PHOENIX - We're only half way through 2014, but already there have been more drowning incidents in 2014 than in all of 2013. That's why the city of Phoenix is launching a new effort aimed at curbing the increasing number of drownings.
Officials say the "Zero in on Water Safety" campaign will focus on swimming lessons and pool protection.
Emergency responders have been called out to 81 drowning incidents in Maricopa County alone this year. 28 of those incidents have been deadly.
"It's very frustrating. And it breaks my heart because drowning is 100 percent preventable. It's not a disease. It's something that we as a community need to get the word out about how to be safe and how to keep your kids safe around water," said Becky Hulett with City of Phoenix Aquatics .
Hulet said one of the best ways to protect your kids is swim lessons. "We can start teaching kids to swim as early as six months old. Most kids if they don't learn by 3rd grade than they never learn," said Hulet.
Firefighters are also stepping up efforts to cut down on the number of drownings. Fire officials said they will conduct wave walks, host pool demonstrations, air safety messages on radio broadcasts, speak with community groups, and even hand out placards door-to-door to get the message out.