(WHTM) — Local EMS agencies are reminding people not to go swimming alone after a 71-year-old man was found dead in a pool in York County over the weekend.
EMS agencies said this applies to kids and adults. First responders say they see more close calls with kids, but adults can find themselves in dangerous situations too.
“You want to make sure that no one is near the pool who doesn’t know how to swim,” Nathan Harig, Assistant Chief of Cumberland Goodwill EMS, said.
Harig said his agency sees one or two drownings every summer. It usually happens in private pools with no lifeguards, and it often happens to children.
“You don’t know where your child is, check the pool first, that’s one of the places where seconds really matter,” he said.
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Harig also said hotel pools can be particularly dangerous.
“People will go on vacation, they’re often not lifeguarded, and they just assume, ‘Oh my child knows how to swim,’” he said.
However, kids are not the only ones at risk.
“Especially for adults, one of the potential causes of drowning is a medical emergency while you’re in the water,” Harig said.
When it comes to holidays like Independence Day, there is also a specific concern with adults in the pool — drinking.
“It can, you know, make them sleepy and they tend to tire easily,” Laura Taylor, Chief of Southern York County EMS, said.
Taylor said it is also important to know what to do if something happens. Serious damage can happen to someone who is unresponsive in four to six minutes.
“They should learn CPR beforehand,” Taylor said. “The sooner you start, the better chance the person will have of being revived.”
She added that jumping in is not the best way to rescue someone, and could cause more problems.
“If you’re not a strong swimmer they could pull you under as well,” she said.
Instead, Harig recommends, “If you can get someone to maybe reach out a tree branch or a pool skimmer or something like that or throw them a flotation device.”
However, Harig and Taylor both say prevention is the best plan.
“Always be alert and pay attention and have a safety plan and a buddy in effect before you go out on the water,” Taylor said.