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A Drowning Epidemic During a Global Pandemic

Erika Lakey, B.S.

Apr 19, 2022|Research Posters

At the start of the pandemic in 2020, all non-essential businesses closed, including swim lessons. When Florida reopened, tourists quickly resumed visiting. Osceola County, located in Central Florida, noticed an influx of drowning and near-drowning calls. Several agencies and organizations reported an increase of drownings in 2021, up to 98 from 69 in 20201. In addition to the COVID-related stress, the drownings were taking their toll on first responders’ mental health.

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The Evidence Base for a New "Vehicle in Water" Emergency Dispatch Protocol

Gordon G. Giesbrecht, PhD

Mar 20, 2016|AEDR 2016 Vol. 4 Issue 1|Concept Papers

Every year, 350-400 people die in submersed vehicles in North America, with these deaths accounting for up to 10% of all drownings. Vehicle submersion has the highest fatality rate of any type of single vehicle accident.5 Most of these incidents are survivable, as vehicles usually hit the water in an upright position causing, at most, non-disabling injuries; in these cases death results from either ineffective, or no, self-rescue actions by the victim(s). In general, emergency dispatch protocols for sinking vehicles have been either nonexistent or ineffective to deal...

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