Winner of the NDPA's 2012
      "Lifesaver of the Year" Award
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Drownings Up – GLSRP Presenting at Great Lakes Conference

April 19th, 2017 by greatadmin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Contact:
Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project
Dave Benjamin, Executive Director, 708-903-0166, dave.benjamin@glsrp.org
Bob Pratt, Executive Director of Education, 517-643-2553, bob.pratt@glsrp.org
www.GLSRP.org 

Lake Michigan Drownings up 84% Last year over 2015
Great Lakes Drownings up 78% over 2015 

Surf Rescue Project to Present Thursday & Friday at
Great Lakes Water Safety Conference in Sheboygan 

GREAT LAKES, USA – The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) announces its latest drowning statistics and that it will be presenting on several subjects at the Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium’s “Great Lakes Water Safety Conference” Thursday and Friday, April 20 and 21, at the Maywood Environmental Park, 3615 Mueller Rd. in Sheboygan, WI.

In 2016 the GLSRP tracked 98 Great Lakes drownings; 46 of those were in Lake Michigan plus 6 more Lake Michigan drowning accidents that were last listed in critical condition; in 2015 there were 25 Lake Michigan drownings, up 84%. Overall since 2010, the GLSRP has tracked over 536 Great Lakes drownings (Full statistics here).

GLSRP Presentations will be:
Thursday, April 20, 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Interception Before the Water: Risk Communication – Compassionately Addressing The Stigma of Drowning

Thursday, April 20, 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
“Reaching the Masses – The Dream of a Standardized Water Safety Education Curriculum

Friday, April 21, 8:10 a.m. to 9:55 a.m.
Trends in Lifeguarding: Innovative Ways toSave Lives – GLSRP Open Water Surf Lifeguard In-Service Training and First Responder Water Rescue and Water Resuscitation In-Service Training

Full GLWSC Conference agenda here.

“Unfortunately we know that the big picture of drowning continues to be a neglected public health issue [2015 WHO report] and we know that it needs to be part of the school curriculum and addressed year round,” said Dave Benjamin, GLSRP executive director.

“Water safety and drowning survival is not common sense. It’s a silent epidemic that gets very little proactive funding or attention.”

“We believe that water safety and drowning survival is not rocket science,” Benjamin added. “It is simple bullet pointed information that is not being efficiently or effectively delivered.”

According to Benjamin, if you ask anyone anywhere in the United States, ‘what do you do if your clothes catch on fire’ they will tell you, ‘Stop, Drop, and Roll.’ But ask them ‘what do you do if you are drowning’ and you’ll most often get silence and blank stares.

Since June 2011, the GLSRP has performed 363 Great Lakes Water Safety Presentations in 7 of the 8 Great Lakes states; 170 of those occurred in 2016 and it has plans for a lot more in 2017.

PUBLIC SAFETY IN SCHOOLS TODAY
In schools today there are fire drills, tornado drills, active shooter drills, and even earthquake drills, but very little water safety education.

YET more school aged children will likely die drowning each year than in fires, tornadoes, school shootings, and earthquakes combined. Combined! 

“A Water Safety School Curriculum is the fastest approach to reach the largest audience and make a significant impact in the shortest amount of time.  The curriculum targets elementary students, Junior High students, High School students, parents of each age group, and trainers of the curriculum,” Benjamin concluded.

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ABOUT THE GLSRP
The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, Inc. (GLSRP) is about saving lives.  It is a nonprofit 501c3 corporation that is a Chapter of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA). 

The GLSPR:

  1. Tracks the Great Lakes drowning statistics (536+ drownings since 2010)
  2. Performs “Great Lakes Water Safety” presentations and trainings (Over 336 in 7 of the 8 Great Lakes states since 2011)
  3. Works with family and friends of Great Lakes drowning victims to advocate water safety.
  4. Hosts Open Water Surf Lifeguard Training and First Responder In-service Training

Mission: To eradicate drownings by being the leader of Great Lakes water safety by providing training, public preparedness, and public awareness.

Vision: Everyone in the Great Lakes region, nationwide and worldwide, is knowledgeable, engaged and proactive in water safety with an emphasis on the Great Lakes region.

