Drowning Prevention Awareness Program

State: FL Type: Promising Practice Year: 2015

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The Florida Department of Health in Brevard County (FDOH-Brevard) has taken significant measures to reduce the number of drownings in our county.  Brevard County ranks in the top 10 for Florida drowning deaths.  There were over 108 fatal and 202 non-fatal unintentional drownings between 2007 and 2013 in Brevard County. Brevard County ranked higher than the state average in fatal and non-fatal drownings 4 out the past 6 years.  This prompted the development of our drowning prevention program in 2012 and heightened expansion in 2013. Our department has teamed up with the FDOH’s Office of Injury Prevention and has actively participated in the WaterproofFL® Campaign.  DOH-Brevard used this campaign message to educate families by distributing educational materials, water watcher tags and door alarms at public events. On April 16, 2013 and April 29, 2014 Coast Guard Officials, Josh the Otter®, Swim Safe Forever, Inc., and DOH-Brevard officials were recognized by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners as they approved a County Resolution that declared May as Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Month in Brevard County.  Our department has partnered with a private vendor, Clear Channel Outdoor for the past 3 years and so far we have purchased billboard space to display powerful drowning prevention messages on digital billboards in 2013, 15 second Radio Public Service Announcements (PSA) on drowning prevention awareness since October 2013, and since September 2014 we also advertise drowning prevention messages on their website as a banner.  We will also be providing drowning prevention messages at a movie theater with 12 screens between April and June in 2015.  We have also purchased drowning prevention brochures that we have distributed to local area hospitals and health department clinics.  Since 2009, our department has received annual contract agreements from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission to inspect public pools and spas to ensure main drain covers, secondary back-up systems, and equalizer lines are compliant with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.  DOH-Brevard was honored at the 2013 annual conference of the National Environmental Health Association for outstanding contributions of public health officials to advancing safer and healthier use of recreational waters and was the single nationwide program selected to receive the Dr. Neil Lowry Award presented by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals.

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Brevard County Health Department
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Drowning Prevention Awareness Program
The Florida Department of Health in Brevard County, herein referred to as DOH – Brevard, is located in the east-central region of Florida along the Atlantic Ocean, also known as the Space Coast.  According to the United States Census, there are approximately 544,000 people in Brevard County ranking us as the 9th largest populated county in Florida.  Brevard County contains 1557 square miles and 34% of the county is water.  Annually, Brevard has approximately 2.4 million overnight visitors and 1.2 million day visitors.  Our county has 72 miles of beaches, bathing lakes, canals, the St. Johns River, the Indian River Lagoon, Mosquito Lagoon and the Banana River.  We have other significant recreational waterways such as Lake Washington, Lake Poinsett, Lake Winder, and Sawgrass Lake.   Along with these natural bodies of water, 1,073 public pools and 59,119 private pools are located throughout the county.  Brevard County has been ranked in Florida’s top ten for drowning for years.  In 2012, Brevard County was ranked 8th out of 67 counties for drowning deaths and the drowning rate of children up to the age of 5 is higher for Brevard County than overall in the State of Florida.  The goal of the practice is to reduce the number of drowning incidents in Brevard County.  The objectives used to achieve our goal are: 1) distribute public awareness messages by using electronic billboards, radio broadcasts, brochures, and Public Service Announcements, 2) team with Florida Department of Health’s Office of Injury and Prevention and their WaterproofFL® Campaign to provide door alarms to the public, 3) attend public events to distribute drowning prevention materials, 4) distribute drowning prevention brochures to local area hospitals and health department clinics to target parents of newborns and young children, 5) sponsor swimming lessons for low income families with children under the age of 5, 6) continue to monitor report data of fatal and non-fatal incidents, and 7) develop evaluation tools to review the public’s knowledge on drowning. For the past 3 years, our department has teamed up with the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Injury Prevention and actively participates in the WaterproofFL® Campaign.  