Four local teens received special recognition during Tuesday’s meeting of the Perryville Board of Aldermen.
According to Perryville Parks & Recreation director Jim Cadwell, the four Park Center employees — lifeguards Isaac Layton, Heidi Asselmeier, Elsie Melchior, Gretchen Asselmeier — were instrumental in saving the life of a swimmer who suffered a seizure after diving into the city pool last week.
“On Aug. 14, at about 7 p.m., an individual went off the diving board and started having a seizure in the water, in the dive well,” Cadwell said. “The guards immediately responded, and they were able to get him on the backboard and get him out of the water.”
The rescue was complicated not only by a seizing swimmer, but also by the depth of water in that area, which Cadwell said was 14 feet.
“[The swimmer] was having a lot of problems,” Cadwell said. adding that the lifeguards, all between the ages of 16 and 18, were standing by with one of the center’s automated external defibrillators, while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
“It was really quick thinking,” Cadwell said. “That’s just pretty impressive. This could have very eaily gone a different way.”
Perry Park Center aquatics supervisor Julie King introduced the four lifeguards and briefly gave the board an idea of the training her staff goes through.
“We train for this,” King said. “The idea is to get them out of the water as quicly as possible. We train to put them on the backboard in the diving well and then pull them out.”
The four teens were thanked for their efforts by each member of the board.
Cadwell also pointed out facility supervisor Kelly Anderson, who was in charge on Aug. 14, and explained why he felt it was important to recognize the aquatics staff.
“Sometimes young people get a bad rap, but sometimes they get it right,” Cadwell said. “This is a very positive story.”
In other business, the board approved the donation of old street striping machine to the City of Piedmont.
The decision comes in the wake of a similar donation that resulted in Perryville receiving a gently-used aircraft rescue and fire fighting truck in May from the city of Kirksville.
The board also approved a request from Perryville Fire Department to close the city parking lot on Sept. 7 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. for the September Cruise In.
According to city administrator Brent Buerck, the Downtown Revitalization Committee plans to dedicate September’s Cruise-In to emergency management personnel, necessitating extra space to accomodate the large firefighting and first reponder vehicles. In addition, there are plans to land an Air Evac Helicopter on the site.
The city also heard discussion regarding recent efforts by veterans advocate Mike Lundy, in addition to Missouri Rep. Rick Francis, to designate Perryville as a POW-MIA city.
According to Buerck, this designation goes hand-in-hand with Missouri National Veteran’s Memorial and its upcoming event on POW-MIA Day in September, which includes a motorcycle ride from Springfield to Perryville.
“We’ve reached out to Jefferson Barracks, which actually hosts the program,” Buerck said. “We have a presentation scheduled for Sept. 10 to explain about Perryville and what we’re doing, especially with the Vietnam Wall.”
The board unanimously approved of the effort, leaving the project in Buerck’s hands.
The board also approved an emergency ordinance to establish the city’s 2019-2020 property tax rates for the next year.
There were no changes to existing rates.
The board heard a first reading of an ordinance that would accept a general warranty deed from Perryville Senior Housing for property near the intersection of Sycamore and Highway T.
The street design would also include a crosswalk in that area allowing safer passage to the Lindbergh Monument and the Seminary Picnic grounds for pedestrians.
The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 3.