The landscape of America’s largest township is dotted with in-ground and above ground pools that are being readied by their owners for the coming summer season. With pools soon to open, Supervisor Anthony J. Santino is sounding the alarm for a safe and tragedy-free summer. As pool season approaches, the Supervisor is spearheading a town-wide campaign through both spoken and written word to promote life-saving safety measures. Joining Santino at a pool safety press conference were Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby and Councilmen Ed Ambrosino, Bruce Blakeman and Anthony D’Esposito.
Standing poolside at Echo Park in West Hempstead with fellow town officials, expertly trained lifeguards and local families, the Supervisor encouraged pool owners to be more diligent than ever in safeguarding their backyard pools. The Supervisor enumerated a series of lifesaving pool safety tips and presented a Pool and Beach Safety publication that will be mailed to every home throughout the township.
“Before summer begins, we’re determined to be proactive rather than reactive on the matter of pool safety,” commented Supervisor Santino. “We’ve issued these warnings before, yet there are still too many accidents and tragic deaths that result from negligence on the part of pool owners.”
During the Echo Park press conference, Santino conducted a pool alarm demonstration and reminded residents who own an alarm, “It’s not only a lifesaver–it’s the law.” Town code mandates a pool alarm for all swimming pools installed or maintained in unincorporated areas of the town. The alarm must be capable of detecting a child entering the water, and an 85-plus decibel warning must sound within 20- seconds both poolside and at another location on the premises.
“It takes just a split second for an accident to happen and a tragedy to occur,” said Senior Councilwoman Goosby. “Just the turn of a head, the answering of a phone or any simple distraction can cause a parent or guardian to lose track of a small child and create a dangerous situation,” added Councilman Ambrosino. “Watchful eyes are the best precaution, but an effectivealarm is the next best thing to having your very own lifeguard poolside,” said Councilman Blakeman. “We want our message out early and often, safeguard your pool and protect your family, all summer-long,” offered Councilman D’Esposito.
Santino also urged pool owners to ensure that their pools are protected by physical barriers as town code requires, including a minimum five-foot, non climbable fence with a self-closing and self-latching gate (equipped with lock). Additional precautions include the availability of personal flotation devices, life rings and a shepherd’s hook, as well as keeping a phone with emergency numbers poolside.
The Supervisor also encouraged parents, grandparents and caregivers to learn CPR, and he suggested parents consider registering their child for summer swim lessons with the town.
“The combination of common sense and town code will help us to enjoy a safe and healthy pool season in Hempstead Town,” concluded Supervisor Santino. “Hopefully, we will only hear the sound of laughter, never a cry for help from town pools throughout the summer.”