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Mesa, Glendale fire departments going social for water safety

PHOENIX — Mesa Fire and Medical and the Glendale Fire Department have joined together to spread the word about water safety through the easiest and most accessible platform — social media.

The two departments posted on their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts a video with a warning to keep kids safe and prevent drownings, especially with summer in full swing.

“Whether you live on the east side of town or the west side, drownings affect us all,” Ashley Losch, a spokeswoman with Glendale Fire, said. “The families see the most profound devastation and suffer unimaginably. But drownings take a toll of firefighters as well.”

The video shows firefighters on their way to a drowning call. The video then shows a parent doing chest compressions on a drowned child.

“The myriad of emotions felt by a firefighter as they hold a limp child in their arms is indescribable,” Losch said. “The pressure of a family looking on and praying that you will save their child is unlike anything you have ever experienced before.

“But what everyone needs to understand is that this is all preventable.”

First responders say the most important thing you can do to keep your kids safe around water is to watch them. There is no replacement for supervision.

They want anyone having a gathering around a pool to always designate a water watcher.

The teamed-up fire departments asked phones to be left inside while near the pool to minimize distractions.

“A drowning can happen in a matter of seconds,” Ben Barrios, a spokesman with Mesa Fire and Medical, said. “Stay safe around water with constant supervision.”

But they are not just worried about the pool. Every city has its share of water hazards but what we all have in common are the household hazards with things like bathtubs, toilets and buckets that can turn deadly without supervision.

In early May, Phoenix saw its first infant drowning when an 11-month-old girl died after being found in a toilet.

Phoenix Fire Capt. Rob McDade told KTAR News 92.3 FM that a 16-year-old girl was watching the girl and another sibling, 3, while their parents were at work.

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