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San Diego County giving away hundreds of pool alarms to prevent drowning of young children, pets

Posted at 6:54 AM, May 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-23 09:54:47-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – It's been nearly three years since Emily Friske faced one of the most terrifying days of her life.

"Nobody ever prepares you for the heartbreak and just the out-of-body body experience that goes along with that kind of traumatic event. I distinctly remember saying this doesn't happen to us,” said Friske, whose daughter survived a drowning incident.

On June 1, 2020, Friske’s daughter Addie had gotten into the backyard pool of her parents’ home.

"I saw her floating in the shallow end of the pool; she wasn't breathing, she didn't have a heartbeat. She was really blue. So, I jumped in, I pulled her out and I started CPR,” Friske said.

With the help of her husband, emergency crews and the hospital staff, Friske said her daughter survived.

"They got her back, thankfully, and it still gets kind of hard to talk about,” Friske said.

After 30 hours, Addie woke up and was able to speak. Two years later, with therapy, Addie is doing better.

"She is your very normal, five-year-old, spitfire kind of girl now,” Friske said.

Now, the San Diego County Fire Protection District and Cal Fire are hoping to prevent future incidents like the Friske family’s near-tragedy from happening to others.

Residents within the San Diego County or Deer Springs Fire Protection Districts can apply to get one of the 400 plus pool alarm devices that will be given away free of charge.

"What it does is it detects waves in your pool. And once it does that, it sets off a loud alarm in your pool and your home as well,” said Cal Fire Capt. Brent Pascua. "It's just a great way, another tool that we can use to protect our kids from drowning this summer."

Friske and her family have been vigilant, adding more security around the home to protect their kids and family members. She said these kinds of alarms are a critical barrier for other families.

"I said it three years ago. I say it today. It can happen in a second. It's quiet. You have to know that there are multiple barriers in place like a device that's going alert you and save your child's life,” Friske said.

For instructions on how to apply for a pool alarm, visit