Fire crews respond to near-drowning, then stay to fix pool gate

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Peoria, AZ (KPHO) — A near-drowning call not only had a happy ending for one Peoria family, it ended with a newly-fixed pool gate, thanks to some big-hearted crew members from Peoria Fire-Medical.

It all started when Peoria Fire-Medical crews responded to a near-drowning call at about 2:10 p.m. Thursday at a home near 87th Avenue and Cactus Road.

A 1-year-old child slipped away from his parents and through a broken pool fence gate and fell into the pool.

An alert parent quickly noticed the child was missing and pulled the child to safety.

The child was only briefly submerged and was alert and awake when paramedics arrived on scene. The child was transported to the hospital in stable condition for evaluation.

Meantime, the crew on scene noticed that the gate to the pool was broken and secured with bungee cords. This was, in part, how the child was able to gain access to the pool. The family has multiple children in the household ranging in age from 12 months to teenage.

With a household full of kids and a broken gate, the fire crew decided to take action.

The crew of Ladder 191 A shift ran to the Home Depot and purchased a new latch, new pole, and new hardware. The crew used funds provided by the Peoria Firefighters Charities to purchase the new supplies.

With the help of Home Depot manager Steven Black, the crew was able to borrow a drill and equipment to help install the new hardware.

In addition, the crew purchased and installed two alarms on the doors leading to the backyard.

“We didn’t feel right leaving the family in an unsafe situation,” said ladder captain Bob Burkland. “Taking an hour to make this family safer was the right thing to do.”