Reporting Mary Bubala
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MILLERSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — Keeping kids safe in the water. Emergency legislation was signed into law Friday in Anne Arundel County to increase safety at public pools this summer.
Mary Bubala reports it’s all because a local family took action after a tragedy.
Connor’s Law is named after Connor Freed who drowned in a Crofton pool in 2006.
A lifeguard frantically called 911 but wasn’t allowed to use a defibrillator on the young boy because she wasn’t trained.
“He came out. He threw up, and he was just laying there. Nobody knew what to do,” said Thomas Freed, victim’s father.
Friday, on what would have been Connor’s 12th birthday, County Executive John Leopold signed the bill into law that requires defibrillators at all public pools and trains all lifeguards on how to use them.
“There are approximately 275 clubs that will be impacted by this legislation,” Leopold said. “There’s no more important public responsibility than saving lives.”
It’s been such a personal mission for Connor’s parents, who don’t want any other family to go through the trauma they did.
“We just miss him and want him to be here, and we don’t want anybody else to have to go through this ever again,” Thomas Freed said.
Since their son’s death, the Freeds started the Connor Cares Foundation, promoting water safety.
The foundation donates portable defibrillators to public pools.
“Defibrillators save lives, and I would like to see this throughout the state of Maryland eventually, but we are so thrilled to have this passed today to save children’s lives,” said Debbie Freed.
The County Council held an emergency public hearing on Connor’s Law on July 2.
A similar law was attempted at the state level, but it was voted down.