DOH - Brevard used this campaign message to educate families on drowning prevention by distributing educational materials, water watcher tags and door alarms at public events. We routinely issue press releases to inform our residents and visitors about drowning prevention, safety barriers, emergency preparedness such as CPR training, and National Drowning Prevention Month.  A DOH - Brevard official attends meetings with a local drowning prevention organization called Swim Safe Forever Brevard.  DOH - Brevard was awarded three - $5,000 grants from the FDOH’s Injury Prevention Program for Child Drowning Prevention services.  With these grants, we partnered with Clear Channel Outdoor, Clear Channel Entertainment, Swim Safe Forever, and Premiere Theater.  We have purchased billboard space to display powerful drowning prevention messages on digital billboards throughout Brevard County, prepared a number of Radio Public Service Announcements (PSA) focusing on the different areas of drowning prevention awareness to run on popular local radio stations, along with a digital banner to run on Clear Channel’s website.  We will be providing drowning prevention messages at a movie theater with 12 screens in 2015.  We purchased and distributed drowning prevention brochures to mother/baby wards at local area hospitals and our 3 local health department clinics.  Since 2009, our department has also applied for and received annual contract agreements from the United States Consumer Product and Safety Commission to inspect public pools and spas to ensure main drain covers, secondary back-up systems, and equalizer lines are compliant with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. DOH – Brevard’s drowning prevention awareness practices have been spotlighted in multiple outlets. We were highlighted in Governor Rick Scott’s weekly newsletter, recognized by Florida Representative Steve Crisafulli, and helped declared May as Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Month in Brevard County.  We were the single nationwide recipients to receive the Dr. Neil Lowry Award.  All objectives have been met.  DOH – Brevard continues these practices and efforts to bring awareness of drowning prevention to Brevard County residents and visitors.  DOH-Brevard started this program 5 years ago with limited funding.  Due to the importance of this cause and now the availability of grant funding DOH – Brevard’s dedication and hard work in promoting drowning prevention awareness, we have received monetary grants and awards in 2013 and 2014. This money has funded our goal of reducing drowning incidents in Brevard County.  We also provide drowning prevention information on our website at www.brevardeh.com.  
Drowning is the leading cause of death among children ages 1-4 in Florida and is the highest in the nation.  In 2012, 374 Florida residents drowned.  There were an additional 326 hospitalizations and 526 Emergency Department visits for non-fatal drownings.  Children ages 1-4 made up 16% of the deaths, 36% of the hospitalizations and 47% of the Emergency Department visits.  In Florida, drowning is the first ranking cause of death for children between 1 and 4 years old and it is the second ranking cause of death for children between 5 and 9 years old.  It is the third ranking cause of death for children under 1 year of age.  Brevard County has been ranked in Florida’s top ten for drowning for years.   Bringing awareness to life saving drowning prevention methods is critical to reducing the number of drowning deaths in Brevard County.  DOH - Brevard’s current challenge is spreading this message to a population of 544,000 residents spread out over a 72 mile long county. Approximately 27,000 people (5% of the total population) under the age of five reside in Brevard County.  This statistic alone justifies the importance of spreading the drowning prevention message.    During 2007 and 2012, 18 fatal drownings and 82 non-fatal drownings occurred within the 1 to 4 years age group.  Brevard County ranked higher than the state average in fatal and non-fatal drownings 4 out the past 6 years.  This prompted the development of our drowning prevention program in 2012 and heightened expansion in 2013. Five fatal drownings and 13 non-fatal drownings for ages 1 to 4 in Brevard County occurred in 2012.  We are encouraged to report that in 2013, the number of fatalities dropped to 1 child – one child too many.  The percentage rate of fatal drownings in this age group dropped significantly from 29% in 2012 to5% in 2013  - well below the 2013 state average of 16%.  The percentage rate of 1 - 4 age group non-fatal hospitalizations associated with drownings dropped from 36% in 2012 to 9% in 2013.  We will continue to evaluate our numerous drowning prevention efforts and actively strive to improve upon our promotion of drowning prevention messages and the prevention of future drownings within our county and state.  Prior to 2012, DOH-Brevard had a minimal amount of funding to develop a drowning prevention awareness program that could create an impact on our residents and visitors.  Prior to our expanded program, we were only able to provide information to our residents based on limited resources available at that time.  We provided water watcher tags and educational material to local pool stores and YCMAs.  