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EAST PALESTINE Accident sparks focus on safety



Published: Thu, June 21, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Park employees will be trained in CPR next week, the city recreation director said.

By NANCY TULLIS

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

EAST PALESTINE -- After a near drowning at East Palestine city pool last week, a city paramedic is touting the importance of the general public learning rescue breathing and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

"You just never know," said Luann Kraus, the East Palestine paramedic who was on call and respondend June 15 after a lifeguard pulled David R. Long of Chillicothe from the bottom of the pool.

Kraus said Long was treated at Salem Community Hospital and discharged Saturday.

She said that when she arrived at the pool Friday afternoon lifeguard Kelly Wendell, 16, and Kay Westover, a Salem Community Hospital nurse who happened to be at the pool, were tending to Long.

"They had him on his side and he was breathing, but having trouble," Kraus said. "He's lucky he had the help he got. He never lost a pulse."

Uncommon: Kraus said Friday's call was only the second for a near drowning in her 16-year career. The other was a toddler who nearly drowned in a bucket of water.

"Yes, it is possible for someone to drown in a very small amount of water," she said. "It's good to know what to do. You might save someone's life.

"You have to be aware of what's going on around you and alert to possible hazards," she said.

Grant Springer, city parks and recreation director, praised the efforts of Wendell, a first-year lifeguard. He said eight of the 11 lifeguards assigned to the city pool this year are in their first year.

"They are all very good," Springer said. "They know their post rotations and they don't kid around."

Springer said a meeting is planned Friday morning with lifeguards and other park employees to review emergency procedures with city EMS personnel.

"We want to ensure that we can notify EMS as quickly as possible and provide them with as much information as we can," he said.

Springer also noted that all park employees, including the groundskeeping crews, will be trained in CPR next week.

Springer said although some bystanders were critical of lifeguards, he said they handled the situation properly. He said Wendell followed proper protocol in allowing Westover, who had more medical training, to step in.

tullis@vindy.com




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