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Parents Work To Keep Kids Safe After Their Son Drowned

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Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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CROFTON, Md. (WJZ) — An Anne Arundel County couple’s mission to keep kids safe in the water heads to Annapolis.

Christie Ileto explains why the statewide proposal could save your child’s life.

It’s called Connor’s Law and if it makes it to the governor’s desk, it would require defibrillators at all public pools in Maryland.

Making public pools safer is a personal mission for Thomas and Debbie Freed. Tuesday, the couple took Connor’s Law to Annapolis.

“It requires all public and semi-public pools to have defibrillators on site,” said Debbie Freed.

In 2006, the Freed’s 5-year-old son Connor was found floating face down in a Crofton pool right underneath an empty lifeguard chair.

A lifeguard tried to save the young boy but wasn’t allowed to use the defibrillator on site because she wasn’t trained.

“I know if they just put it on him, he would have lived that day,” Thomas Freed said.

Some Marylanders are already following Connor’s Law. It passed in Anne Arundel County in 2012 and has since become law in both Queen Anne’s and Montgomery counties.

“Children are at risk across the state. It makes sense to have a statewide solution,” said Tom Hucker.

Delegate Tom Hucker is sponsoring the bill to make sure the pools in Maryland’s 21 other counties have the same rules.

“It’s a small investment to make to save lives,” he said.

The device would run between $1,200 and $2,000, a cost the Freeds already foot through the Connor Cares Foundation, which donates portable defibrillators to some public pools.

“If we can just save one life…it’s worth it,” Debbie Freed said.

It’s a mission the Freeds say won’t be in vain when the bill saves another child’s life.

Advocates are cautiously optimistic the bill will make it to the governor’s desk.

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