August proclaimed drowning impact awareness month

Apache Junction Mayor Jeff Serdy hands a proclamation designating August 2018 as drowning impact awareness month to Community Risk Reduction Specialist Tina Gerola, of the Superstition Fire and Medical District. (Richard H. Dyer, Independent Newsmedia)

August was designated drowning impact awareness month in a proclamation read at a recent Apache Junction City Council meeting.

“Drowning is a top cause of injury and death for children and teens in Arizona, affecting not only the victims but also families, emergency personnel and our society as a whole,” Apache Junction Mayor Jeff Serdy said at the July 17 council meeting.

“Child drownings are nearly 100 percent preventable, including drownings which are classified as maltreatment and make up an average of one in four cases in Arizona,” he said, proclaiming August as drowning impact awareness month.

The proclamation is to be included with others from communities from across the state and will be hung on a wall at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Community Risk Reduction Specialist Tina Gerola, of the Superstition Fire and Medical District, said at the meeting.

“As of this evening there have been 76 total incidents resulting in 26 fatalities just in the Valley of the Sun. Nine of those deaths are children under the age of 5,” she said of 2018 statistics.

None were in the SFMD coverage area, which includes Apache Junction and Gold Canyon.

“Twenty six families, 26 fire departments and 26 communities have been burdened by this unimaginable tragedy that is so preventable, and we’re only half-way through July,” she said.

“We can’t express enough the importance of vigilance in and around the water. It only takes two inches of water and two minutes of time,” Ms. Gerola said.

Editor Richard Dyer can be reached at rdyer@newszap.com

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