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Drowning Prevention Coalition spokeswoman Lori Schmidt displays one of the new signs. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- The Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona is targeting apartment complex pool safety by adding 500 new warning signs Valleywide.

The signs will be placed at apartment complex swimming pools to encourage everyone to do their part in keeping everyone safe.

"We have it in both English and Spanish, and the signs say I'm water safe,'" said the coalition's spokeswoman Lori Schmidt. "We remind folks to swim safe, always watch children, start CPR and dial 911."

Schmidt said there is something very important to remember when someone is calling 911 around a pool.

"The really important thing to remember in calling 911 in an apartment community is giving first responders the exact location of the pool and where the victim is," said Schmidt, adding that some apartment complexes have more than one swimming pool.

The Valley saw a lot of pool-related accidents last year.

"In Maricopa County, we had a total of 170 water-related incidents last year. We had 60 fatalities, and 20 of those were children," said Schmidt.

The Coalition is joining with Salt River Project and the Arizona Multihousing Association to distribute the signs. They are available to apartment complexes through SRP's website or by calling (602) 236-5646.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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