|For Immediate Release:
December 30, 2015
Elizabeth Benton (Blumenthal) 860-729-3589
Laura Maloney (Murphy) 202-228-1056
Patrick Malone (Himes) 202-225-5541
BLUMENTHAL, MURPHY, HIMES APPLAUD OVER $206,000 IN POOL SAFETY GRANTS FOR BRIDGEPORT AND STAMFORD
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Grants Awarded to Combat Pool and Spa Drownings and Drain Entrapments
|(HARTFORD, CT)- Today, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representative Jim Himes (D-4) applauded $206,225 in grants for the cities of Bridgeport and Stamford from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to provide assistance for education, training, and enforcement of pool safety requirements aimed at preventing pool and spa drownings and drain entrapments.
The City of Bridgeport will be awarded $74,973 for the Bridgeport Water Safety Awareness Project to expand on current water safety education and compliance efforts, including regular inspections of all public pools by city inspectors and on-site enforcement personnel to ensure compliance with current rules and regulations. The Project will also include free-to-the public swimming instruction. The City of Stamford will be awarded $131,252 for Stamford’s Pool Safety Program and will partner with the Stamford Family YMCA to segment their current learn- to- swim curriculum with the YMCA of the USA’s Safety Around Water program, increase the amount of youth receiving water safety education, and expand training and education opportunities for staff and Certified Pool Operators.
“Drowning is the number one cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 1 to 4 nationwide— tragedies that we can and must do more to prevent,” said Blumenthal, Murphy and Himes. “This critical federal funding will help ensure that the cities of Bridgeport and Stamford can expand on their current water safety initiatives to support more robust pool safety education and compliance, increase access to swimming instruction, and provide meaningful training opportunities for staff and pool operators. We applaud this wise investment that will keep our children and families safe while enjoying the recreational and health benefits of swimming.”
“My husband Brian and I are very proud that two cities in our home state of Connecticut — Bridgeport and Stamford — decided to pursue and secure federal Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety grants. Not a day goes by where we at The ZAC Foundation aren’t working to achieve our mission of ensuring no other family suffers from a water-related tragedy. We applaud Senator Blumenthal, Senator Murphy and Representative Himes for their commitment to water safety and the pursuit of these grants, which will go a long way to advance water safety education, training and inspections to more Connecticut pools, community centers and families. The ZAC Foundation stands ready to support and partner with these communities to advance this mission,” said Karen Cohn, water safety advocate and co-founder of The ZAC Foundation.
The ZAC Foundation was established in 2008 by Brian and Karen Cohn after the loss of their 6-year-old son Zachary Archer Cohn in a pool drain entrapment in their backyard swimming pool in Greenwich. Through education and advocacy, the Foundation is dedicated to preparing children and their families for a lifetime of swimming safety.
The Pool Safety Grant program, a first-of its kind grant program aimed at preventing pool and spa drownings and drain entrapments, is authorized through the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, (VGB Act) that was signed into law December 2007.