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Safeguarding summer; Fire, Police to host safety events this weekend

May 1, 2014
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

With the aim of helping to keep Cape Coral residents and visitors safe, the city's police and fire departments are hosting two events this weekend that will focus on water and fire safety.

The inaugural Wildfire Awareness & Safety Day will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Cape Coral Fire Station 5, to be followed by the third annual Water Safety Day on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cape Coral Yacht Club's beach pavilion. Both events are free and open to the public.

Hosted by the fire department, Saturday's event will center around promoting wildfire safety among adults, including FireWise landscaping and fire prevention. For the children, the information shared by staffers will include general fire safety and arson prevention, such as say no to matches and lighters.

There will be brush trucks and a dozer tractor on display, along with a firefighting helicopter.

At about 11 a.m., those in attendance will enjoy a special visit from Smokey Bear.

Sunday's event, hosted by both police and fire, will feature information on boating safety and pool safety, along with swimming lessons, CPR and water rescue demonstrations, and more.

Fact Box

If You Go:

What: Inaugural Wildlife Awareness & Safety Day

When: Saturday, May 3, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Cape Coral Fire Station 5, 1029 Diplomat Parkway

Who: Cape Coral Fire Department

What: Water Safety Day

When: Sunday, May 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Cape Coral Yacht Club pavilion, 5819 Driftwood Parkway

Who: Cape Coral Police Department and Cape Coral Fire Department

"Water is part of the everyday life of the people of Cape Coral," Sgt. Dana Coston, Cape police spokesman, said. "It's important for kids to be brought up to be respectful of the water."

Public safety education will be provided by the police and fire departments.

"The demonstrations are going to be geared toward both the parents and the kids," he said.

There will be a sun safety station, along with life jacket safety and life jacket fittings.

Downing prevention will primarily be the focus of the information provided.

"It's so easy for a parent who might be getting dinner ready to look away for a minute," Coston said, adding that a child can easily fall into a pool or other body of water in that time. "Drowning is not the violent display of yelling and flailing one might think. It can be a very quick and a very quiet event."

In 2013, the Cape police received three reports of drownings - two involved children.

"All three resulted in death," he said.

Sunday's event aims to provide families with as many tools as possible so they can stay safe.

"Living near water and the Florida lifestyle is something that people look at and think it's relaxing and wonderful, but there is that underlying potential for danger," Coston said.

Local vendors, such as pool fencing and pool alarm businesses, will be on hand.

There are also door prizes and contests planned.

"We have some pool safety equipment, floatation devices," he said, adding that the giveaways help give parents and families an incentive to come out.

Last year, the event was well attended.

"Our goal is 100 percent education and awareness," Coston said.

Families who do not own a pool or do not live on the water can benefit from the event.

"They may not have a pool, but that child's friends very well may have," he said. "The reality is kids growing up in Florida are going to be around water."

The Cape Coral Yacht Club is at 5819 Driftwood Parkway.

Cape Coral Fire Station 5 is at 1029 Diplomat Parkway.



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