JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. — A Greenwood man was sent to the hospital in critical condition after almost drowning in his pool Tuesday afternoon.
The Bargersville Fire Department said they responded to a report of a possible drowning around 5:15 p.m. Tuesday at a home on Honey Creek Boulevard.
Johnson County K-9 Deputy Andrew Eggebrecht was nearby when he heard the call and was able to pull the man out of the pool and begin CPR by the time the department arrived.
“I was able to get some of the heavy gear off and jump in the pool without a whole lot of wait time,” said Deputy Eggebrecht.
Crews with the department took over medical care, stabilizing the man before transporting him to an Indianapolis hospital in critical condition. The department does not know yet what led to the man almost drowning in the pool.
“We had 8 people working on this gentleman making sure he had every chance in the world and that hard work did pay off,” said Michael Pruitt, Deputy Fire Chief Bargersville Fire Department, “Now we can only pray that his improvement continues and he can return to his family and his pool again.”
The Red Cross says people should know the signs if someone is drowning, how to safely assist them, and know CPR and first aid.
The CDC says seconds count when it comes to helping drowning victims. CPR performed by bystanders has been shown to save lives and improve outcomes.
The CDC provided the following tips to help people stay safe in the water.
- Supervise When in or Around Water. Designate a responsible adult to watch young children while in the bath and all children swimming or playing in or around water. Supervisors of preschool children should provide “touch supervision”, be close enough to reach the child at all times. Because drowning occurs quickly and quietly, adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity (such as reading, playing cards, talking on the phone, or mowing the lawn) while supervising children, even if lifeguards are present.
- Use the Buddy System. Always swim with a buddy. Select swimming sites that have lifeguards when possible.
- Seizure Disorder Safety. If you or a family member has a seizure disorder, provide one-on-one supervision around water, including swimming pools. Consider taking showers rather than using a bathtub for bathing. Wear life jackets when boating.
- Learn to Swim. Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning. However, even when children have had formal swimming lessons, constant, careful supervision when children are in the water, and barriers, such as pool fencing to prevent unsupervised access, are still important.
- Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). In the time it takes for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could save someone’s life.
- Air-Filled or Foam Toys are not safety devices. Don’t use air-filled or foam toys, such as “water wings”, “noodles”, or inner tubes, instead of life jackets. These toys are not life jackets and are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
- Avoid Alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children.
- Don’t let swimmers hyperventilate before swimming underwater or try to hold their breath for long periods of time. This can cause them to pass out (sometimes called “hypoxic blackout” or “shallow water blackout”) and drown.
- Know how to prevent recreational water illnesses. For more information about illnesses from recreational water, visit the CDC’s website.
- Know the local weather conditions and forecast before swimming or boating. Strong winds and thunderstorms with lightning strikes are dangerous.
If you have a swimming pool at home:
- Install Four-Sided Fencing. Install a four-sided pool fence that completely separates the pool area from the house and yard. The fence should be at least 4 feet high. Use self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward with latches that are out of reach of children. Also, consider additional barriers such as automatic door locks and alarms to prevent access or alert you if someone enters the pool area.
- Clear the Pool and Deck of Toys. Remove floats, balls and other toys from the pool and surrounding area immediately after use so children are not tempted to enter the pool area unsupervised.
If you are in and around natural water settings:
- Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets. This is important regardless of the distance to be traveled, the size of the boat, or the swimming ability of boaters; life jackets can reduce risk for weaker swimmers too.
- Know the meaning of and obey warnings represented by colored beach flags. These may vary from one beach to another.
- Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents. Some examples are water that is discolored and choppy, foamy, or filled with debris and moving in a channel away from shore.
- If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore. Once free of the current, swim diagonally toward shore.