The department also provided flyers for those locations and our three health department clinic sites.  Since 2012, DOH – Brevard reached out and explored new resources to expand this program to address the high rate of drowning incidents within the county.  Because of Brevard County’s geographic challenges and large number of residents and visitors it proved difficult to spread the drowning prevention awareness message at small local events.  DOH-Brevard researched and selected campaigns that will put a significant spotlight on our drowning prevention message targeting all Brevard County residents, including parents of children under the age of 5, daily commuters, and millions of tourists visiting our county.  Our county has many major tourist attraction areas such as Port Canaveral the world’s second largest port, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Jetty Park Campground, the east coast surfing capital Cocoa Beach, Patrick Air Force Base, The Avenues of Viera Mall, Melbourne International Airport, Cocoa Village, Historic Downtown Melbourne, Brevard Zoo, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Space Coast Stadium.  We are the closest beach area for the City of Orlando and their attractions.  Within the past 2 years with the grants and awards we have received, we have been able to reach our residents and visitors with the program’s drowning prevention messages, distributed drowning prevention materials to many different outlets, gave away door alarms to low income families to provide a barrier to water bodies, and assisted with funding for swimming lesson scholarships.  In February 2013 we received a $5,000 grant that we leveraged into a drowning prevention campaign worth $10,000 by working with our stakeholder.  We reached millions of Brevard County residents and visitors with our drowning prevention message displayed on 6 digital billboards throughout our county.  These billboards displayed a total of 151,942 messages between April 1, 2013 and June 30, 2013.  In July 2013 we received a $5,000 award that we used to fund swimming lesson scholarships to low income families. In August 2013, we received an additional $5,000 grant which we took $4,000 of that and leveraged it into a campaign worth $8,000.  This campaign delivered our drowning prevention message as a PSA between the months of October 2013 to June 2014 on a local radio station that averages about 45,000 listeners a week.  We took the remaining $1,000 to purchase 10,000 English and 1,000 Spanish drowning prevention brochures to distribute to the mother/baby wards at local hospitals and health department clinics.  In August 2014 we were awarded another $5,000 grant that we transformed into a new campaign worth $10,000 to deliver more drowning prevention messages as a PSA until June 2015 on a different local radio station that averages about 54,000 listeners a week.  We also have a digital web banner on the radio stations website that has approximately 11,500 visitors a month.  We will also be developing an ad that will be displayed in a movie theater on 12 screens for 2 months.  On top of the campaigns, DOH-Brevard has attended numerous public events.  Department staff have educated families on drowning prevention by distributing educational materials, water watcher tags and door alarms at public events such as health fairs, 5K races, schools, daycares, hospitals, YMCAs, public parks, and during swimming lessons in partnership with other local educators like the YMCA and Infant Swim Rescue Organization.  We also have posters on display in our 3 county health department clinics and our Environmental Health Services department which is seen by a large volume of clients daily.  We have also reached out to our local daycare centers because their main clientele are children under the age of 5.  DOH – Brevard’s drowning prevention awareness practices have been spotlighted in multiple outlets.  The department’s accomplishments for drowning prevention awareness were highlighted in Governor Rick Scott’s weekly newsletter that is sent to all government employees in Florida’s 67 counties.  We were also recognized by Florida Representative Steve Crisafulli for our drowning prevention efforts.  On April 16, 2013 and April 29, 2014, the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners declared May as Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Month in Brevard County.  DOH - Brevard was honorably recognized at the 2013 annual conference of the National Environmental Health Association for outstanding contributions of public health officials to advancing safer and healthier use of recreational waters.  We were the single nationwide recipients to receive the Dr. Neil Lowry Award presented by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals and received $5,000 to promote drowning prevention.  DOH – Brevard was asked to present our drowning prevention program at the 2014 National Environmental Health Associations annual conference.  We could not attend, but plan to present at the 2015 conference being held in Orlando, Florida.  Drowning Prevention Awareness is not new to the field of public health, but our practice here in Brevard County has expanded tremendously.
