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Mesa Fire unveils new drowning prevention program

A sign honoring 2-year-old Ian, who drowned in 2010, is shown. The sign is part of Mesa Fire's new drowning prevention campaign called "I Remember." (KTAR Photo/Jim Cross)

MESA, Ariz. -- With weekend temperatures forecast well over 100 degrees, many people will be hitting the pool.

In response, the Mesa Fire Department unveiled its new drowning prevention plan on Thursday.

Mesa Fire is reminding parents to watch kids around water like a hawk. This campaign, titled "I Remember," features a powerful must-see video for all parents and grandparents, in which two Valley moms who lost children in pools describe the impact.

Allison James lost her 2-year-old son Ian in 2013. She had all of the proper safeguards in place: Pool fence, locking doors and gates. She went to turn on a sprinkler and, in that brief time, her two sons accessed the pool with a high chair they took outside.

"If I can save someone else's baby it will make all the difference in the world," she said. "It won't bring my baby back but hopefully I can someone the heartache."

James wants all parents to start to train their child, beginning at 10-months-old, about water safety to teach them how to get out of the pool on their own and how to float for just that short time that parents would need to get to them.

Mesa Fire said their goal is to save lives and become a blueprint with this campaign for the rest of the nation.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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