According to a new bill passed on November 13, 2012 by the Montgomery County Council, automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, will be required onsite at all public and semi-public swimming pools in Montgomery County, Maryland. This legislation will come into effect on November 13, 2013. For those unfamiliar with this device, an AED is a portable electronic device that provides an electric shock to the heart in order to re-establish normal contraction rhythms in a heart having dangerous arrhythmia or that is in cardiac arrest.
Last summer, on July 6, 2012 Anne Arundel County passed a similar legislation as a part of “Connor’s Law”. The story of Connor’s Law dates back to 2006, when 5-year-old Connor John-James Freed drowned in a public pool in Crofton, Maryland. A lifeguard can be heard on the 911 tape stating that the pool had an automatic external defibrillator (AED), but he was not allowed to use it because he was not trained. The child died on the way to the hospital.
“Statistics prove that the use of defibrillators increases your chance of survival,” said Debbie Neagle-Freed, Connor’s mother and founder of the Connor Cares Foundation. “My child would be alive today if this law was in effect.”
The council has provided a year for properties to get in compliance. This will allow for pool owners to obtain the required devices and structure a maintenance program and additional safety procedures. This change also impacts staffing decisions at county swimming pools. According to the new bill, at least one AED-trained staff member must be available at all times. Pool owners may be held liable if a swimming pool is not equipped with an AED device and/or properly-trained staff and a situation occurs where AED use is required.
Inspections by the Department of Health and Human Services will help to ensure that all public and semi-public pools in Montgomery County have the required equipment and staff.
Looking towards the future, Connor’s Law is predicted to spread throughout neighboring Maryland counties and states. Eventually, this legislation will become a consideration for communities nationwide.
If your pool is directly impacted, it is important to take the necessary steps to price and install an AED device. An approved maintenance and testing program will also be key for compliance. In regards to staffing, properties must also consider the training required for onsite and seasonal staff. Michelle Porter, President of American Pool commented on this news, “We have worked with many properties in Anne Arundel County when this law was first passed in July of 2012” she added, “At American Pool, we are more than prepared to handle the needs of Montgomery County pools and we are available to answer any questions regarding this bill.”
Contact American Pool today by calling 1-877-540-7665 or completing an online request form.
View this bill on the Montgomery County Government website: http://www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/