Drowning Prevention is Everyone’s Responsibility: Advocacy, Research, and Prevention


Brought to you by The National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) and Missouri Emergency Medical Services for Children (MO-EMSC)

Hosts: Dr. Joelle Donofrio-Odmann and Dr. Joseph Finney


Direct Download: https://traffic.libsyn.com/34eda738-c0e3-471c-94e6-5d7bb718e70f/Drowning_part_2-_Drowning_Prevention_Is_Everyones_Responsibility.mp3

GET CEU CREDIT THROUGH PRODIGY EMS: https://frontend.prodigyems.com/class/EA5EDAC0-EB23-4CF4-8735-6565BBD1599F

Content Experts: Joelle Donofrio-Odmann, DO and Joseph Finney, MD

Special Guests: 

Molly A. Greenshields, MD: Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Children’s Minnesota 

Caitlin Farrell, MD: Associate Physician in Pediatrics, Division of Emergency Medicine and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School. 

Director, Section on EMS and Prehospital Care at Boston Children’s Hospital 

Caitlin Farrell, MD • EIIC

Elise Zimmerman, M.D., SIM Program Director; Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UC San Diego
Chris and Christina Martin: Founders of The Gunner Martin Foundation and advocates for drowning prevention 
Personal Tragedy Inspires Professional Football Player To ...
Chris Martin Wife Son
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Jon Boisvert: City of San Diego Oceanfront Lifeguard, San Diego Junior Lifeguard instructor

Jonathan Boisvert - Chef d'unité - Ministère de la Sécurité publique du Québec (MSP) | LinkedIn

B-side Narrator: Joelle Donofrio-Odmann, DO and Joseph Finney, MD 

Editing and Publication: Joseph Finney, MD 

Episode Summary

We have a terrific episode for you today for this part 2 of our pediatric drowning series. To recap, episode one focused on the experiences of ocean front lifeguards and Midwest paramedics where we laid out prehospital priorities for the management of pediatric drowning. If you haven’t listened already, check that episode out before this one. The foundation of episode one will inform the understanding of this episode so go check that one out now. Ok, now for part 2 of our series. Today we are focusing on the story of two very special individuals who have made it their mission to ensure no more children die from drowning. They will take us on a personal journey that changed the trajectory of their lives forever leading to a career as a firefighter and a vocation of advocacy to help them heal after a tragic event. And it is in that advocacy that today’s episode really originates from because, as we will learn, the key to successful prehospital pediatric drowning management is ensuring the event never happens in the first place. And it’s there that we meet 3 experts in quality improvement and injury prevention as well as research. We will discuss some amazing work focused on drowning prevention and exploring the factors associated with disparities in pediatric drowning.  

A word of caution, this episode recounts a real-life emergency that may be difficult for some listeners. And one last thing, although we normally guide the discussion for you the listener with pauses and summaries, this first part of the episode is so powerful and so real, it needs no guidance. On the back half of the episode, we will be there to highlight and reinforce but for this first part, just try and follow our guests. This is worth your full attention.

Ok, let’s get to it!

EMS Professionals are the frontline of drowning prevention and advocacy!! You can be the difference. 

Key Tips for EMS Medical Directors and Agencies:

  • Any drowning or water training should include a pediatric resuscitation scenario
  • Know your pediatric destinations for a drowning victim. They may require ECMO!
  • Work with community partners to advocate for water safety and encourage swim lessons
  • Collaborate with CPR programs in your area to teach bystander CPR

5 keys to water safety:

  1. Adult supervision: Sober designated water watcher
  2. Avoid water wings or floaties
  3. Set up barriers to water access (door alarm, 4-sided fence, pool alarm, self latching gait)
  4. Multiple layers of barriers
  5. Swim lessons (As early as 1 year if developmentally appropriate, all kids by age 4 years)

Critical Factors in an effective water barriers:

  • Isolation fences (enclosed on all 4 sides, can’t enter the pool directly from the house

  • Fence height >4ft, bottom of fence <4” from the ground, vertical supports <4” apart

  • Fence gait opens outward away from the pool and is self-closing

  • Gait latch >4.5ft and self-latching

  • Climb resistant fencing

  • Inflatable toys hidden away from the pool

  • Pool covers alone are not adequate prevention


The Gunner Martin Foundation: https://thegunnermartinfoundation.com/

Instagram: @the_gunner_martin_foundation Facebook: The Gunner Martin Foundation Email: info@thegunnermartinfoundation.com

Article on Chris and Christina:   https://www.hmpgloballearningnetwork.com/site/emsworld/feature-story/ems-week-safety-day-chris-martin-firefighteremt-water-safety-advocate

The Swim On Foundation: https://www.swimonfoundation.org/

The Injury Free Coalition for Kids: https://www.injuryfree.org/


AAP Drowning Prevention Toolkit: https://www.aap.org/en/news-room/campaigns-and-toolkits/drowning-prevention/






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