The goal of the practice is to reduce the number of drowning incidents in Brevard County.  The objectives used to achieve our goal are: 1) distribute public awareness messages by using electronic billboards, radio broadcasts, brochures, and Public Service Announcements, 2) team up with Florida Department of Health’s Office of Injury and Prevention and their WaterproofFL® Campaign to provide door alarms to the public, 3) attend public events to distribute drowning prevention materials, 4) distribute drowning prevention brochures to local area hospitals and health department clinics to target parents of newborns and young children and 5) provide swim lessons for low income families with children under the age of 5. For the past three years, our department has teamed up with the Florida Department of Health’s Office of Injury Prevention and has actively participated in the WaterproofFL® Campaign.  The campaign provides free educational material and door alarms to counties that rank in the top 10 in the state for drowning incidents.  DOH-Brevard participates on regular teleconferences with campaign managers to share our ideas and learn from other counties of their practices.  Each year we provide the campaign manager our plan for distribution of door alarms.  We ensure that each door alarm we hand out, the recipient completes a voucher stating they have a small child in the home and their home is adjacent to a water body.  We submit these vouchers each year to the campaign manager.  DOH - Brevard used this campaign message to educate families on drowning prevention by distributing educational materials, water watcher tags and door alarms at public events such as health fairs, 5K races, schools, daycares, hospitals, YMCAs, public parks, and during swimming lessons in partnership with other local drowning prevention educators like the YMCA and Infant Swim Rescue Organization.  The department also obtains free educational materials from the Consumer Product and Safety Commissions’ Pool Safely program.  We routinely issue press releases to inform our residents and visitors about drowning prevention, safety barriers, emergency preparedness such as CPR training, and every May for National Drowning Prevention Month.  Along with Florida Department of Health’s Office of Injury Prevention’s WaterproofFL® Campaign and United States Consumer Product’s Safety Commission’s Pool Safely Program, we have teamed up with other stakeholders.  DOH – Brevard has fostered collaboration with other stakeholders such as Clear Channel Outdoor, Clear Channel Communications, Swim Safe Forever, Inc., and most importantly the residents and visitors of Brevard County.  DOH – Brevard has developed excellent working relationships with our stakeholders.  They are willing to contribute their resources to assist us in obtaining our goal to reduce the number of drowning incidents in our county.  A DOH - Brevard official meets with a local drowning prevention organization called Swim Safe Forever quarterly to discuss drowning prevention ideas.  Swim Safe Forever is an organization that strives to educate our community regarding the layers of protection and effective measures of water safety.  They do this by providing swimming lessons, organizing fundraisers, and holding events which highlight drowning prevention.  We provide educational materials to this organization so they can distribute to their clients when receiving swimming lessons.  We have also provided educational material to another local drowning prevention group called the Jada (Just About Drowning Awareness) Foundation.  We continue to develop our relationship with these organizations because we can both benefit from each other’s resources.  On April 16, 2013 and April 29, 2014 Coast Guard Officials, Josh the Otter®, Swim Safe Forever, Inc., and DOH - Brevard officials were recognized by the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners as they approved a County Resolution that declared the month of May as Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Month in Brevard County.  This resolution urges all residents and visitors to recognize the vital importance of water safety and drowning prevention education.  The Florida Department of Health is responsible for permitting and inspecting public swimming pools and spas under Chapter 64E-9 Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.).  Since 2009, our department has applied for and received annual contract agreements from the United States Consumer Product and Safety Commission to inspect public pools and spas to ensure main drain covers, secondary backup systems, and equalizer lines are compliant with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.  This department has secured an excellent working relationship with CPSC.  We participate in routine teleconferences and submit our inspection reports to their department within 5 days of inspection.  These reports are extremely detailed and contain pictures of the facilities entire equipment, drain covers, electrical system, and overall site. Specially, we verified the main drain grates installed by checking the Make and Model numbers to ensure they conformed to ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007 or newer standard for VGBA compliance, that the covers could handle the proper pump flow rate, and that they were not expired.  We determined if the pool was a gravity drainage system or if on direct suction, they had an approved secondary backup system installed.  Equalizer lines were inspected to ensure they were disabled or were provided with covers that cannot be removed without the use of a tool.  Our department prioritized these public pool and spa inspections based on direct suction or exemption from regulation of Chapter 64E-9 F.A.C. standards in an effort to eliminate incidents of entrapment of hair, body, limb, evisceration or disembowelment.  With these contracts, this department has been able to inspect 651 of these facilities and have the option to inspect 250 more in the next 2 years.  This has helped take an aggressive approach to ensure federal life and safety measures were being met.  We continue this practice by maintaining a computer database with the main drain grate cover installation dates for all of our facilities and during our routine inspections verify the cover has not expired.  We also ensure that all secondary backup systems are still in place and in working condition.  By December 19, 2008 all public swimming pool and spa drain covers were required to be replaced with VGBA complaint covers.  They were also required to either have gravity drainage or provide a secondary backup system.  