Local mom petitions for a safer pool
A local mom noticed recently that a gate at Warner Park pools was removed and now she's petitioning to have it put back.
The pools at Warner Park create summer memories for thousands of children of all ages each week. Even small children who can't swim yet have the "Splash Pad".
Cassie Rose noticed recently that the gate from this area to the other pools had been removed. She had a close call when her 20-month-old girl slipped away from her grip.
"I luckily caught her, but it occurred to me that there could be a time when I look down at her [3-month-old] brother and she runs toward the pool and I don't catch her," says Rose.
She wants the barrier put back. She thinks it's the most common sense approach.
"As much as I would want somebody else to help me, I would prefer to watch my own child with the gate closed and know that she's safe," adds Rose.
She started an on-line petition which, as of Friday afternoon, had more than 400 supporters.
Cassie tweed, another concerned mom with three children ages five and younger, signed the petition to get the gate back.
"It just takes a second for a one-year-old or a three-year-old to wander out the gate into a pool that they can drown in," says Tweed. She says this is especially true with the large crowds and "chaos" even if you're diligently watching your children.
Peggy Grall, Aquatics Coordinator for the city of Chattanooga, says there's a good reason why the gate is gone.
"It's a large swinging gate. We've had a lot of injuries from some of our smaller kids who couldn't reach the latch," explains Grall.
She says officials are following code and Warner Park has plenty of lifeguards.
"We have a full staff all day with a supervisor on deck," adds Grall. "If there's a situation, I'm sure we'll be well-prepared to handle it."
A gate here has to be self-closing. Grall says they'll consider options for a safer gate that still meets this requirement.
"We had three options. This is the first one that we chose and we'll go from there," says Grall.