The Cecil County YMCA closed for a day after an incident at the indoor swimming pool sent four people to area hospitals. Emergency personnel responded to reports of members being overcome by chemical vapors in the YMCA at Elkton, in northeast Maryland.
The YMCA called 911 when people began experiencing adverse effects from the fumes. Multiple ambulances, as well as a HAZMAT team, responded to the scene.
“It’s always serious when someone is having breathing problems,” said Wayne Tome, director of the Cecil County Department of Emergency Services. “They were treated with oxygen and then taken to the hospital.”
Paramedics checked five other people who were in the pool area at the time, but those people declined further medical treatment.
According to a Facebook post from the Cecil County YMCA, the incident occurred while a worker was servicing the equipment: “On January 25 there was an incident in the indoor pool area at the Cecil County Family YMCA. One of our lifeguards, who is a Certified Pool Operator, was working on the pool pumps and feeders, which is a normal, standard practice. When the pumps were turned back on, a chemical gas was released through the pool return, impacting four members. Our staff called 911, ambulance crews and the Cecil County HAZMAT Team responded to the scene, where they provided care to those impacted members and transported those affected to area hospitals for further evaluation. We are in contact with the affected members and their families with updates on their condition and supporting them in every way we can.”
Asked what protocols the facility would put into place to prevent a recurrence of this type of incident, the YMCA responded that the pool pumps and feeders would be worked on only during non-operational hours.
No updates were provided on the conditions of the four people affected.