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Chaos breaks out as guests crowd Soldiers Field Pool over past few days

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX47) — Soldiers Field Pool officially opened Saturday, June 5, but things got a little bit out of hand Sunday and Monday when the facility became overcrowded.

“It’s a very busy time for the lifeguards. So, that led to some of the challenges with lifeguards needing to get people to follow the rules and with so many people in the pool, it just, at times, became almost overwhelming,” stated Rochester Parks and Recreation Supervisor, Ben Boldt.

Historically, the city has seen a great turn out at the pools, and this year all entrance fees were waived for guests. There was originally a 500-person limit at the Soldiers Field Pool when it opened for the season, but it was soon reduced to 300 after Monday.

The public can reserve a spot at Soldiers Field Pool by choosing between two sessions, but once those are filled up guests will be turned away.

“Once we hit that 300 people, we’ll stop allowing people into the pool until someone or a group of people leave, then we could take some more in for that session,” said Boldt.

With such intense heat and not many other options, officials tell us the amount of guests attempting to enter the pool the past two days became uncontrollable when a few started hopping over the fence to get in.

The situation soon became dangerous when a child fell on their head Sunday and was taken to the hospital for further inspection.

“They called the EMS and they came out and checked out the individual who had fallen. Did end up taking them back to the hospital just to be evaluated, but just taking a good, safe precautionary step there to make sure that the child was okay after the fall,” stated Boldt.

The Rochester Parks and Recreation Administration is in constant communication with staff at all pools and beaches.

They are currently trying to figure out the best way to add resources in regards to staff to make sure everyone is having fun while staying safe.

In addition to Soldiers Field Pool, Rochester is hoping to open Silver Lake Pool Wednesday. Foster Arend Beach and Cascade Lake Beach are also open to the public. While Foster Arend is open daily, Cascade Lake is only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

For more information on Rochester pools and beaches, go to the Rochester Orcas Summer Pools Facebook Page or website.

Carli Petrus

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