Vivian Wicks, who lost her long-time partner and the father of her children in 2010 from complications of a near-drowning, has been working in conjunction with Peter Ainsworth, the family’s attorney, to have emergency phones installed near hotel and motel pools.
Charlie Perkins was swimming with three of his young children at a hotel pool in West Yarmouth, Mass. At one point, he failed to come up to the surface. There was no lifeguard on duty, Ainsworth said.
A Suffolk Superior Court jury recently awarded Perkins’ children more than $2.5 million, finding the owner of the pool, Ragini, LLC, responsible for the death. Emergency responses were delayed because the children could not dial 911 from a nearby phone. They did not know that it was necessary to dial “9” to get an outside line before dialing 911, Ainsworth said.
Ainsworth and Wicks want to see the installation of emergency phones at hotel and motel pools and then move on to “anywhere that doesn’t have a lifeguard,” such as apartments and condos, Ainsworth said. These phones would provide an immediate connection to emergency services.