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Volunteers join Phoenix firefighters in spreading word about water safety

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LISTEN: Water safety

PHOENIX — It’s that time of year again: Time to be aware of water safety. Volunteers have been helping the Phoenix Fire Department with that.

Walking around a north Phoenix neighborhood in pairs, they hung flyers on doors with tips on water safety. For some it was their first time; others had been doing it for years.

Alexandria Klein of Glendale is one of the long-timers to this. She knows all too well how important water safety is, especially for kids.

“(My sister’s) sister-in-law actually had a child that drowned in their pool,” she said.

“(The child) went over the block wall; they didn’t have a fence. They came home and found the kid.”

Matthew Shaughnessy of Chandler was also there Tuesday morning. A father of two young children, Shaughnessy said he’s always focused on their safety around water.

“Back home … there’s a reservoir,” he said.

“One of my friends drowned in the reservoir. … I understand how important it is.”

Capt. Kelly Liebermann, a spokesman for the Phoenix Fire Department, said with a growing population in Maricopa County, it’s more important than ever that people watch themselves and children around water.

“We are constantly working to prevent these drownings from happening,” he said.

“These are some of the most difficult and traumatic calls for first responders, for hospitals … but also the families, and the friends, and the loved ones, of these drowning victims.”

To date, the Phoenix Fire Department has responded to seven drowning calls. Last year, there were 14 by year’s end.

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