Camps banned from park pools as death investigation proceeds
Signs posted June 16, 2012, announced the closure of Roosevelt Pool, 2239 Fir St., in Glenview. Lifeguards pullled a 4-year-old boy from the pool, who was later prounounced dead at Glenbrook Hospital. Police have finished their investigation without ch
Updated: July 23, 2012 6:59AM
Summer camp groups are temporarily banned from the Glenview park district pools, while local and state officials still investigate the circumstances surrounding the drowning death of a 4-year-old boy at Roosevelt Pool Friday.
Chuck Balling, park district executive director. Balling said summer camp groups were banned from Roosevelt Pool and the pool at Flick Park this week while policies were reviewed following the death of 4-year-old Vincente Cardenas of 2387 Chestnut Ave., Glenview.
Cardenas was part of a group from Wesley Day Care Center, 727 Harlem Ave., Glenview.
“The day care center comes here on a regular basis. We don’t know many kids were in the group that day,” said Balling. Ellen Fagerburg, director of Wesley Day Care, was unavailable for comment Tuesday to verify the center’s policy on swim testing and chaperones.
Cardenas was pronounced dead at Glenbrook Hospital at 3:49 p.m. Friday, little more than an hour after lifeguards pulled the unresponsive boy from the pool at 2:35 p.m. and tried to resuscitate him.
Roosevelt Pool was closed immediately after the incident and remained closed Saturday and Sunday while Glenview police and state officials completed an investigation.
On Tuesday, state officials announced the facility itself passed a state inspection.
“No violations were found. Roosevelt Pool is a well maintained facility,” said Amy Poore, spokeswoman for the Cook County Department of Health, after agency inspectors visited the pool Monday.
Park district officials said the pool’s capacity at 2239 Fir St. was 1,359, as coded by Illinois Department of Public Health. On Friday it had 750 in attendance.
When the park district schedules its own camp groups for summer swimming, Balling said the chaperone-to-swimmer ratio was 1-to-10 for older children and 1-to-5 for young ones.
Under park district rules, camp swimmers must pass a swim test before using the pools and must wear a life jacket if they fail the test, he said, adding 11 lifeguards were in pool position when the fatality occurred.
“That’s the proper number. A total of 15 were on duty that day, with four on break,” he said.
All three park district pools have safety equipment including life vests, automated external defibrillators, backboards, oxygen and first-aid equipment.
A park district release stated its lifeguards must complete a 24-hour certification course and intensive training by the park district.
An additional four-hour training session reviewing the pool emergency action plan is held before the season opens.
“Every week throughout the pool season, each lifeguard must complete a one-hour in-service training session. New lifeguards also go through a two-hour shadowing process before they are allowed to guard solo,” said the release.