Anne Arundel County considering defibrillators at pools

The Anne Arundel County Council is considering requiring pool operators to keep defibrillators among their safety equipment.

"The most important job of government is to protect public health and safety, and this legislation is a common-sense solution to save lives," said Country Executive John R. Leopold, at whose request "Connor's Law" was introduced Monday.

The bill named for Connor John-James Freed, a 5-year-old who drowned in Crofton in 2006.

A lifeguard at the Crofton Country Club can be heard on the 911 recording saying that the pool had an automatic external defibrillator but she was not allowed to use it because she was not trained in its use. The Red Cross now requires training on the devices.

"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 legislation would affect public and semi-public pools. The county code defines a semi-public pool as "an adult-only condominium swimming pool with a maximum bather load of 50."

Private pools associated with single-family dwellings would not be affected.

Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death among children ages 1 to 4, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

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