GLENDALE, AZ - Jamie Phillips’ heart breaks a little more every time she learns that a child or an adult has drowned.
“It just seems like every year these numbers keep coming in,” said Phillips. “We don’t think it’s going to happen to us. But accidents do happen and it happens to good people.”
It was a tragic weekend for two Valley families, who both lost teenagers to drowning. On Saturday afternoon, a seventeen-year-old girl – a recent refugee from Africa – drowned during a birthday party at a friend’s house.
Then on Sunday afternoon, a thirteen-year-old boy jumped the fence at a friend’s apartment complex and was found at the bottom of the pool.
Jamie Phillips is the owner of American Emergency Response Training , but says most people don’t care to learn these life-saving skills.
“I just don’t know what it’s going to take to make people aware of what’s going on,” she said. “It isn’t seeming to make an impact. We're not making a dent in this drowning epidemic.”
Jamie Phillips founded her company several years ago, after her niece had a terrible accident at the pool.
“That particular morning my sister was running late to work, didn’t have a chance to kiss her daughter goodbye, and the next phone call is, ‘Kathy fell into the babysitter’s swimming pool.’”
Although Kathy survived, she suffered severe brain damage that changed her life forever.
“We’re just lucky to have her,” said Phillips. “I really believe this is my purpose with the CPR training, is to get out there and try to tell as many people about it, so one family doesn’t have to go through what our family has.”
According to the CDC, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children one to fourteen. It’s the fifth leading cause for people of all ages.