The Main Stream

Jun 7, 2013 2:14 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Lifeguards increase training after public pool near-drowning

MARANA - The Parks and Recreation Department is increasing lifeguard training after a boy nearly drowned at a public pool.

Sunday, an 8-year-old was airlifted from the pool at Ora Mae Harn Park.

Shauna Harris helped him after a man pulled him from the water. She is a respiratory therapist.

"I was scared," she said. "It's one thing to be in a hospital and be prepared. It's another thing to have this happen just out in the open."

She said she went to the Marana Town Council Meeting this week to make sure they were taking the incident seriously.

"It's something that I'm really passionate about," she said. "I don't want this to just go away. Something needs to be addressed."

The Town is paying attention. They started an investigation and talked to the lifeguards Monday. They still want to talk to Northwest firefighters who responded, the helicopter crew that took the boy to the hospital and some of the witnesses, according to Marana Spokesman Rodney Campbell.

They are starting by making sure their Red-Cross-certified lifeguards get more training.

"It certainly doesn't hurt," Campbell said. "Whether you're a lifeguard or whatever you do, to continue to train and continue to refresh yourself on procedures."

Campbell said they are still looking to see if everybody followed those procedures.

"We're still in the middle of doing the investigation," he said. "It definitely wasn't something where an investigation is going to be wrapped up in a matter of hours. You're talking more like days."

Harris thinks lifeguards were negligent.

"Honestly, yes. I do. I do," she said, "when there's 2 lifeguards on the roof sunbathing."

There were 4 lifeguards on duty at the time of the accident. Harris and Campbell both estimate there were 50 to 60 people at the pool. It was a private event for a youth football team.

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