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Pool Workers, Manager Tested Early

<p>Duke</p>

Duke

<p><strong>Belly flop.</strong> A lifeguard watches as Billy Nelson does a belly flop off of the diving board at the Booneville City Pool last week.</p>

Belly flop. A lifeguard watches as Billy Nelson does a belly flop off of the diving board at the Booneville City Pool last week.

The first week the Booneville City Pool was open for the summer was eventful if nothing else.

Wednesday the mother of a teenager, along with the help of others nearby, helped her daughter to safety after she went under water and experienced trouble.

A day earlier Shelbie Duke and her lifeguard mates had jumped in for a couple of kids who were about to panic. That was after a pre-teen walked into the diving board causing minor swelling beneath an eye, and skinned elbows, knees, and feet, according to Carol Lloyd, who is the new pool manager this summer.

“I didn’t think we’d have to save someone the first week,” said Lloyd.

In the most severe of the incidents lifeguards Nikki Waters and Duke had only moments before switching positions at the pool — Duke had not even sat down — when the mother yelled for help. Lloyd headed for the water and two Youthworks! staffers swimming in the pool jumped in to assist.

“Everything went off like clockwork,” said Lloyd. “The emergency plan is to blow the whistle three times and the lifeguard on the other end is to get everyone out of the pool.”

Duke, who sent the signal said the girl was already to the side and after Lloyd checked on the teen, Lloyd sent Duke to call 9-1-1.

The girl had come around before first responders arrived and was then checked out but was later transported via ambulance.

Lloyd said in talking with the girl’s mother it was the first time the teen had been to the Booneville Pool and likely the first time in a public pool as well and that the incident could have been medically related.

Lifeguards such as Duke and Waters have to undergo a class to work at the pool with training including carrying a weight in the water within a specific time period, treading water for 10 minutes without using arms and swimming six laps nonstop.

The pool is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and can be reserved for parties after hours. Swimming lessons will also be offered at the pool from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. for weeklong sessions in July.

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