Miami Firefighters Double As Swim Coaches To Teach Water Safety

Nine-year-old Farra Williams showed off her swim skills in the deep end at the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue training pool Wednesday.

She had taken swimming lessons before, but none compared to her most recent instruction.

For most of the summer, firefighters have doubled as swim coaches, teaching Farra and more than 130 other kids swimming skills in 4-foot water.

On Wednesday, though, the group learned in 12-foot water.

“This is probably the best swimming experience that she’s had by far," said Wellington Williams, Farra’s father.

The firefighters are volunteering their time for kids who might not get swimming lessons otherwise.

In 2015, the most recent year available on record, the state health department reported 15 drownings for children in the same age group as those in the class: 6 to 16.

"We teach them how to doggie paddle, we teach them how to float," said swim coach, Lieutenant Keith Bell.

And there's something else he's hoping for too.

"Hopefully one day somewhere down the line, one of these young men or women become a firefighter for the Miami-Dade Fire Department,” Bell said.

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