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Water safety stressed after drowning

May 8, 2008

As temperatures rise and people turn to water for relief, the chances of a drowning also increase.

That's why the Glendale Fire Department is hosting a water safety event May 24 at Rose Lane Aquatic Center.

"It's to raise awareness of how serious these incidents are," Glendale Fire Department spokesman Daniel Valenzuela said.

Glendale experienced the first child drowning of 2008 in Maricopa County on Wednesday when Tyler Bratcher, 15 months, died after wandering from inside a home and into a pool.

Tyler was discovered by his 21-year-old mother, Ashley Bratcher, floating in the backyard pool of their home near 43rd and Olive avenues at around noon, Valenzuela said.

Tyler was not breathing when fire crews arrived, he said, and they administered CPR before he was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital.

"The baby was definitely fighting for his life en route to the hospital," Valenzuela said.

Ashley Bratcher told authorities she was sleeping inside the house with Tyler, who only recently had begun to walk. She said that when she woke, he was not near her.

She, along with her 16-year-old brother, who Glendale police officer Matt Barnett said was also sleeping, began searching the residence and found the toddler in the water.

The pool was not surrounded by a fence, Valenzuela said.

Police said the homeowner, who is Tyler's great-grandmother, left the rear door open for pet access when she left the house early in the morning.

The case will be forwarded to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office to consider whether any criminal charges will be filed.

Reproduced with permission from:
The Arizona Republic
Christopher Ramirez
©
Copyright 2008 Arizona Republic

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