Pool opens early to demonstrate lifelike rescue drill - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Pool opens early to demonstrate lifelike rescue drill

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While pools don't open until Memorial Day, the Marion Pool opened up early on Thursday night as a way to encourage safety this summer.

The Parks and Recreation Department teamed up with police and the fire department for Marion's community safety night which invited people out to the pool early.

Inside, lifeguards demonstrated and practiced water safety drills with children swimming nearby.

Lifeguards were then put to the test when they were faced with a lifelike rescue drill where a girl appeared to be drowning as she floated face down in the water. They pulled the girl out of the water and started CPR on her. 

The drill was setup to make it feel as real as possible. Lifeguards had to make a real 9-1-1 call and had to continue CPR until the fire department arrived on the scene.

This was all in front of a crowd of swimmers.

"It helps the lifeguards make sure we're ready and see if we need to practice anymore and it kind of helps for the public to know that okay we are here and we are going to be keeping you safe," Ben Allington, a third-year lifeguard said.

Allington said they knew they were going to be tested but they didn't know how and who it would be. He happened to be closest to the girl during the drill and was the first one in the water.

"Before it happened I was kind of psyching myself up. Then, right when it started, I was like okay you got to calm down and then I went through it and it was all perfectly fine," Allington said.

In her 22nd summer, pool manager, Cindy Barrett, said they rarely, if ever, have to call 9-1-1 but this a reminder for everyone to be safe around water this summer.

"A person can drown in just one inch of water. That could be in a bucket, a tub, or a pool. The more people know how to be safe around water because obviously the more safe that they'll be and the fewer accidents they'll have," she said.

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