Raleigh pool staffers say high number of 911 calls reflects ‘proactive’ approach

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Hot weather can make for a perfect day at the pool, but just how safe are you when you go?

Ruth Urban takes her kids to Millbrook Pool every week.

“They love the swim lessons,” said Urban. “The lifeguards are definitely doing what they’re supposed to be doing and everybody looks safe.”

CBS 17 pulled the numbers and found there are far more 911 and medical calls to Millbrook Pool than any other city pool.

There were nearly 400 calls in 2018. The other seven pools ranged from two to 26 calls last year.

The city said that is because at Millbrook the pool, tennis courts and community center all share that same address.

“It makes sense with how busy it is because there’s a lot of people in and out all day, I’m sure,” said pool visitor Melanie Lewis.

After Millbrook, Optimist Pool, Pullen Pool and Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center had the most calls. Optimist had 27, Pullen had 20 and Buffaloe Road Aquatic had 19 in 2018.

The city says their staff calls 911 even if there is not a life-threatening emergency.

“We’re trying to be as proactive as we can and part of that is calling 911 even when you have that odd feeling of ‘I’m not sure,’ then call 911,” said Terri Stroupe, aquatics program director.

There are some calls for thefts and assaults, but the city says they mainly call for medical reasons, like people having fainting spells or heart pain.

“We do that to be proactive and have them there to help us,” said Stroupe.

She said if visitors to the pool don’t feel comfortable dialing, the employees are more than happy to do it instead.

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