfests have wrapped up for the year, the News 4 Tucson Lifesaver wants to remind you.water-safety never takes a break.
“My daughter loves swimming, and you know, we always watch her,” said Acuna. “Even a split-second can make such a big difference.”
Swimfest may be over, but the News 4 Tucson Lifesaver campaign continues through Sept. 5.
You can still enter our coloring contest for a chance to win tickets to Legoland and also take part in our Pool Fence Giveaway.
For more information, visit kvoa.com/lifesaver.