|Title||A tale of two park agencies: The role of local and regional government agencies in drowning prevention|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Year of Publication||2007|
|Authors||Dr. Quan, MD, L, Bennett, E|
|Conference Name||World Conference on Drowning Prevention|
|Publisher||International Life Saving Federation|
|Conference Location||Porto, Portugal|
Drowning deaths in Washington’s State Parks were reviewed by a committee convened by by the state’s risk management office.
Death reviews included prehospital care systems, drowning prevention specialists, state health department. To build infrastructure and support for drowning prevention changes, we worked extensively with local and state government agencies and legislators.
An average of six people annually, mostly adults less than 30 years old of ethnic or racial minorities, drowned while swimming in unlifeguarded open waters. Factors that contributed to these drownings included a)systemic issues (lack of a surveillance system, lack of an injury prevention culture across the agency, priorities/funding of the boating program vs the state parks program, termination of life guards at beaches), fiscal decision-making, b)physical hazards in park waters, and c)demographic changes among park visitors. We contrast the State Parks’ drownings, prevention approach, and partnership with that of Seattle City Parks (< 1 drowning death in 5 years) and the State Boating agency.
Recommendations to change the approach and structure of State Parks included adding risk management, incident collection and review, drowning prevention education of park rangers and visitors, promotion of life jacket loan programs, and restoration of lifeguards. Overview of state agencies identified opportunies for drowning prevention.
|Learning Outcomes|| |
Loss Prevention Review Team. Drowning Prevention Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. Report to the Director of Office of Financial Management. November, 2005. http://www.ofm.wa.gov/rmd/lprt/parksfinalrpt.pdf