VIDEOS

  1. WGN Chicago’s Very Own segment, “Man makes water safety education his life’s passion”
  2. Dave Benjamin’s drowning accident and ‘Because I said I would’ water safety promise video
  3. John & Kathy Kocher’s “Gentle Giant” ‘Because I said I would promise video.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Like GLSRP’s Facebook Page
Follow GLSRP on Twitter @ripcurrentsafeT

WHO:
Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project

WHAT:
Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium’s “Great Lakes Water Safety Conference”

WHERE:
Maywood Environmental Park
3615 Mueller Rd.
Sheboygan, WI

WHEN:
Thursday, April 20, 2017
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and
7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
&
Friday, April 21, 2017
7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

GLSRP ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Since 2011, the GLSRP has performed over 365 Great Lakes Water Safety presentations in 7 of the 8 Great Lakes states
  • Over 300 Media mentions since 2011 glsrp.org/newsroom
  • April 20, 2017 – GLSRP Executive Director, Dave Benjamin, presented, “Compassionately Addressing the Stigma of Drowning” at the Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium’s Annual Conference in Sheboygan, WI.
  • April 12, 2017 – GLSRP Executive Director, Dave Benjamin, presented, “Compassionately Addressing the Stigma of Drowning” at the National Drowning Prevention Alliance’s (NDPA) Annual Conference in Pittsburg, PA.
  • April 12, 2017 – GLSPR Board Member, John Kocher and his wife Kathy, received the National Drowning Prevention Alliance’s “Lifesaver of the Year Award” for their water safety advocacy after losing their son, Matthew, 15, in a Lake Michigan rip current
  • April 28, 2016 – GLSRP Executive Director, Dave Benjamin, received the “2016 Supporter of the Year” award presented by the nonprofit, ‘Because I said I would’ for his promise video “Drowning doesn’t look like drowning”, which discusses his Lake Michigan drowning accident and life dedication to Great Lakes water safety (Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeqxKGQ_BJg).
  • April 28, 2016 – GLSRP Board Member, John Kocher and his wife Kathy, received the “2016 Supporter of the Year” award presented by the nonprofit, ‘Because I said I would’ for their water safety promise video, “Gentle Giant”, about the loss of their son, Matthew, in a Lake Michigan rip current (Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5SJlCK_a9g).
  • April 22, 2016 – The GLSRP performed the Keynote Speech and also presented “The Vicious Cycle of the Drowning Epidemic – The Need for a Water Safety School Curriculum” at the Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium Conference in Grand Haven, MI
  • April 22, 2016 – GLSRP Board Member, John Kocher, presented about the loss of his son, Matthew, during the “Story Telling” segment at the Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium Conference in Grand Haven, MI
  • April 19, 2016 – The GLSRP performed the Keynote Speech and also presented “The Vicious Cycle of the Drowning Epidemic – The Need for a Water Safety School Curriculum” at the Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium Conference in Cleveland, OH
  • April 19, 2016 – GLSRP Board Member, Melissa Zirkle, won the 2016 Superhero of the Year award presented by the Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium
  • April 19, 2016 – GLSRP Board Member, Melissa Zirkle, presented about the loss of her son, Jermaine, during the “Story Telling” segment at the Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium Conference in Cleveland, OH
  • March 31, 2016 – Presented “The Vicious Cycle of the Drowning Epidemic – The Need for a Water Safety School Curriculum” at the NDPA’s Annual Educational Conference in Mesa, AZ
  • March 29, 2016 – The GLSRP received a 2016 NDPA Community Lifesaver Award
  • March 29, 2016 – John Kocher, GLSRP Board Member, his wife Kathy received a 2016 NDPA Community Lifesaver Award
  • May 6, 2015 – Presented at Great Lakes Beach Hazards and Water Safety Conference in Gaylord, MI
  • April 21, 2015 – Co-Hosted and Presented at the Great Lakes Beach Hazards Water Safety Conference in Michigan City, IN
  • March 12, 2015 – Melissa Zirkle, GLSRP Board Member, won the 2015 NDPA National Lifesaver of the Year Award Winner
  • March 14, 2013 – Presented at the NDPA’s Symposium in Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • November 1, 2012 – Presented at the2nd International Rip Current Symposium  in Sydney, Australia
  • September 3, 2012 – Winner of the “Outstanding Service to the Great Lakes Community” award presented by the Dairyland Surf Classic
  • March 9, 2012 – Presentedat the NDPA’s 11th Annual Symposium in San Diego, CA
  • March 8, 2012 – GLSRP Executive Director, Bob Pratt, “National Lifesaver of the Year”award winner

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