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KCK Parkwood Pool, though filled, closed to public due to maintenance, lifeguard shortage

Teen on life support after June 5 incident
KCK Parkwood Pool
Posted at 2:01 PM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 15:01:42-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Kansas, officials say Parkwood Pool, though closed to the public, is filled with water “as part of routine maintenance.”

A teenager who climbed the fence to swim with friends on June 5, was underwater in the deep end for around 10 minutes before firefighters rescued him.

Over the weekend, 41 Action News learned the 13-year-old no longer has any brain activity.

He will be on life support until his family reaches a decision, according to the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office.

41 Action News asked city officials why, if the pool was closed, it had water in it at all.

Mike Taylor, KCK public relations director, said since Parkwood Pool was closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it had to be filled to perform routine maintenance.

Taylor said other pools in the Kansas City area have experienced “bigger ticket” maintenance problems because of the 2020 closures.

Discussions to keep the pool closed in 2021 began as early as January 2020, Taylor said.

A number of factors played into the decision, including the ongoing pandemic, a shortage of lifeguards and places to train them.

The factors compounded together prompted leaders to decided it was “in the safety and best interest of our community” for Parkwood to remain closed in 2021.

Taylor said city leaders “fully intend” to open Parkwood in 2022 given circumstances are better next year.

The city has also created a work-study program for residents ages 16 and older to be paid $9 an hour to train and be certified for the 2022 season in hopes of filling the shortage.

Another issue at hand in the most recent incident is swimming education.

Officials said they don’t believe any of the kids in the group involved knew how to swim.

Taylor said the city has also created a swimming program to educate the community on the life-saving skill.

Parkwood Pool, located at 950 Quindaro Blvd., is the only public pool in Kansas City, Kansas.