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Mayor and Fire Department hope to keep kids out of waterways

Kids made a pledge to keep out of the waterways
Kids made a pledge to keep out of the waterways
ALEX LLOYD GROSS

It's hot and humid. Nothing to do.and it's only getting hotter. The Penny Pack Creek looks tempting, water is running and it's a lot cooler in the water than it is on land. So someone's child makes a decision to jump in for a few minutes to cool off. Bad idea. You can drown or get sick. Monday, June 9 2014, Mayor Michael Nutter along with future Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer paid a visit to the Farrell Elementary School in the Northeast to bring that message to sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

About 350 kids were in attendance to hear the message. They made a pledge to stay out of creeks, rivers , streams and other waterways. "Every pool in the city is open this summer", the Mayor said. At least 16 kids have died recently, swimming in waterways. When someone goes under water, other people try to jump in to save them and they get sucked under as well. It is quite possible that a rescuer would find themselves in harms way very quickly. By the time the Fire Department is called it may be too late. They have to get dispatched, arrive and set up their equipment to rescue someone. Assume the proper rescue unit was close by, it would still take in excess of five minutes to get the rescue underway.

When the sewers back up,they go into the waterways. While the mayor eluded to the fact that it is unsanitary, in short, when you jump into the water, ( especially after a storm) you are swimming in piss and crap. When you drown and that water gets into your system, wanna take a bet on how sick you can get from swallowing just a small mouthful of that mess? It's best to just stay out of the water.

Some people think they are good swimmers or they went in before and nothing happened. Wrong on both counts. Creeks have drop off points of 10 feet or more, with strong currents that can take you down or hold you down.

Also on hand for this program was Kim Boyle, who lost her son just last year, July 1 2013. She got up and spoke for an emotional couple of minutes on what it is like to have this happen. No one wants to have the cops come to their door to make a death notification ,and the cops hate doing that as well.

The program comes just before the summer season really starts to get going. It's not just important for Philadelphia, the message applies to the entire country.

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