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Pool-fence program targets child drownings

Mar. 11, 2008

Glendale firefighters have announced a program to fix or provide swimming-pool fences for 30 needy families.

"The fences and repairs will be done at no cost to families, thanks to the generosity of Valley of the Sun United Way and Iron Man Fence Co.," said Firefighter Daniel Valenzuela, a Fire Department spokesman.

On Saturday, firefighters and volunteers scoured one south Glendale neighborhood that has been hard-hit by drowning incidents, Valenzuela said.

They went door-to-door in the area of 61st to 65th avenues between Missouri Avenue and Bethany Home Road, looking for possible participants in the "Adopt-a-Pool Fence Program" program.

Since 2000, there have been 11 reported incidents in Glendale in which children have drowned, Valenzuela said. About half of the calls have been within the 85301 postal zip code, which includes this neighborhood, Valenzuela said.

"Drowning incidents are absolutely preventable," said John Holland, a Glendale fire captain and vice president of United Phoenix Firefighters Association Local 493, a union representing Phoenix, Glendale, Peoria and other Valley firefighters.

"Drowning incidents impact everyone involved, from family members to the firefighters who respond to these emergencies," Holland said.

That is why union members are participating in the fence program and will join forces the other partners "in bringing this valuable service to the community," Holland said.

For more program information, check the Glendale Fire Department Web site at or phone the Valley of the Sun United Way at 602-631-4800.
Reproduced with permission from:
The Arizona Republic
By Brent Whiting
Copyright 2008 Arizona Republic

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