We currently permit 865 non-exempt (inspected twice a year with full regulation) and 208 exempt (inspected once a year and regulated only for water quality and safety equipment) public swimming pools, spas, wading pools and water activities.  We have currently achieved 100% compliance with our non-exempt pools and 64% with the exempt facilities.  Since DOH-Brevard lacks regulatory authority to enforce the VGBA we have inspected those remaining non-complaint pools under the CPSC contract.  Therefore, the federal government is able to address their violations.  We do continue to educate those facilities of the dangers when we conduct our annual inspections. DOH-Brevard submitted a grant application and was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Florida Department of Health’s Injury Prevention Program for Child Drowning Prevention services in February 2013.  We partnered with a private vendor, Clear Channel Outdoor, to purchase billboard space to display powerful drowning prevention messages on digital billboards throughout Brevard County from April through July 2013.  We held many discussions prior to the contract agreement to ensure we could maximize messaging per dollar out of the grant money.  Along with the $5,000 grant money, Clear Channel Outdoor matched the funds giving us a total of $10,000 for this campaign.  We sent in our proposed Activity Work Plan to the campaign manager and we received approval to move forward.  Our department worked with Clear Channel Outdoors’ production team and created the critical messages that were used on the digital billboards allowing them to be viewed by all residents and visitors in our county 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the primary swimming season.  The messages were displayed stressing the importance of supervision, physical barriers, emergency preparedness, and knowledge of CPR.  The billboards are located along our major roadways, placing a significant spotlight on our drowning prevention message for all Brevard County residents (especially parents of children under the age of 5), daily commuters and millions of visitors to our county during the peak spring and summer seasons.  The digital billboards are located in the heart of our major tourist attraction areas such as Port Canaveral (the world’s second largest port), NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and resident/visitor routes to and from the Orlando-Metropolitan area.   Clear Channel Outdoor provided us with monthly performance reports showing the amount of times the messages were displayed on the digital billboards.  These critical messages were displayed 151,942 times between April 1 and June 30.  The messages were displayed on a minimum of 6 digital billboards, with an average of 1,709 daily ad spots.  Three of the digital billboards were a size of 10 feet 6 inches by 36 feet and the other three were a size of 14 feet by 48 feet.  Throughout the campaign we participated in teleconferences with the campaign manager and other grant recipients.  These calls were primarily for status updates, questions, and to share our program highlights.  We completed our final report and submitted it to the campaign manager on July 12, 2013.     DOH-Brevard submitted grant application on August 16, 2013 and was awarded another $5,000 grant from the Florida Department of Health’s Injury Prevention Program for Child Drowning Prevention services in September 2013.  DOH-Brevard partnered with Clear Channel again for this campaign.  We met with Clear Channel representatives and decided to prepare and broadcast a number of 5 to 15 second Radio Public Service Announcements (PSA) focusing on the different areas of drowning prevention awareness.  We used $4,000 of the grant money and Clear Channel Outdoor again matched the funds giving us a total of $8,000 for this campaign.  We sent in our proposed Activity Work Plan to the campaign manager and we received approval to move forward in October 2013.  The PSAs ran on Lite Rock 99.3, a radio station which has a target audience of families within the age range of 25 to 54 years old, predominately female, and a mixture of income and educational profiles.  The average weekly cumulative audience is approximately 45,000 listeners.  The PSAs were changed periodically throughout the project timeline to accommodate the time of year and holidays.  Fall and Winter months focused on barriers, door alarms for sliding glass/screen doors, child and infant CPR, removing pool toys from the water when it is not in use, and supervision.  Spring and Summer months focused on those same items, but highlighted May being National Drowning Prevention month and the importance of having a designated water watcher during Family BBQ’s/parties/events, benefits of swimming lessons and holidays such as Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day. The county’s geographic challenges and large number of residents makes it difficult to spread the drowning prevention awareness message at small local events.  By using these radio PSA’s; we were able to reach a larger proportion of Brevard County residents, specifically parents of children under the age of 5, and the millions of tourists that visit our county. Clear Channel provided a minimum of 25 commercial spots a week distributed every day between 5 am and midnight during the period of October 2013 to June 2014.  During specific weeks leading up to holidays, Clear Channel doubled the commercial spots due to the importance of the messages.  Clear Channel provided monthly proof of performance reports and bi-annual target demographic reports.  We maintained open communication with them during the entire campaign.  Throughout the campaign we continued to participate in teleconferences with the campaign manager and other grant recipients for status updates, questions, and to share our program highlights.  We completed our final report and submitted it to the campaign manager on June 23, 2014.    We used the remaining $1,000 from the grant for a second project.  We teamed up with Swim Safe Forever and purchased 10,000 Drowning Prevention Awareness Brochures printed in color in English and 1,000 in Spanish.  Swim Safe Forever used their resources and distributed the brochures to local hospitals mother/baby wards.  These brochures were provided in the educational bags provided to new mothers.   Our department teamed up with our 3 Heath Department clinics within Brevard County and placed the brochures with their mother/baby department.  These brochures highlight the layers of protection from drowning.  With approximately 5,000 babies being born in Brevard County a year, this continues to be a great opportunity to reach out and educate parents at the beginning of the child’s life in hopes of eliminating accidental drownings within this county.  Approximately 25% of all Brevard County maternity patients use the county health department clinics for their prenatal checkups.  