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Greenville Fire-Rescue Launches Annual Water Safety Series to Combat Drowning Incidents

Greenville Fire-Rescue (GFR) is launching its annual three-week water safety series aimed at preventing drowning incidents, coinciding with Water Safety Month.

According to the Center for Disease Control, unintentional drowning affects people of all ages. Statistics reveal that approximately eleven individuals succumb to unintentional drowning every day in the United States. Among children, drowning stands as the primary cause of death for ages 1-4 and the second leading cause for ages 5-14. Over the years 2012-2021, an average of 4,083 fatal unintentional drownings occurred annually in the U.S. Additionally, for each child fatality from drowning, seven others require emergency department care for nonfatal drowning injuries. Alarmingly, nearly 40% of these victims necessitate hospitalization or further care due to the severity of their injuries, which can lead to long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning.

As of May 2, 2024, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services reports 15 children have drowned in Texas this year.

Contrary to common perception, drowning is a swift and silent event. Within the span of 10 seconds, the time it takes to fetch a towel, a child can become submerged. The Texas Drowning Prevention Alliance highlights that the majority of drowning incidents occur in family pools.

In an effort to emphasize drowning prevention, Greenville Fire-Rescue has organized a three-week educational series focusing on various water safety topics. These sessions will take place on Thursdays starting May 9, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., covering different subjects each week.

Upcoming Classes

May 9: Public and Home Pool Safety – Safety at pools WITH lifeguards - presented by Greenville Parks & Recreation. Many drownings or near drownings occur in places with lifeguards. Any time a person is submerged the potential to be impacted for life is present – and the longer they are submerged, the greater the impact to the person’s ability to function. This focuses on how parents and caregivers can keep their loved ones safe at waterparks, public pools, etc. Swimming when there are NO lifeguards (i.e. homes, apartments) - presented by Greenville Fire Department. Every year, the news reports instances of someone drowning in a pool where no lifeguards are present. This topic covers tips for having a designated water watcher anytime someone is in the pool as well as what steps to follow should an emergency happen.

May 16: Common Pool Emergencies – Common pool emergencies and teaching of HandsOnly CPR – presented by Hunt County AMR/EMS. Pool drownings can even occur hours to days after someone has been swimming. Hunt County EMS will be on hand to talk about symptoms to watch for when your child has been in the pool. They will also teach a Hands-Only CPR session.

May 23: Boating and Lake Safety – Boating, life jackets, personal watercraft safety - presented by a Texas Game Warden. The final topic will lead into the Memorial Day weekend, a time traditionally spent as the first big boating event of the summer. A local Texas Game Warden will be on-hand to talk about boater safety, lake safety, in particular - proper fit of lifejackets.

In addition to the speakers, each session will include a light meal and door prizes. It will be held at the Fletcher Warren Civic Center, located at 5501 Joe Ramsey Blvd S. Any business that would like to be a sponsor may contact Sylvia R. Peace at (903) 457-2940 or via email at

Registration for the event is requested for food purposes and to fill out a brief survey on pool use. The survey and RSVP can be found on the Greenville Fire Department web page and the Fire Department Facebook page. You may also register by calling (903) 457-2940 or going here:


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