NJ Water Safety Summit

This winter, New Jersey Swim Safety Alliance, the Zak Foundation, and NJRecreation and Parks Association gathered over 120 drowning prevention professionals at the NJ Water Safety Summit. Attendees participated in a full day of presentations and work groups with a goal in mind. To create a comprehensive Drowning Prevention Strategy, representing all the exceptional work currently being done and forecasting for what will be needed in New Jersey to reduce drownings in the Garden State. They also hope to create an organization that can continue to keep the value of water safety as a priority here.

Since December 7, 2023, Chuck Warner and Judith Leblein Josephs, both Founding Board Members of the NJSSA have taken on the task of formalizing the hard work done at the NJ Water Safety Summit into a document to be shared with key legislators, state decision-makers and all those agencies that participated that day including all those that are quickly joining the effort. That document, which will ultimately find its home on the NJSSA website available for the public. This NJ Water Safety Strategy is a vehicle for NJSSA to continue the work through sharing resources, collaborating on projects, seeking funding, and foster the networking started at the Water Safety Summit.

This remarkable one-day event has already created incredible alliances between participants who never knew each other, rarely interacted, and has shown the remarkable work already being done statewide. All this effort has been done without a major “voice” in Trenton, in municipalities, counties as well as among commercial aquatics providers, waterparks, beaches, and waterfronts.

The room that day was a buzz of interaction, ideas for collaboration and new partnerships. So, what’s next? After sharing the remarkable work being done statewide, you can only imagine what we could achieve together!!! The interaction seems to grow daily with new collaborations being formed, all resulting from this one-day effort. Just imagine…………

NJ Swim Safety Alliance is in touch with team leads from the Summit and is working to build a New Jersey Water Safety Plan for review. Stay tuned for updates on this ongoing process.

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David is the Founder and President of National Safety Training Center and its predecessor companies – Elite Tactical Academy and Mine Brook Search & Rescue, Inc.  He is  a seasoned business leader and public safety education expert. He currently focuses on running this large training center and keeps active teaching both provider level classes and many instructor level classes.

He holds numerous certifications including:

  • American Red Cross Instructor / Trainer
    • BLS / ALS / PALS
    • Lay Rescuer
    • Lifeguarding
    • Babysitting
  • American Heart Association Training Center Faculty
    • BLS
    • HeartSaver
  • National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians Instructor
    • Tactical Emergency Casualty Care
    • Pre Hospital Trauma Life Support
    • Mental Health Resilience Officer
    • Psychological Trauma in EMS Patients


David has previously worked as a Red Cross employee in 2 roles:

  • Public Safety Instructor for the Northern VT Chapter – teaching corporate classes for the Red Cross
  • Lifeguard Instructor / Trainer / Educator for the National Association – Teaching the Instructor / Trainer Academies to create new Lifeguard Instructor / Trainers.


David lives in the Martinsville section of Bridgewater NJ with his family who are also active in the Public Safety Training / Medical training business. He is a local volunteer Firefighter / EMT, something he has been doing since 1984! David also serves as a volunteer in the US Coast Guard on a specialized deployable communications team.

Jon Siegel is the Head Age Group Coach at Cougar Aquatic Team in Montclair NJ and currently the Senior Coaches Rep for NJ Swimming LSC. Prior to that Jon  served as Senior Director of Competitive Aquatics at the Madison Area YMCA (MAY). During his tenureat MAY he helped design and oversee the construction of their new FM Kirby Aquatic Center, directed outdoor programming during the pandemic and acted as Senior Aquatic Director to bring the aquatic department back online. Over his coaching career, which has spanned 30+ years, Jon spent nine-and-a-half-years with the Montclair YMCA Dolphins as their Director of Competitive Aquatics, eight years as Head Coach at the Madison Area YMCA, three years at the West Essex YMCA, and a year as an Assistant Coach at the Summit Y. In addition, he has coached the Livingston Aquajets, Berkeley Heights Streamliners, Minisink Manta Rays and Morristown Beard High School. Jon is an ASCA Level 5 Swim Coach and was selected as the Head Coach of the NJ Swimming All Star Zone Team in 1999, 2002, 2005 and 2008, and as an assistant coach at Zones in 2000, 2003 and 2023. Jon also coached USA Swimming’s Eastern Zone Select Camp in 2006. Jon’s swimmers have competed in all levels of swim competition including Olympic Trials and an alumni to the Olympics. In addition to coaching, Jon has years of service to various swim boards and committees which include working on the New Jersey YMCA Swim League Executive Committee, New Jersey Swimming Board of Directors, and on the USA Swimming National Communications Committee and the National Camps Committee. John looks forward to bringing his extensive swim knowledge and experience to the Nj Swim Safety Alliance.