Testing the waters
BY ALYSSA MEIER
It all started with a teenage boy, swimming laps in Washburn pool last week. Turner Grumbo did a breaststroke from one end of the shallow end to the other, then stopping halfway across the pool and sinking under the surface.
The drill had started.
Cole Blazek yelled for a backboard as he dropped from his lifeguard stand into the pool, swimming under lane separators to get to Grumbo, who was facedown in the water. Blazek turned the 16-year-old on his back and carried him to the side of the pool, where fellow lifeguard Ruth Vogle was waiting with a backboard half submerged in the water.
The pair loaded Grumbo onto it, pulling him out of the water. Lifeguard Karly Smith put her hand on his wrist, then dropped her ear to his mouth.
“He isn’t breathing, and he doesn’t have a pulse,” She yelled across the pool, where two other lifeguards were standing outside of the office, one on the phone with dispatch. The office guards then close off gates to the pool, restricting the public from accessing the scene.
“The person in office will make all people that were swimming go in the bathrooms and try and keep them there so they don’t come out here and distract and make noise and see stuff they don’t want to see,” Lifeguard Erin Thompson said of procedure for a drowning at the pool.