MYRTLE CREEK — Myrtle Creek city officials have closed the South Umpqua Memorial Pool after the assistant pool manager, Blake Lewis, suffered a serious head injury Thursday afternoon.
Lewis was taken to PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield. Myrtle Creek City Recorder Joshua Norton said Lewis’ condition was stable and he was in the intensive care unit as of Friday morning. As of Friday afternoon, Lewis was in fair condition, according to the hospital.
Norton said Lewis was jumping off the diving board late Thursday afternoon when the accident happened.
“We’re not sure what the cause was,” Norton said. “Possibly a misstep, as of this point it appears there was no malfunction of equipment but it did not go according to plan, obviously.”
Norton said the accident happened just minutes before the pool was closing down for swim lessons.
Lewis, who is 18 years old, just graduated this month from Roseburg High School and has been working at the pool for four years.
Norton said as assistant manager Lewis helps in daily operations, staff training and scheduling lifeguards.
“He’s my right-hand man and he’s actually grown up at the pool,” Norton said. “He went from swimming lessons to junior lifeguarding to lifeguarding and then this year as assistant manager,” Norton said.
The pool will remain closed for the time being.
“We’ll focus on Blake, giving our lifeguards some time to sort of process things and then we want to do thorough walkthroughs to see if there is anything we need to change, procedural or otherwise, to ensure safety,” Norton said.
“We’d like people to keep Blake in their thoughts and we’d like to be open again, as soon as we can.”
The pool has been open since last Saturday but Norton said there are normally 50 to 75 kids at the pool in the afternoons for open swim. The pool was built in memory of the many people who drowned in the South Umpqua River in the late 1950s and 1960s.
Virtual reality, mannequins and moulage were a part of Expanding Horizon’s newest summer camp offering in Emergency Medicine Exploration.
Campers learned to apply trauma assessment, and were able to achieve certification in CPR/First Aid during the week-long camp at the Oregon National Guard Armory.
Oakland student Aubry Brownson said she signed up for the camp, because she wants “to go into the medical field.”
But not all students were interested in medical careers, Antonio Galvez of Sutherlin and Kaylin Cooper of Roseburg thought the training would help them in future law enforcement careers as well.
Oregon Army National Guard’s Career Coordination Cpl. John Bay II taught students CPR and First Aid in a classroom Wednesday with the help of other guardsmen, a video and a CPR dummy.
“These are basically things I’ve learned in other classes. I’ve just never been certified,” Cooper said.
Students also watched a video about using an automated external defibrillator and learned to do chest compression to the tunes of “Stayin’ Alive” or “Another One Bites the Dust.”
“You have to be loud when asking for help,” Sutherlin graduate Allison Cox took away from the training.
CPR certifications are good for two years.
On the drill floor, zSpace Instructor David Elliott taught students how to use the new virtual and augmented reality software. Students then applied this by taking a closer look at the cardiovascular system, anatomy and physiology.
While the CPR classes were familiar to most students, the zSpace technology was not.
With the help of the software they were able to get a good look and answer some of the questions instructor David Elliott had asked of them.
Melody Cornish, Douglas Education Service District CTE regional director, said the district hopes to purchase 25 more zSpace systems to place in the DCPSS Resource Lending Library. Roseburg Public Schools and Days Creek Charter School were able to purchase the system last school year.
On Thursday, students went through a simulation where they had to triage wounds on injured people outside.
Students applied stints, bandage and tourniquets as needed to guardsman on a field outside.
Emma Moran of Sutherlin applied make-up to make it look like a pen was sticking out of an arm, broken bone and bullet wounds.
The senior-to-be started applying moulage in October and when Cornish reached out to the theater department to see if someone was willing to do make-up for the camp Moran jumped at the chance.
“I love doing gory make-up,” Moran said. “I try to make it look as realistic as possible.”
Cornish said she was impressed with how quickly students learned the different emergency medicine skills.
The Downtown Roseburg Association presented the results of a recently completed study showing people’s attitudes toward downtown at its annual meeting Thursday.
About 30 residents, business owners and city officials attended the meeting at Brix Grill. The results were presented by association board members and Sheri Stuart, coordinator of Oregon Main Street — an Oregon Parks and Recreation Department program that works to revitalize downtowns statewide.
Oregon Main Street selected the association for the study, which included a survey of people’s shopping habits and views of downtown. The survey collected 551 responses, which Stuart said was the highest number she has ever received.
The survey quantified longstanding community concern with homelessness and vacant storefronts. But it also showed many people are optimistic about downtown’s opportunities for economic growth. The association will use the study to create strategies that grow downtown’s economy and appeal with help from Oregon Main Street.
“We heard a lot about what people would like to see and experience downtown,” Stuart said. “There was a lot of consistency in responses about the challenges impacting downtown.”
More than 400 respondents said homelessness was one of the top three issues facing downtown. When asked what words come to mind when people think of downtown, 235 people said “homeless/homelessness/transients.”
Stuart said the association should be a voice in efforts to address homelessness, but not the lead organization. “There are so many others with the expertise and resources that are better-suited to be the lead,” she said.
The next most common issues for respondents were parking and building vacancies — 148 and 128 people, respectively, marked them as top three issues. Ninety-three people said “empty/vacancies/closed/dead” were words that came to mind when they thought about downtown.
Seventy-four people said safety and crime were top issues. Additionally, 68 people said drugs were a top issue. Ninety-three people, however, said “restaurants/food/dining” were words they associated with downtown. When asked to list positive things about downtown, 232 people said restaurants/food. Then next most common positive response was downtown’s history — 107 respondents.
The most common types of businesses people said they would like to see more of were bookstores, coffee shops/bakeries, entertainment and clothing stores.
Part of the study included a “sales void analysis,” which identified inequalities in demand and supply within a 10-mile radius of downtown for certain types of products. The analysis showed a general oversupply of retail, but deficiencies in electronics, clothing and home furnishings.
DRA board member Mandy Elder said the association wants to embrace downtown’s history while bringing in more young people to the process of revitalization. Only 17% of survey respondents were aged 34 and below. Respondents aged 55-74 made up 43.5% of the responses.
The majority of respondents said they don’t live or work downtown, and more than half of respondents said they wouldn’t live downtown if they could.
While the study showed several common concerns, association members asserted the results are a first step to making progress.
“What a great opportunity this is to feel really optimistic about where our community is heading,” Elder said.
Using the study results, market data and conversations with business owners, the association decided “Downtown Roseburg, Authentically Umpqua” should be the core theme in its improvement efforts.
The association, the city, Blue Zones Project Umpqua and business owners are working to implement more outdoor dining opportunities downtown using “parklets” — sidewalk structures that extend out from businesses into parking areas.
Blue Zones and North Forty Beer Company co-owner Arin Forrest, who is also design chair on the association’s board, will present the idea to City Council at its 7 p.m. regular meeting Monday.
“It’s one of the number one things we hear all the time when people come in and sit at the bar and talk to us, ‘Man, I wish you had some place outside to sit,’” Forrest said.
He said parklets have been implemented in cities across the Northwest.
“We’re an outdoorsy kind of area and its crazy that you have to sit inside a concrete box when you want to have something to eat,” Forrest said.
Stuart said many places have struggled to create their first parklets because people react negatively to reduced parking, “but the communities have really rallied around them.”
Forrest said people working on parklet development will include ways to offset parking reduction.