American Red Cross, Tukwila Pool join forces to reduce drowning

Children and adults learning to swim is key to creating ‘ecosystem of water safety’

  • Thursday, June 13, 2019 4:27pm
  • News

This summer the Tukwila Pool has joined forces with the American Red Cross Aquatics Centennial Campaign to reduce drownings and create an ecosystem of water safety. In support of the partnership, the Red Cross will help reduce the cost of swim lessons at the Tukwila Pool by providing scholarships for those with a financial need.

“The goal of the Red Cross Centennial Campaign is to create an ‘ecosystem of water safety’ in order to reduce drownings in communities where drownings or drowning rates are higher than the national average” said Alex Dieffenbach, Northwest Region CEO. “We partner with aquatics training providers like the Tukwila Pool to make swim lessons and water safety training available, accessible and affordable.”

“The Tukwila Pool Metropolitan Park District is proud to be a part of the Centennial Campaign. This will allow us to provide more swim lessons, water safety education and lifeguard training to the community we serve than ever before,” said Brad Harpin, Director of Aquatics Operations.

Here in King County, 152 people of all ages died from drowning between 2008 and 2014. This is especially tragic because in nearly every case, those deaths could have been prevented.

Aquatics centennial campaign by the numbers

The Red Cross campaign began in 2014 in recognition of 100 years of Red Cross swimming safety education. Due to the positive response, the campaign is expanding beyond the initial 50 programs.

Through the end of 2018, national campaign milestones include:

• 81,288 sets of swim lessons in 93 communities and 197 aquatic facilities in 23 states

• 1,896 junior lifeguards trained

• 839 lifeguards certified

• 768 Water Safety and Basic Swim instructors certified

• 12,388 parents and caregivers armed with lifesaving water-safety knowledge and skills

With the help of campaign sponsors and through local training providers, the Red Cross is able to help provide swim lessons, as well as junior lifeguard, lifeguard and swim instructor training, at little or no cost in these communities. This effort also helps educate parents, children and teens so that everyone stays as safe as possible as they enjoy time in and around the water.

“The best way to reduce drowning is to prevent dangerous situations from happening in the first place,” added Tatyana Kiselyov, Red Cross Northwest Territory aquatic specialist. “Parents and caregivers are also learning what to do when things go wrong, including how to help someone in trouble in the water without getting into danger themselves and how to perform CPR and use an AED.”

For more information or to register for a class, call or visit the Tukwila Pool: 4414 144th St., Tukwila, 206-267-2350 or jstiles@tukwilapool.org.

To apply for a scholarship visit TukwilaPool.org and look in the “Lessons/Swim Lesson Scholarship” section.

People can learn about actions they can take to help make themselves and their families safer in and around water at redcross.org/watersafety. Additional information on the Red Cross Aquatics Centennial Campaign, including a video, is available at redcross.org/centennialswim.

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