Sioux Falls Officials Review Falls Park Safety
After Sunday’s drowning death of a 5 year old girl, Sioux Falls police are reviewing if more should be done to make Falls Park safer for future visitors. Don Kearney is with the city. He says after the last fall and drowning incident in 2013, changes were made, including the addition of international signs with visual cues that could be understood in any language. Anchor points were also set in the rock for future rescue lines to be used by first responders.
The discussion of a possible barrier continues. Although a fence or railing of some type may at first glance be a good idea, that same structure could also be a barrier to Sioux Falls fire rescue, should they need to access the area during an emergency in the future. The drowning deaths in 2013 and on Sunday both originated from the same area of the park.
Regan Smith, emergency manager talks of their findings from an independent safety study of Falls Park from 2016, citing no recommendations being suggested by the independent, out of city firm.
If you see someone fall into the water, police say to call 911 immediately and not jump in the water, as others have died trying to rescue someone who has fallen into the water. Responders were on the scene within 4 minutes of Sunday’s call and had the girl out of the water within 13 minutes.