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UPDATE: Girl in Very Critical Condition after Being Pulled from Wirth Pool

Brookfield emergency personnel were called to the Wirth Aquatic Center at 1:44 p.m. for a report of a child not breathing at the pool.

  • See Thursday update:

A girl who was unconscious after being pulled from Wirth pool was in very critical condition Wednesday, police said.

The 8-year-old girl was rushed by Brookfield paramedics and police to Children's Hospital in Milwaukee Tuesday afternoon after pool lifeguards and others tried to revive her.

The pool, Wirth Aquatic Center, 2585 N. Pilgrim Rd., will reopen as scheduled today from 1 to 8 p.m. It was shut down Tuesday after the tragic event.

The girl had been swimming at the Brookfield pool with a group from the New Berlin parks and recreation department.

Lifeguards pulled her out of the water after she was seen to be not moving about a foot under the four-foot-deep area of the pool, police said.

Bill Kolstad, director of Brookfield's Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department, referred all questions about the incident to police, saying it remained under investigation.

"Thoughts and prayers" with family

"Our thoughts and prayers are obviously with the accident victim and the family and the very traumatic impact on everyone involved, including the pool staff," Kolstad said.

Individual and group counseling resources were being provided to pool staff.

The New Berlin parks department referred questions to its director who was not available for comment.

Brookfield fire officials were called to Wirth Aquatic Center at 1:44 p.m., Fire Chief Charlie Myers said.

An ambulance crew was on the scene at 1:49 p.m., eventually transporting the child to the hospital.

Radio scanner traffic indicated the girl was not breathing, and others tried to revive her. A rare police escort was provided to help clear intersections for the ambulance.

Witness says crowd told it was not a drill

A 12-year-old Brookfield girl who was in the pool at the time told Patch she heard commotion and saw a lifeguard had jumped into the water. Other lifeguards grabbed boards and rushed near the girl as she was pulled from the shallow end of the pool.

"The loudspeaker said that it wasn't a drill and everyone get out of the pool," said Rachel, whose mother asked that her last name not be used. 

Rachel said Wirth lifeguards periodically during the summer season evacuate the pool to conduct drills, so swimmers needed to be told it was not a typical drill.

"Everyone kind of crowded around her," she said. "They had other lifeguards screaming at people, telling them to back up."

Lifeguards worked to revive her, and within minutes the ambulance could be heard coming and crews came inside, taking over, Rachel said.

People quietly watched as paramedics took the girl away in the ambulance, and pool officials told everyone they were closing the center and to get their belongings.

Rachel who said she was with two friends and has gone swimming there about nine times in the past three weeks, said the girl was in her thoughts.

L Riley July 14, 2012 at 05:27 AM
I feel sorry for you Mr. Smith, and for the mama who raised you. Maybe someday you'll need to buck up while the real world keeps going with no care and concern for you. Keep your insensitive comments to yourself. There is no need for them at this time of tragedy.
Andy Smith July 14, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Hmmm. L. Riley ... How low are your reading comprehension scores, since I've consistenty said from the start that we all ought to be keeping the family, friends and loved ones of this deceased girl in our thoughts and prayers. You've missed that apparently, despite how many times and in how many ways it has been said by me and others, No need to feel sorry for me or cast aspersions on my relatives; however, in America you're free to do so if you wish, just as I am free to offer a different view of a situation than you hold. I can handle it and my family can handle it. Every neighbor you'll ever meet-- all of us-- has been in the position of needing to keep going when it may seem that no one particularly cares or has any concern about us at the moent. It's called l i f e. Yes, it's a time of tragedy for that family. Tragedies happen every single day all over our community, nation and the world. We just buried a 45 yr old widow's (a friend's) husband, and a 54 yr old widow's (a relative's) husband. I think those women and families are dealing with their own particular and others' tragedies better than you are. They're being strong; that's a good thing. Sometimes, when hurting people see others moving forward, it helps them do so. That concept seems foreign to you, sadly-- but that doesn't make you better than me or me better than you. You go ahead and be concerned about people like me; I'll continue to be concerned about people like you. It's all okay.
joy August 05, 2012 at 01:57 AM
like what you said Kirsten.
Marrien Wallace December 22, 2012 at 01:53 AM
That was my friends little sister. No time can heal that wound no matter what holiday it is. Next time you tell someone to buck up, know what your talking about.
Noah Clarke January 21, 2013 at 04:40 AM
she died. she was my best friends sister. she had add. the family never got over it.they still have her stuff in her room never touched. Andy i can't believe you had the nerve to say that. you are what's wrong with the world.

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