Our clinic staff members continue to distribute these brochures to them at that time. We have also displayed English and Spanish drowning prevention posters throughout the clinics.  We believe it is important to provide drowning prevention education to expectant parents as early as possible. DOH-Brevard was recognized at the 2013 annual conference of the National Environmental Health Association for outstanding contributions of public health officials to advancing safer and healthier use of recreational waters. Our department was the single nationwide program selected to receive the Dr. Neil Lowry Memorial Award presented by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals.  With this award, we received $5,000 that we put towards our drowning prevention awareness program.  DOH - Brevard partnered with Swim Safe Forever, Inc.  Swim Safe Forever, Inc. provides swim lesson scholarships to children up to the age of 6 years old that belong to families who would not otherwise be financially able to pay for swim lessons on their own.  These scholarships also financially assist families based on their children’s medical needs.  A new student is generally granted 6 weeks of lessons and the refresher courses are generally 2 to 3 weeks.  Families may choose any instructor at any location of their choice as long as their method is specific to survival swim instruction.   With the large amount of swimming pools and recreational waters we have in Brevard County, teaching children to swim at an early age is a crucial factor in reducing drowning deaths.   We were able to provide 25% to 100% funding to 23 children between April and August 2013.  DOH-Brevard plans to continue this practice long term.  As the numbers of drowning deaths reduce, the level of effort towards educating others on drowning prevention awareness will remain steadfast. A DOH – Brevard official was asked to present our drowning prevention program at the 2014 National Environmental Health Associations Annual Educational Conference & Exhibition.  This conference is attended by health officials from all over our nation to learn from each other’s practices and problem solving.  Unfortunately, we could not attend, but plan to present our program at their 2015 conference being held in Orlando, Florida. DOH-Brevard was awarded a third grant for $5,000 from the Florida Department of Health’s Injury Prevention Program in August 2014 which will support another year of drowning prevention efforts.   We have partnered with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment to alert the public about awareness of life saving drowning prevention methods by purchasing air time to broadcast public service announcements and to display digital banner ads on their website.  We sent in our proposed Activity Work Plan to the campaign manager and we received approval to move forward in August 2014.  DOH-Brevard met with their design team and developed messages that will be aired and displayed from September 1, 2014 until June 15, 2015.  One example of our messages says “Drowning is the leading, but preventable cause of death for children ages one to four.  Teaching kids to swim can mean the difference between a close call and a call to 911.  To learn more about drowning prevention visit www.brevardeh.com. This is a public service announcement from the Florida Department of Health”.  The 15 second radio broadcast spots will be delivered on KISS 95.1 radio station every other week between Friday and Saturday from 6 am to 10 pm.  This will reach the target audience of families within the age range of 18 to 44 years old, predominately female, and a mixture of income and educational profiles. The average weekly cumulative audience is approximately 54,000 listeners.  We will also have 15 second radio broadcast spots airing on iHeart Radio between Monday and Saturday from 8 am to 8 pm.  This will enable us to get the message out to listeners who will be streaming music while at the park, beach or pool.  We will be given a monthly performance report from Clear Channel showing the dates and times the messages were aired.  We will also be given a Bi-Annual Target Demographic report.  The Digital Banner Ads will be displayed on www.mykiss951.com all month long for the entire 10 month campaign.  The website has approximately 11,500 visitors a month.  DOH – Brevard believes by broadcasting these critical drowning prevention messages on this particular radio station and streaming on iHeart Radio, we will be able to reach our target audience on a consistent basis.  We will be able to broadcast at different times of the day during the week.  We will also be able to change the messages through-out the project timeline to accommodate the time of year and holidays.  Our message for National Drowning Prevention Month will be “May is officially national Drowning Prevention Month.  Drowning is quick and silent.  Please remember to take preventive steps so no kids drown.  To learn more about drowning prevention visit www.brevardeh.com. This is a public service announcement from the Florida Department of Health in Brevard County”.  Having the music streaming on iHeart radio also catches audiences that are with their children at parks, the beach, or poolside.  These messages will make the audience aware of the importance of drowning prevention measures such as barriers, swim lessons, first aid & CPR; and supervision.   Our PSA aired 90 times between KISS 95.1 and iHeart Radio during the month of September.  The digital banner ads will be able to reach internet users that check out the website when surfing for information regarding the weather, upcoming events, and entertainment news and media.  The monthly data shows that 11,203 people already viewed our banner ad this past September.  The second part of the campaign will be a 15 second on-screen static image to be displayed at a Premiere Theaters – Oaks Stadium 10, a local theater to capture thousands of moviegoers who live and work in Brevard County during National Drowning Prevention Month and the beginning of swimming season.  These images will be displayed between April 15, 105 and June 15, 2015.  The theater has approximately 5,000 to 10,000 attendants depending on the season. Also, by displaying the drowning prevention ad on the movie theater screen we can reach a diverse group of people that are a captive audience.  These ads will be digitally projected up to 30 feet wide prior to every movie in each of the 10 theaters during the 2 month long campaign.  This is approximately 55 viewings a day.  We issued a PSA to all media outlets to announce the grant and the details of the radio broadcast spots, digital banner ads, and movie theater on-screen static image. 
