A bill requiring all public and semi-public swimming pools in Anne Arundel County to have automated external defibrillators was signed into law Friday by Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold.

The law, called Connor's law for a 5-year-old boy who drowned in 2006 at the Crofton County Club pool, was passed Monday by the County Council. The pool had the equipment, but lifeguards didn't know how to use it, said the child's parents, Thomas Freed and Debbie Neagle-Freed. Since then, learning to use the devices is part of lifeguards' training, but not all pools have AEDs, they told the council.

The Freeds started a foundation, Connor Cares, which promotes pool safety and raises money to buy AEDs for pools that can't afford the devices. By shocking the heart into action, the devices can save lives.

Emergency legislation the law will take effect immediately. County officials said they will work with pool operators and don't plan to issue citations immediately.

Andrea.siegel@baltsun.com

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