Heroics that led to saving a child’s life were recognized last Thursday by the quorum court. The actions were by former justice of the peace Barry Weathers, and county treasurer Patty Weathers.
County Judge Doug Erwin and justices of the peace Brent Canon, B.J. Weathers, H.L. Lang, Darrin Waymack, Tim Lemons, Hugh Keller Jr., Mike Verkler; Roger Lynch, Bill Ryker, Mike Dolan, Larry Odom attended the meeting; Matt Sanders was absent.
County Clerk Larry Clarke read the proclamation, later presented by Erwin, that told of the actions taken by Weathers that saved the life of a three-year-old child on July 4. The child had drowned in a swimming pool but was revived by Weathers’ actions.
Reading from the proclamation, Clarke noted that when the child was brought out of the water there was neither breathing nor pulse.
On hearing cries for help, Weathers ran to the pool area and, "Took charge of a very dire and chaotic situation and began cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) Clarke read from the proclamation.
"After approximately 10 minutes of CPR the child started to show signs of life and began coughing and expelling water," Clarke read.
An ambulance crew arrived and took over the CPR, which was continued until an evacuation helicopter arrived.
The child was hospitalized overnight and was released the next day, with a full recovery expected.
Because of Weathers’ actions, the child’s life was saved, and could expect "A normal, healthy life," the proclamation stated.
Afterward, Weathers said his expertise is based upon a similar incident several years ago, but without the successful end.
A child had slipped into a pool that was partially frozen over. The water was frigid, and dark with debris from being partially filled in.
Weathers said he had tried to use a breathing apparatus to remain in the water long enough to find the child. But the effort did not work. The child was found beyond being revived.
"I turned to Patty [Weathers, his wife] and told her the very next day I was going to get the wet suit and gear, and learn CPR. And I did," he recalled.
The irony of the July 4 incident is that there were adults all around, but no one realized the child was drowning, Weathers said. It was not that the child had wandered to the pool alone.
Staley, who presented both Barry and Patty Weathers with awards, the response was successful because of both of them.
While the resuscitation was under way, Patty Weathers was on the phone arranging the emergency response. "Without both of them, it wouldn’t have happened the way it did," he said.
In other matters, the quorum court resumed consideration of the requested dissolution of the Grand Prairie – Bayou Two Public Facilities board. The action had been tabled at the June 20 quorum court meeting because disagreement on the reason for dissolution had become rancorous.
County attorney Geoff Thompson advised the court that the action was a matter of fact, with the duties of the board already being assumed by a Water Users Authority.
In discussion, Verkler emphasized that much of the disagreement is the perception that the customers were being excluded from the process of choosing members of the board of directors.
Attorney Clint McGue said that under the WUA, members of the board of directors were, indeed, chosen by the sitting board members.
After discussion, and advice from Thompson, the justices of the peace voted to dissolve the PFB. Verkler voted against the action.
Ryker reported the personnel committee had met, and presented recommendations to be acted upon at the August meeting.
The first recommendation is to change the policy on re-hiring a terminated employee, that the conditions be revised to allow bringing the employee back at the pay scale previously held.
The second recommendation is to revise the county termination policy to require first a verbal warning; followed by a written warning; with termination being the third step. This would prevent rash terminations based on emotions provoked by disagreements, Ryker said. The change would not affect employees of the sheriff’s department, and the road and bridge department because those workers are under different rules.
Ryker also said the committee recommended the quorum court consider taking up the practice of recognizing benchmark dates such as 80-year birthdays and 50-year wedding anniversaries. Each justice of the peace would be responsible for finding those deserving of the recognition.
At the advice of County Clerk Larry Clarke, the practice was made to be by proclamation rather than resolution.