County Executive Leopold Signs “Connor’s Law” to Protect Children at Local Pools
Defibrillators increase drowning survival rate to 85 percent
Annapolis, MD (July 6, 2012) - County Executive John R. Leopold today signed “Connor’s Law,” which requires that defibrillators be on site at all public and semi-public pools.
“The most important job of government is to protect public health and safety, and this law is a common-sense solution to save lives,” County Executive Leopold said. “Lifeguards are already trained to perform resuscitation and use defibrillators. We need to make sure that public pools have the equipment needed.”
In 2006, 5-year-old Connor John-James Freed drowned in a local pool in Crofton. He died on the way to the hospital. 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 Red Cross now requires training on how to use the devices.
Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children 5 years old and younger. County law already required face masks, latex gloves, a pathogen control kid, a light, a rescue pole, a rescue tube and other life-saving equipment. The Department of Health regulates 275 pools.
“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 Connor Cares Foundation raises money to provide AEDs to facilities in need of financial support. For more information, go to http://www.connorcares.org
The attached photo was taken at the Old Mill Swim Club today. Seated at the table (left to right) is Debbie Freed, County Executive Leopold and Dr. Brian Valle, a local dentist who donated an AED to the pool. As an emergency ordinance, the law takes effect immediately.