Chandler fire fighters are seeking volunteers to join them in a door-to-door campaign March 26 to pass out flyers in an effort to increase safety around water and prevent tragic incidents.
The goal of the campaign - from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. that Saturday - is to educate residents about the importance of careful supervision of children around water. It's in response to a recent high number of water-related incidents involving infants and small children in Chandler.
Since 2008, Chandler has had 37 water-related incidents and since Dec. 26, has had five including one that resulted in a fatality in February, according to information from the Chandler Fire Department. Of the nine water-related incidents last year, five required CPR.
Chandler fire personnel are urging parents to lock the gates of fences around pools, and when there are activities at home involving water to constantly supervise kids.
"The majority of our drowning calls are to good homes with good parents, where a combination of circumstances and opportunity come together to create a tragic event," said battalion chief Val Gale Jr. "Unfortunately, we have experienced more of these types of calls than normal recently and want to make sure we get the message out: Secure water sources, supervise our children, teach the children to swim and learn CPR."
Chandler Fire Chief Jeff Clark set an ambitious goal of sharing the message with every household in the city. He is appealing to all segments of the community to assist in this effort, including scouting groups, churches, businesses, service clubs and other organizations.
"We are counting on the good people of Chandler to step up and make a difference," Clark said.
Anyone who wishes to participate in the neighborhood walks should call (480) 782-2122 prior to March 26. Volunteers must provide their own transportation to the neighborhood they are assigned.
Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or adult.
Individuals or groups that cannot participate on March 26 but would still like to help are asked to call (480) 782-2122. Chandler Fire Department staff will assign a neighborhood and provide the materials noted above. The volunteers can then walk that neighborhood at their convenience.
Additional water safety tips and drowning prevention information is available on the fire department website at www.chandleraz.gov/fire.