The St. Paul Fire department announced Wednesday that they are going to be pumping out abandoned pools as a life-saving measure -- this comes just a couple weeks after two boys were rescued from an abandoned trash-filled pool at a St. Paul apartment building.
The boys were both under 10 years old and were unconscious when pulled out of the pool at Princeton Place. One was reaching for a pair of flip flops when he fell in, and his brother went in after to rescue him. The pool had allegedly sat unused for about a decade and filled with water each year.
"We are not doing this as a service to pool owners," the St. Paul Fire Department said in a statement. "I'm sure that now we all recognize that an abandoned swimming pool with six feet of water in it is dangerous."
Once the pool is emptied and no longer has a drowning hazard, the inspections department will follow up with the property representative to take the action necessary to prevent the pool from re-filling with rainwater, snow melt and other items and becoming dangerous again.
"We're in the business of protecting and saving lives and property," the fire department said. "That's what we're doing."
While fire crews are pumping out pools, they will remain in service for emergency calls. In regards to cost efficiency, the department said the only added cost of pumping pools is the fuel for the trucks to drive there and run the pumps for an hour.
Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard confirmed his department has drained 3 additional pools since the frightening episode at Princeton Place. Over 5 feet of water had to be pumped from the deep end of that pool.