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Seminole County Partners With Sanford’s Swim Life For National Pool Safety Grant To Provide Free Survival Swim Lessons To Seminole County Youth

Seminole County, FL (March 8, 2024) — Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages one to four in Florida. In an effort to combat this statistic, the Seminole County Community Health Division received a two-year Pool Safely Grant from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission totaling $194,535. Seminole County recently awarded $115,000 of the grant funds to the Swim Life swim school in Sanford to provide free survival swim lessons to Seminole County residents as well as drowning prevention training to first responders and code enforcement officials. 

From the grant money, $75,000 will help fund one-on-one survival swim lessons to 125 Seminole County children ranging in age from six months to 12 years. These 15-minute lessons, held in Swim Life’s heated indoor pool at 251 Gordon Street, Sanford, focus on teaching young swimmers basic safety and survival in the water. Lessons take place four days per week for five weeks and transportation must be provided.

In addition, Seminole County children with disabilities – such as autism – can also qualify for the survival swim lesson vouchers. Kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are 160 times more likely to experience nonfatal and fatal drowning than their peers.

About $40,000 in grant funds was also earmarked for Swim Life to provide education to first responders, code enforcement, and other public safety professionals to help them identify pool safety hazards and other drowning prevention methods. This training will be implemented over the next year as a partnership between the Seminole County Community Health Division, the Seminole County Fire Department, and other agencies. Additional grant funding helped Seminole County purchase and distribute free door alarms to residents that alert parents and guardians if a child opens a door leading to a pool.

“We are thankful to the Seminole County Community Health Division and the Seminole County Fire Department for partnering with us on this important outreach,” said David Wiggins, Vice President of Development of Swim Life, Inc. “Our qualified Swim Life instructors are carefully screened and selected to teach survival swim and they initially receive over 100 hours of hands-on training and curriculum before they are certified.”

“Pediatric drowning calls are tragic and preventable accidents, and our first responders are invested and duty-bound to help our community avoid them,” said Seminole County Fire Chief Matt Kinley. “Promoting access to survival swim lessons and drowning prevention education is a key to helping us achieve these goals.”

Swim Lesson Scholarship Applications:

Parents or guardians can request the swim scholarship/voucher from Swim Life at:

  • The limited voucher swim scholarship is for Seminole County residents only.
  • Parents/guardians can apply for multiple children in their household.
  • Suggested ages: six months to 12 years. Exceptions made on a case-by-case basis.


Preference consideration given to those with:

  • A financial hardship to afford the lessons (lessons valued at $600 per child)
  • Children with disabilities.
  • The ability and commitment to provide transportation and attend all survival swim lessons.


For more information on Seminole County’s drowning prevention initiatives, visit

About Swim Life, Inc: Swim Life was established by Kelly Wiggins in 2012 to meet the growing need for survival lessons in Central Florida. Since its inception, Swim Life has taught thousands of children in Seminole County and 45 other locations in Florida, the United States, and abroad.  Visit for more information.



About the Seminole County Fire Department (SCFD): Founded in 1974, the Seminole County Fire Department proudly serves a countywide population in Seminole County, Florida of nearly a half-million residents with 20 fire stations. SCFD is an ISO Class 1 rated, Internationally Accredited Agency with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) and the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS). SCFD provides emergency services to the unincorporated areas of the County and in the Cities of Altamonte Springs, Winter Springs, and Casselberry. The Department has first response agreements in place with the Cities of Lake Mary, Longwood, Sanford, and Oviedo. Follow SCFD on social on Facebook (@SCFD.1974), Instagram (@seminolecountyfd) and Twitter/X (@SCFDPIO). For more information, visit 

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