Work of Quinte drowning prevention group recognized

Members of the Prince Edward Fire and Rescue Department. (Cathy Caley for the Gazette)
JASON PARKS

STAFF WRITER

The work undertaken by a regional body that aims to reduce the number of fatal and non-fatal drownings in the Quinte region has been recognized by its federal counter part.

The Quinte Region Drowning Prevention Coalition was launched only one year ago and was recently recognized by the Canadian Drowning Prevention Coalition. The local Drowning Prevention Coalition, consisting of 17 community agencies across Hastings & Prince Edward Counties, works toward a common goal to prevent the incidence of fatal and non-fatal drownings and other water-related injuries in the Quinte Region.

Locally, beaches and shorelines in Prince Edward County have been a drowning hazard for visitors and locals alike during the high heat of summer. The role of the QRDPC is to promote safe water-related activities and behaviours throughout our different community outreach initiatives and to work together and raise awareness of drowning prevention.

Last week, Dr. Stephen B. Beerman, Co-Chair of the Canadian Drowning Prevention Coalition, along with members of the steering committee presented the ‘2021 Drowning Prevention Award for Community Action’ to the Quinte Region Drowning Prevention Coalition for their strong multi-sectoral collaboration to reduce drowning in the Quinte Region.

In the 2021 edition of the Canadian Drowning Prevention plan, Dr. Beerman said the group is learning more about the social determinants of drowning and the segments of society that are impacted most.

“We know that education, housing, socio-economic factors, and health play a role in the communities of increased drowning burden. Reducing inequity by focusing on social improvement for all Canadians will reduce drowning and injury burden. We support government and civil society efforts to reduce inequity. We need to increase collaborations to improve Canadians’ health and happiness in their interactions with water,” Dr. Beerman said . “The Coalition continues to focus on eight key focus targets – children 1 to 4 years; Indigenous peoples – First Nations, Inuit and Métis; new Canadians; northern Canada, rural areas and cold water; supervised settings; unintentional water entries; water transport- related drownings; and, young adult males. Each of these key focus targets will be setting targets for drowning mortality reduction in measurable demographics, locations or risk activities. We are learning that applying resources to carefully focused targets is an effective accelerator of drowning reduction.”

Committee member Staff Sergeant John Hatch, Detachment Commander of the Prince Edward County OPP stated the recognition will help the group continue its valuable work.

“It is an honour to receive this recognition from a National organization,” Hatch said. “It is a great motivator to continue the work that we are doing to reduce drownings in our region.”

The Quinte Region Drowning Prevention Coalition would like to remind everyone to always be safe in, on, and around the water.