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Fire volunteers go door-to-door to talk drowning prevention

Phoenix Fire Department volunteers receive instructions prior to a door-to-door drowning prevention outreach. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- The Thursday drowning of a 2-year-old girl in a pool near 75th Avenue and Thomas led 30 Phoenix Fire Department volunteers to take action Tuesday morning.

The volunteers went door-to-door to homes near where the drowning happened to remind people about having fences around their pools and keeping their kids around water.

Phoenix Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Ketterer said the swimming pool isn't the only place where kids can get into trouble.

"Any water source is a threat," he said. "It could be a bucket of water. It could be a bathtub. It could be an unprotected toilet with the lid open. It could be an ice chest filled with melted ice. t could be a doggie dish filled with water. We have documented cases of young children who are so small that they can crawl but they aren't yet walking, and they can go face down into a doggie dish with as little as two inches of water and drown in that water source. Our message today is really one of prevention."

Ketterer said volunteers knocked on every door. If no one was home, they left a pamphlet giving tips about keeping kids safe around water.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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