3-year-old survives near drowning at local pool

A 3-year-old Marion girl is out of danger after nearly drowning at the Hillsboro Family Aquatic Center late Sunday afternoon.

Hillsboro Police Chief Dan Kinning said a 911 call was received at 5:10 p.m. about a small child being the victim of a possible drowning.

Authorities speculated that Kayla McThail of Marion was running alongside the pool near the deep water on her way to the shallow end when she may have slipped into the water.

A private citizen, Ty Klein, who was at the pool with his three daughters, saw what happened, jumped in and brought her up from the bottom.

?Ty saw her go under,? Kinning said.

The lifeguard, Chelsea Bebermeyer, and a private citizen, Phil Oelke, both worked to resuscitate he girl.

Once she was stabilized, the girl was taken by Hillsboro EMS to Hillsboro Community Hospital, where she was airlifted to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita.

?Hillsboro Police Officer Randy Brazil stayed with her in the back of the ambulance and when they arrived at the hospital, he scooped her up and took her inside before she was transported,? Kinning said.

Witnesses reported McThail was under water for less than a minute, thanks to Klein?s quick thinking and seeing what was happening, Kinning said.

Following the incident, Hillsboro Assistant Police Chief Jessey Hiebert is working with the safety committee to determine what, if anything, could have been done better in the event of a next time.

?I think everyone did about as good a job as it gets,? Kinning said. ?(This situation) couldn?t have turned out any better.?

Marci Cain, pool manager, was grateful about the response time.

?My lifeguards responded flawlessly,? she said Monday.

City administrator Larry Paine said he was proud of the young people involved in rescuing the little girl.

?Being a lifeguard isn?t just about getting a suntan,? Paine said. ?They have an extreme amount of responsibility.?

Paine said the lifeguards were paying attention.

?Sunday?s incident shows the quality of people we have working at the pool,? he said.

Also assisting at the scene was Hillsboro Police Officer Steven Jantzen.

Kayla and four other child?ren were at the pool with Sheila Thouvenell of Marion, her grandmother.

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