The goal of the practice is to reduce the number of drowning incidents in Brevard County.  The objectives used to achieve our goal are: 1) distribute public awareness messages by using electronic billboards, radio broadcasts, brochures, and Public Service Announcements, 2) team up with Florida Department of Health’s Office of Injury and Prevention and their WaterproofFL® Campaign to provide door alarms to the public, 3) attend public events to distribute drowning prevention materials, 4) distribute drowning prevention brochures to local area hospitals and health department clinics to target parents of newborns and young children, 5) provide swim lessons for low income families with children under the age of 5, 6) continue to monitor report data of fatal and non-fatal incidents, and 7) develop evaluation tools to review the public’s knowledge on drowning. These objectives were accomplished by the following actions: Distributed 700 dual-pack door alarms.  To receive a door alarm, the recipient had to have children in the home and access to a water body.  To verify they met these requirements they had to complete a voucher verifying how many children were in the home, age of the children, if the home had access to a pool, lake, river, or canal.  The recipient also needed to provide an email address.  Once the vouchers were completed, they were delivered to FDOH’s Office of Injury Prevention.  Distributed brochures, water watcher tags, flyers, and posters.  We also distributed fun items that had drowning prevention messages on them such as fans, stickers, tattoos, beach balls, and sunglasses.  These items were a great way to incorporate the younger participants at events.  These materials were handed out at public events, daycare centers, schools, public parks, and delivered to swim lesson instructors to give to the clients. Attended 15 public events such as Kid Fest, 2 Health Fairs, Not One More Child Drowns 5K, World’s Largest Swimming Lesson, Cocoa Riverfront 4th of July Fireworks, 5K and Water Safety Day, and 25th Anniversary Celebration at a local public aquatic center. Attended 12 meetings focused on drowning prevention awareness such as 2 Brevard County Commission meetings, National Environmental Health Association annual meeting, 2 Florida Swimming Pool and Spa Association meetings, Early Learning Coalition of Brevard County meeting, and 6 Swim Safe Forever meetings. Contracting with US Consumer Product Safety Commission to ensure our commercial public swimming pools and spas main drain covers, secondary backup systems, and equalizer lines are compliant with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.  We have inspected 651 facilities and are currently in contract until 2016 to inspect 250 more facilities. Broadcasting of critical drowning prevention messages on digital billboards throughout Brevard County.  Clear Channel Outdoor delivered the department monthly Proof of Performance Reports.  These reports provided us with the number of daily and weekly spots that were displayed.  For the three months of April, May, and June 2013 we averaged 1,700 daily spots and 12,000 weekly spots.  We were guaranteed a total of 111,250 spots for the entire project, but Clear Channel was able to provide us with 151,942 spots.  That is 40,692 extra spots, that is a 37% increase in visual messages at no cost.  These digital billboards provided drowning prevention messages to millions of residents and visitors of Brevard County.  Clear Channel Outdoor provided monthly performance reports so we could evaluate the number of spots that were displayed on each billboard. Distributed 10,000 English and 1,000 Spanish color brochures on drowning prevention to each of our 5 local hospitals and 3 health department clinics to the parents of newborns.  There were 5,000 babies born in Brevard County in 2012 and this is a great opportunity to reach out to new parents.  These brochures will be given to the parents with the packets of other educational materials as they leave the hospital. Teamed up with Clear Channel Entertainment to bring awareness of life saving drowning prevention methods by using the media in the form of radio public service announcements.  By using radio PSA’s, we were be able to reach a larger portion of Brevard County residents and visitors.  According to Clear Channel Entertainment’s ranking reports, Lite Rock 99.3 has an average of 45,000 weekly cumulative listeners.  This radio station has a target audience of listeners that are within our demographics of 25 to 54 years of age, predominately female, and a mixture of income and educational profiles.  Clear Channel Entertainment broadcasted during the length of the project a minimum of 550 radio ad spots between 5 am and midnight every day of the week.  