Investigating Chicago and Northshore REscue Skills and Swim to Survive: Community Utilization and Experience (I CAN RES3CUE)
Major Goals and Objectives
Little progress has been made toward reducing fatal drowning incidents in the United States (U.S.) in the last 20 years. Recent data from the Great Lakes indicate the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in excess drownings during summer 2020. Chicago has 26 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and 24 free, public beaches that are punctuated with piers and jetties. The resultant structural currents pose unique risks to patrons who often access the lake outside of the official summer season and in the summer season after lifeguards go off duty at 7 p.m. There is an urgent need for effective education programs to raise awareness about recreation safety in Lake Michigan, the deadliest of the Great Lakes, and to increase water competence in diverse communities that have historically been excluded from swimming. The community-engaged injury prevention and water safety experts in Chicago are uniquely situated to respond.
Objective 1: To assess the impact of Chicago Park District’s Community Water Safety Trainings on program participant knowledge and skills, community-level knowledge, and distressed swimmer events and drownings.
Objective 2: To implement, pilot, and evaluate the Swim to Survive Program enhanced with Great Lakes safety education in Evanston, IL and adapt the program for implementation in Chicago communities.