A fence separates the two parks. Sometimes, first responders arrive at the wrong park and a fence prevents them from quickly crossing to the other side.
AUSTIN, Texas – Hundreds of people have taken to Lake Travis over the past few weeks to try to beat the heat. And with more people in the water, drownings have become much more common.
In one area, access to the lake is difficult, and first responders sometimes struggle to arrive in time to help.
Below is a map that shows Bob Wentz Park And Buddy Point Park. Travis County owns Bob Wentz, while Windy Point Park is family owned. In the photo below, the dotted red line represents the fence that separates both parks.
The fence was installed in the late 1900s, but now Windy Point Park Director Ian Barstow wants the county to remove it.
When first responders show up, they sometimes end up in the wrong park, Barstow said.
If they’re in the wrong park, they can’t simply walk over because there’s a fence in the way. EMS must backtrack to the main road to re-enter the other park entrance and it can take 5-10 minutes to find the other entrance.
But this is when a person is not at risk.
Barstow told KVUE about the drowning that happened just two weeks ago.
“They arrive as fast as they can. They always arrive. I have a lot of respect for our rescue services,” he said. “But they didn’t appear for a while, and I waited for them. I saw the lifeboats ahead. I saw the helicopter overhead. Someone from a rescue team was leaning over the edge asking where he was while I went. . Up and down in the water, but the divers, the rescue divers, were delayed.”
The man who was drowning died. Barstow believes EMS could have saved him in time had the fence not been in the way.
“I want that fence taken down,” Barstow said. I want to pass through a gate. I understand that there are two different businesses side by side. “But this fence prevents EMS from responding immediately.”
There is already an access road between both parks. Removing the gate and clearing the grass that has grown on the road will help people in danger get there more quickly.
Barstow has already contacted the county. However, there is still no concrete timeline on when or if the fence will be removed.
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