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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                 October 28, 2005

Release M-88




The 2005 Ocean Safety and Drowning Prevention Conference will be held November 9 & 10, at the Queen’s Conference Center in Honolulu.  The conference is an annual event for lifeguards, emergency medical personnel, public safety and public health practitioners in Hawaii.


            This year’s conference theme is “Saving Lives by Sharing Knowledge,” and speakers will include Mayor Mufi Hannemann, State Civil Defense Vice Director Ed Teixeira and Elizabeth Char, M.D., director of the Honolulu Emergency Services Department. Focus will be on disaster response preparedness issues for public safety agencies and other ocean safety-related topics.


            The conference keynote speaker is Jane Wigginton, M.D., professor of emergency medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and the assistant medical director for Dallas EMS. Her address will include her experiences during the response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. She will also address advances in emergency medical treatment of drowning patients.


            Mayor Hannemann said, “Seventy-one people drowned in Hawaii last year, the highest toll in years. That’s a distressingly high figure in this Island state, and it happened despite the outstanding work of our first responders. This conference represents the efforts to which they go to hone their skills and expertise.”


            Dr. Char, whose department includes the Emergency Medical Services Division and the Ocean Safety Division, said,  “Last December’s tsunami in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean  as well as Hurricane Katrina underscored the need for preparedness as well as the need for cooperation amongst responding agencies and the need for more education on the part of our citizens.”


The 2005 Ocean Safety and Drowning Prevention Conference is sponsored by the Honolulu Emergency Services Department, the State Department of Health Injury Prevention and Control Program, and the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association.


            The conference is open to all interested parties. Registration fee for the two days is $100, with a discounted fee of $75 for EMS, Ocean Safety, or other first responder personnel.


            For further information and registration form, go to the conference website online at:, or call conference coordinator Jimmy Barros at (808) 922-3888, ext. 27.




Bill Brennan, 527-6928

Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767


Friday, October 28, 2005

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