Flanders, NJ, September 02, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- The young woman was floating in the backyard swimming pool as members of the Flanders Fire Company #1 and Rescue Squad arrived. As emergency medical technicians and firefighters grabbed equipment and hurried toward the pool, they were told the woman wasn’t breathing and had no pulse. Some team members jumped into the pool to rescue her. They quickly secured her spine and a board under her as they floated her to the shore. Then someone said something…and the “victim” started laughing.
It was a drill, one Flanders firefighters and EMTs do every year, said Lt. Nicole Shields, watching a second team perform a similar rescue. The victim was Probationary Firefighter Chelsea Gallagher and, except for getting deliberately splashed by her teammates, she was fine.
“We know, from the Centers for Disease Control, that 10 people drown every day in this county,” said Lt. Shields, who supervised the drill. “Two of them are children, 14 years old or younger. We’ve been lucky in Flanders, but if something happens, we want to be ready.”
Lt. Shields said drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in this country. As of July 20, the federal government reports 90 children have drowned this summer.
“Pool safety is something people should talk about if they have a pool or are visiting someone who does,” said Lt. Shields.
Tips offered by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission include:
· Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa. Always watch your child when he or she is in or near the water.
· Teach children basic water safety tips.
· Have a phone close by when the pool is use.
· If a child is missing, check the pool first.
· Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.
· Learn to perform CPR on children and adults and update those skills regularly.
· Install fences and gates with locks around the pool.
“These may seem like obvious precautions, but too many people don’t do them,” said Lt. Shields. “We practice our skills so if something happens, we can deliver the highest quality service to the people of Mount Olive. But it’s something we never want to have to do for real.”
The EMS officer said information about pool safety is available at www.poolsafety.gov.
The Flanders Fire Company and Rescue Squad No. 1 provides fire protection and emergency medical services to residents and businesses in Flanders and, through mutual aid, surrounding towns. It is made up of about 75 members, all of whom receive training in fire suppression, rescue, hazardous materials response, homeland security issues and emergency medical services. The fire company operates two fire engines, a tower truck, a heavy rescue, a brush-and-foam truck, two ambulances, a multiple-casualty unit and a decontamination unit.
In addition, the fire company offers public education services including lectures, demonstrations, training and a trailer that safely simulates a smoke-filled home. For information about membership, donations or public education, call (973) 584-7805 or click on www.flandersfire.org.