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Seminole County Fire Honors Firefighter Who Lost Son to a Drowning by Offering Free Pool/Door Alarms

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May 23, 2023 | FLORIDA DOREEN OVERSTREET, Correspondent
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

Seminole County, Fla. (May 18, 2023) – May is National Water Safety Month and drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death for children ages one to four in Florida. Just this year in Seminole County, there has been four pediatric drowning fatalities and a total of 34 in the state of Florida. In an effort to promote drowning prevention safety measures, Seminole County Government and the Seminole County Fire Department have partnered with the Gunner Martin Foundation to distribute free door/pool alarms to residents who have a pool and/or live near a body of water. Pool/door alarms may be installed on doors leading to the pool area of a home, alerting parents/caregivers with an audible loud alarm when outside doors are opened.

The pool alarms are available for pick up at Seminole County’s Central Branch Library, located at 215 N. Oxford Rd. in Casselberry, while supplies last (one per household)

Visit for more information.

Two-year-old Gunner Martin drowned in a family pool on April 6, 2016, and his father Chris Martin was inspired to become a firefighter at the Seminole County Fire Department because of this tragic incident. He and his wife Christina fundraise every year for Gunner’s birthday and this year the money funds pool alarms in his honor. He and his wife Christina established the Gunner Martin Foundation in his honor to provide awareness and education on water safety, as well as free resources to the community as well as help fund swim lessons for children with families in financial need.

Pool/door alarms are just one important barrier of protection that parents/caregivers should use to avoid drownings. 

“Pool alarms are extremely loud, and that is what is needed and for a good life-saving reason,” said Christina Martin. “When Gunner woke up from his nap and opened the sliding glass door to the pool, there was a simple ‘beeping’ alarm sound, but it was not loud enough to alert us.”

There are currently 100 pool alarms available and Seminole County Government has applied for national grant funding for more pool alarms as well as additional funds for drowning prevention outreach.

“The Seminole County Fire Department is committed to working with residents and community partners to prevent pediatric drownings, and we are thankful for the Gunner Martin Foundation’s partnership, and for Firefighter Chris Martin and his family helping to raise awareness,” said Seminole County Fire Chief Matt Kinley. “Pediatric drowning calls are tragic accidents and our first responders are invested and duty-bound to help our community avoid them.”

Find more drowning prevention resources, including the necessary barriers of protection (e.g., adult supervision, pool fences, swim lessons, CPR etc.), as a drowning prevention public service message from the Martin family as well as more about this program at: 

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