Janesville62.2°

Pool accidents can happen in a split second

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Catherine W. Idzerda
June 22, 2009
— One ordinary blink of an eye, one innocuous spilt second, one quick snap of the fingers—that's all it takes for a kid to find trouble.

On Saturday, Janesville police and firefighters responded to 1605 Anthony Ave., Janesville, for a report of a child found at the bottom of a pool.


Patience Fisher, 3, the daughter of Fred and Charity Fisher, 1540 Anthony Ave., had managed to hop into the pool unnoticed by her parents and the other children around the pool and in the water.


Patience was taken to Mercy Hospital and then flown by Med Flight to University Hospital in Madison.


Her condition was unavailable Sunday night.


The Fishers had been invited to use the in-ground pool by the homeowner, Tom Feldman, according to police reports. At one point, Feldman said he was going to the Rockford Speedway. He told the Fishers they could stay if they kept an eye on his daughter.


Patience had on water wings.


At some point, however, the girl and her mother went back home to use the bathroom, and the water wings had to be taken off.


When they returned, the girl managed to slip into the pool unnoticed.


"It can happen in the blink of an eye; that's what kids are like," said Janesville Fire Department Shift Commander Bill Ruchti. "It happens in the grocery store. You'll be looking at something on the shelf and you'll turn around, and they're gone.


Every summer the fire department responds to some kind of water emergency, Ruchti said.


According to the Center for Disease Control, for every child who dies from drowning, another four receive emergency department care for nonfatal "submersion injuries."


It happens even in a crowded pool.


In 2000, a 7-year-old boy was found at the bottom of Janesville's Rockport Pool on a busy day.


"It's a challenge to keep an eye on kids," Ruchti said. "It can happen so quick."



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