Friday, November 5, 2010

Lifejacket Loaner Program will kick off in 2011, thanks to local Boy Scout and others

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2010

MEDIA CONTACTS
Linda Farmer, APR
Communications & Government Affairs Manager
253.835.2411 or 253.261.1211

Christie Welsh
Aquatics Assistant Coordinator
253.835.6944

Lifejacket Loaner Program will kick off in 2011, thanks to local Boy Scout and others

Every year, more than 800 children age 14 and under die from accidental drowning, and the incidence from May to August is nearly twice what it is over the rest of the year. The City of Federal Way will fight to bring these numbers down when it kicks off the Lifejacket Loaner Program on opening day of swimming season 2011 at Steel Lake Park.

The City recently established the program with help from Safe Kids King County South, the Paris White Foundation, which donated life jackets, and local Boy Scout Jordan Stiver, who led his Troop 330 in building a storage rack for the equipment.

“Whether they’re swimming, fishing or boating, child and adult visitors to Steel Lake will be able to check out a properly fitted lifejacket to use during their visit to the park. There are no fees — people just need to return the lifejackets before they leave,” said Christie Welsh, assistant aquatics coordinator for the City who also manages the Lifejacket Loaner Program.

The Paris White Foundation, which was created by Seattle residents Paul and Deanna White following the 2005 drowning death of their 2-year-old daughter Paris, donated dozens of new lifejackets to the program. Since its creation, the foundation has raised funding to purchase lifejackets for similar stations all over Washington state.

To store the lifejackets at Steel Lake, Jordan Stiver and his fellow scouts from Troop 330 chose to build a rack as an Eagle Scout project. The sturdy rolling rack holds most of the lifejackets and will provide easy storage for the equipment during winter.

Jordan also is teaming with Safe Kids King County South, part of the nationwide network of organizations working to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability for children ages 1 to 14. Safe Kids is providing the signage and safety information that will be included on the lifejacket rack. More information about the organization is available at www.safekids.org.

Federal Way Aquatics Assistant Coordinator Christie Welsh thanks local Boy Scouts Jordan Stiver  and Carl Gray for their help in building a rolling rack that will store lifejackets donated to keep swimmers safe at Steel Lake Park. The boys and their fellow scouts in Troop 330 chose the rack construction as an Eagle Scout project.

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