Clear Channel Entertainment provided us monthly performance reports and bi-annual target demographic reports so we could ensure that we were maximizing our resources. Currently teaming up with Swim Safe Forever, Inc. a not for profit agency, to provide financial scholarships for swimming lessons to children between the ages of 6 months to 6 years of age whose parent’s income level are at or below 150% of the federal poverty level.  Currently working with Clear Channel Entertainment for a new campaign to deliver more drowning prevention messages as a PSA until June 2015 on a different local radio station that averages about 54,000 listeners a week.  We also have a digital web banner on the radio stations website that has approximately 11,500 visitors a month.  We will also be developing an ad that will be displayed in a movie theater on their 12 screens for 2 months.  Clear Channel Entertainment will provide us monthly performance reports for DOH-Brevard evaluation. We continue to work with the Florida Department of Health’s Injury Prevention Office and evaluate the Florida Injury Surveillance Data System to monitor the number of fatal injuries, non-fatal hospitalizations, and non-fatal emergency department visits for drowning within the State of Florida and in Brevard County.  We will also evaluate the surveys sent to the door alarm recipients.  Currently developing pre and post tests for event participants and guests to complete.  This will show us what knowledge they have regarding drowning prevention and where we need to focus on for our upcoming campaigns.  We continue to expand our information on our local county health department website to ensure that our residents and visitors are provided with the most current and crucial information regarding drowning prevention. DOH – Brevard has been extremely pleased with the outcome of our objectives and will continue with them in addition to pursuing other opportunities to expand our drowning prevention efforts. 
DOH-Brevard has been pursuing our practice’s goal for 3 years and we continue to expand our efforts.  Previously, this practice had limited outreach.   With only providing information at small local events, we have learned that we needed to develop a practice with larger campaigns that would able to reach our population over approximately 544,000 residents which is spread out over a 72 mile long county.  Approximately 27,000 of our residents are under the age of five.  Since 2012, the number of resources and stakeholders has increased.  Stakeholder relationships have been a key factor in meeting our objectives.   We have learned to leverage funding and provide extra services through partner collaboration.  The sustainability of this practice is partly due to WaterproofFL® and Pool Safely state and federal programs that support local efforts of providing educational materials and grants.  Community support is extremely high from both partners and individual consumers, but funding remains tenuous given the economic climate.  However, due to our active campaign, strength of partnerships and positive feedback/results, we have positioned ourselves to receive ongoing funding.   With this expanded practice we have been able to receive $20,000 so far with grants and awards to develop campaigns worth $34,000 using only our in house resources to find the funding.  This has allowed us to spread the importance that proper supervision, safety barriers for pools and other bodies of water, and CPR training can mean the difference between life and death.    Other no cost objectives, such as press releases and webpage information, assist with reaching our overall goal.  The main expense to the department has been staff time needed to attend meetings, public events, and writing of grants.  Even as we face a continuing loss of General Revenue, we continue to make our drowning prevention efforts a priority within our department.  Executive management at DOH-Brevard has committed the personnel required to continue this valuable safety campaign to ensure Brevard County residents and visitors have continued access to these drowning prevention messages.  We continue to strategize with our stakeholders and staff to develop more campaign ideas to spread the drowning prevention message to our residents and visitors.  Currently upcoming campaigns are to purchase and post drowning awareness messages at our public beaches that are under the Healthy Beaches Program and at our public bathing lakes.  We also plan to develop large posters with the message to display at public events and possibly have displayed in health department clinics, pool supply stores, supermarkets, and sporting stores.  DOH-Brevard is unaware of any other state or federal programs currently being promoted in Brevard County to address drowning prevention awareness and feel it is crucial for this information to be distributed to our residents and visitors. 
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