JUNE 12, 2013

Southwest Ambulance invests in drowning prevention Valley wide

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MESA – One of the worst calls emergency responders receive is a child drowning. Each one is one too many, so Southwest Ambulance decided to help more children around the Valley learn to swim.

According to Children’s Safety Zone, more than 100 child drowning incidents occurred in Maricopa and Pinal Counties in 2012; 20 of these were fatalities. These traumatic events impact the lives of everyone around them, from family and friends to those first responders who did everything they could to save their life.

Southwest Ambulance created the Pool Pack grant program when crews responded to two fatal child drowning calls in one day during 2002 and decided they had to do more.

“The Pool Pack funds have helped thousands of children in our community learn to swim, and that is one of the most impactful ways we can help reduce drownings,” said Southwest Ambulance Division General Manager Edward Podol. “Every time someone calls 911 to report a drowning, it impacts family and friends, but our crews will also never forget that call. As an integral part of the communities we serve, we are committed to working with our partners to keep that next call from happening.”

This grant program provides donations to local cities to provide swimming lesson scholarships. Since the Pool Pack program began in 2002, Southwest Ambulance has donated more than $350,000 to cities throughout central Arizona helping more than 20,000 children learn to swim.

“Southwest Ambulance’s support helps us continue to provide free or reduced swimming lessons for our families who need it most,” said Gilbert Mayor John Lewis. “Gilbert is a close community and when something happens to a child, it impacts us all. We all want to do what we can to keep our children safe.”

This year, Southwest Ambulance is donating more than $30,000 between Gilbert, Mesa, Glendale, Casa Grande, Florence, Surprise and Goodyear to provide free or reduced swimming lessons in these cities.

To learn more about the Southwest Ambulance Pool Pack program, visit www.southwestambulance.com/pool-pack.

Southwest Ambulance, Arizona’s largest private ambulance service, has proudly operated and cared for communities throughout the state since 1982. The more than 1,300 highly-trained and talented Southwest Ambulance employees operate more than 300 ambulances throughout the state. For more information, visit www.southwestambulance.com.