Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, the Montana Coalition received an Award of Merit from the National Water Safety Congress for its promotion of water safety for children.
HMHB was nominated by Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks and the award was presented to Elizabeth Espelin, HMHB's Executive Director at its June FWP Commission meeting. Jeannie Sewell, Boating Law Administrator and Liz Lodman, Boat Education Coordinator presented the award.
In making the presentation, Lodman said, "The 'Stay On Top of It Campaign' has been a model of public/private partnership between community organizations and state government. We have seen the children's life jacket loaner program grow from six sites to twenty-two sites around the state and more than 6,000 families have received free water safety information packets through HMHB's 1-800 Family Health Information Line," Lodman said.
The award also cited HMHB's coordination and development of a Radio and Television Public Service Campaign, and holding personal watercraft events in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Partners in this effort have included FWP, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services- Emergency Medical Services, Montana Department of Transportation, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, American Red Cross, YMCA and marina operators across the state.
The National Water Safety Congress is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting recreation water safety in the United States. The Congress was organized in 1951 in response to a growing number of recreational related drownings. There are two basic approaches to attain goals of reducing fatalities, injuries, and property damage related to water recreation: education and enforcement.
The membership of the Congress includes water safety specialists from federal, state, and local governments, water/flood control authorities, water oriented utility companies, public safety agencies, water safety councils, and private individuals.