Wednesday, June 18, 2008

To protect and to serve...

So if you can possibly think of anything worse than losing your toddler a few days before Fathers Day, please don’t tell me.

When we dial 911, they respond—in most cases almost instantly.

And when they need help, they too call 911. For police, the dreaded dispatch is "officer down!” And for anyone involved in Emergency Services the call about an unresponsive child in a backyard swimming pool is equally harrowing.

As is often the case, police arrived first on the chaotic scene.
A cruiser rushed a mile to deliver the precious cargo to a waiting ambulance.

Springfield police blocked traffic along the hospital route to allow the ambulance to make better time. A firefighter and police officer performed CPR all along the way.

Despite this seamless cooperation between emergency responders and the frantic initial attempt at revival by her father, the little girl is gone. A family devastated beyond words.

Jesus “Ricky” Arocho is an Amherst Police officer. A day after the unspeakable event, off-duty fellow officers descended on his house and dismantled and removed the above ground pool. And on Saturday they attended in mass the funeral service.

Please send whatever you can (if only your prayers.)

"The Arocho Family Fund"
c/o Peoples Savings Bank
56 Amity Street
Amherst, MA 01002


Anonymous said...

The above ground pool that WAS NOT BUILT TO CODE!

It may sound heartless but the simple fact remains that code requires a lockable ladder so that small children can't get into the pool.

The up & over ladder that was there simply should not have been there without a fence around the pool. It is like not having a child in a child safety seat and then having the child die in a MVA.

Tragedy, absolutely -- preventable, absolutely, and a wakeup call to all officers that they are not above the law....

Mike F said...

Dear Anonymous
Tell me that you have in your lifetime, while doing every day events, crossing the street, riding a bicycle,driving a automobile, or other activities, never have done anything wrong or illegal! Remember your words when you have to be reminded that you are also not above the law.
Mike K

SJ said...

From what I read on the Springfield's building code website, they DO NOT require a locking ladder. A fence is also not required if the homeowner agrees to remove the ladder each time the pool isn't occupied. You can read the regulations online.

Give the family a break! They have just experienced the most horrible event that a parent can go through.

And yes, you do sound heartless.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post that recognizes this difficult time for Ricky and his family. This Aug. some of the officers and civilian staff are doing a 180 mile bike ride in honor of Siara and the Arocho Family. See their blog for more info
Jen Gundersen

PatriciaCristina said...

Dear anonymous:
It was not until yesterday while looking for something else that me and my fifteen year old learned about this comments, so I apologize for my delayed reaction.
Anger and frustration are also signs of concern. Obviously you don't know my family or what happened that tragic night. However I thank you for your comment, you will be in my thoughts and prayers and if you wish you can contact me. God bless; Siara's mom.