About Us

In 1989, representatives from: Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), fire departments, and hospital personnel met and formed what is now known as the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona (DPCA).

Today, DPCA is comprised of parents, health and safety professionals, business leaders, and concerned citizens. The group exists to provide a forum for drowning prevention efforts through the promotion of education, legislative action, awareness, and enhanced product safety.

As a community-based organization, DPCA attracts members from many different areas. We are able to bring together individuals from different cities, industries, and backgrounds to work toward a common cause that significantly benefits the entire community.

The Coalition promotes the following three core principles of drowning prevention: ABC's of Water Safety

The Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona strives to meet the following objectives through Advocacy, Education, Support & Outreach:

Reduce Water Related Incidents

  • Continue to increase public awareness about water safety in Arizona

  • Expand the role of swimming lessons as a layer of protection

  • Determine the factors influencing drowning trends in adult water-related incidents

  • Continue to promote standard CPR as the preferred life-saving method for children age 8 and younger and victims of water-related incidents

  • Continue to emphasize importance of pool barriers as a layer of protection

Expand the Drowning Surveillance System

  • Continue to expand statistical reporting throughout state

Support and Connect Families Impacted by Drowning

  • Connect families to grief resources and to Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona


Founding Member & Founding President, Dad of Rex

Founding Member & Phoenix Fire Department (Retired)


Melissa Sutton, President

National Drowning Prevention Alliance


Jay Arthur, Vice President

Phoenix Fire Department (Retired)


Tracey Fejt, Secretary

Banner Medical/Cardon Children's Medical Center


Tracy Herbst, Treasurer

Arcadia Infant Swim



Angela Clark

Lizard Pools2019/2020

Ed Huntsman

Retired U.S. Coast Guard, BoatCapted.com2020/2021

Jessica Mitchell

Tucson Medical Center2019/2020

Lori Schmidt, Past President

Scottsdale Fire2020/2021

Meghan Chute

Mesa Fire & Medical Department2019/2020

Michele Long

Mesa Fire Medical & Health2020/2021

Tina Gerola

Superstition Fire and Medical District2020/2021

Traci Tenkely

City of Chandler2019/2020

Valley of the Sun



Aaron Flowers


Christian Peck

City of Peoria

Dawn Norman

Sedona Parks & Recreation

Ed Swift

Swift Office Solutions & Children's Safety Zone

Elisa Hart

Water Safety Advocate & Mom of Eric Hart

Jill Ruot

Apache Junction Parks & Recreation

Jodi Layton

Pima Parks & Recreation

Josh Hoffman

Arizona Game and Fish

Karen Hewitt

Child CPR Awareness

Kim Jackson

Arizona Game and Fish

Megan Johnson

City of Peoria

Melissa Zukowski

Banner Medical - Tucson

Stacy Beadle

Michael Phelps Foundation

Tracy Koslowski

Drexel Heights Fire District

Advisory Council Requirements

Attend at least one Board Meeting a year (either by phone or in person) AND at least one General Meeting a year. Participation on at least one committee and in email discussion, when relevant. Staffing a DPCA booth for at least 2 special events in a year. Assistance in special projects and fundraising, as needed.
The Board usually meets the second Thursday of each month from 11 am- 1 pm. Our General Meetings are scheduled after the Board meetings every 2-3 months. All Board and Advisory Council members must have a current membership to the DPCA.


The DPCA relies on subject matter experts to provide critical information and guide decisions. These individuals make an impact with their knowledge and information provided to the coalition.

Cody Thomson

Canal Safety Advocate

Druann Letter

Water Safety Is for You Curriculum Developer & Mom of Weston

Dr. Tim Flood

AZDHS Medical Director

Ed Huntsman

Boating Related Casualties

Shannon Liebrock

The Ryan Thomas Foundation

Shelly Jamison

Phoenix Fire Department