I am proud to announce a brand new community education program being offered to you and the community at large. We have partnered with St. Joseph?s Hospital and Medical Center and created S3 a swim lesson and life safety education program. The program is the 3rd tier of our ongoing drowning prevention and water safety education program. The 1st tier was public awareness of water safety issues and public education. The 2nd tier is our pool fence give away program to families that cannot afford a pool fence and finally swim lessons and life safety education. After a year of brainstorming, planning and stress, we taught our 1st lesson on Monday June 1, 2009. We enrolled approximately 30 children from the Osborn School District to attend free swim lessons paid for by a grant from St. Lukes Health Initiative. We also opened the program up to the community and currently have 15 children enrolled in our evening classes. In late June early July we will hold our 1st adult swim lesson classes as the parents have expressed an interest in learning to swim. Our instructors are our own fire fighters and members of their families who have a background in swim lesson instruction.

The swimmer will receive eight 90 minute sessions including in the water swim instruction as well as classroom safety education. Classes are held Monday - Thursday for 2 weeks from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm at SJHMC Rehab Pool located at 3033 N 7th Avenue. For more information or to register your child please call SJHMC Resource Link at 877-602-4111. The class registration fee is $65.00 per child.

This is another example of our members making a difference in the lives of people who live in the communities in which we live. We respond to these drowning calls and see first hand the negative impact that a drowning has on us all. It only makes sense that we train and educate our children to be better prepared around water. Maybe we can stop these needless tragedies.

Thanks for your time and support

Tom McCracken

Community Education

 How to Prevent a Drowning
  • Never leave children unattended
  • Always make sure a responsible adult is present
  • Make sure pools are secured, never pop open pool gates
  • Keep items that can be used for climbing (tables, chairs, ladders, firewood) away from fences
    Don?t allow children to play in pool areas, keep toys out of that area
  • Mount flotation devices designed for lifesaving near the pool. (Not float type toys)
  • Have a phone near the pool area
    Post the 9-1-1 emergency phone number on your phones
  • Never leave children unattended around places where water can pose a threat:

    5-gallon buckets


Water Safety Tips

  • Learn to swim. The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim. Always swim with a buddy; never swim alone. The American Red Cross has swimming courses for people of any age and swimming ability.
  • To enroll in a swim course, contact your local Red Cross chapter.
  • Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard.
  • Read and obey all rules and posted signs.
  • Children or inexperienced swimmers should take precautions, such as wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device (PFD) when around the water.
  • Watch out for the dangerous ?too?s? ? too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity.
  • Set water safety rules for the whole family based on swimming abilities (for example, inexperienced swimmers should stay in water less than chest deep).
  • Be knowledgeable of the water environment you are in and its potential hazards, such as deep and shallow areas, currents, depth charges, obstructions and where the entry and exit points are located.The more informed you are, the more aware you will be of hazards and safe practices.
  • Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. Stop swimming at the first indication of bad weather.
  • Use a feet-first entry when entering the water.
  • Enter headfirst only when the area is clearly marked for diving and has no obstructions.
  • Do not mix alcohol with swimming, diving or boating. Alcohol impairs your judgment, balance, and coordination, affects your swimming and diving skills, and reduces your body's ability to stay warm.
  • Know how to prevent, recognize, and respond to emergencies.


Pool Fencing is Vital. All fences should have the following:

  • An enclosed pool fence with a permanent non-climable fence that is 5' in height.
  • All gates must be self closing, self latching and open outward from the pool.
  • All latches must be 4 ?? above the ground or inaccessible from the outside by small children
  • Any opening in a fence or wall must be less then 4 1/2" wide. Small children are able to maneuver through small openings.