Editor's note: This story was updated at 9 p.m. Monday, June 10, with additional details.

A 5-year-old girl has been released from the hospital after nearly drowning at a public swimming pool last week, according to Frankfort emergency officials.

The circumstances surrounding the incident are still unclear. However, the child — whose name was not released — was discharged Sunday, officials said.

"We don't know if there were long-term injuries," said Frankfort Parks and Recreation Director Shawn Pickens. "But she has been discharged, which is a good sign."

It happened about 8 p.m. Thursday at the Juniper Hill Aquatic Center on Louisville Road. The pool is a city-owned and operated facility and usually closes at about 7 p.m. However, the pool remained open for what officials described as a large private party, and at some point a 5-year-old girl was discovered in distress in the pool and required medical attention.

Paul Sawyier Public Library was hosting its Summer Reading Kick-off Pool Party Thursday evening from 7:30-9:30, according to the library's website. 

"We don't really know what led up to it," Pickens said. "The young girl made her way from the kids' area to the big pool. How that happened, we don't know. But it happened very fast."

Some of the guards had been working a "relatively minor" situation elsewhere in the pool when they noticed the 5-year-old was immersed in the deep end. One lifeguard pulled the child, who was unconscious, from the water and began CPR, Pickens said.

An off-duty paramedic at the party saw the disturbance and ran to assist, said Fire Chief Wayne Briscoe.

"They recognized the situation quickly, and they resuscitated quickly," he said. 

Pickens and Briscoe said the child was breathing and conscious by the time an ambulance arrived. She was then taken to Frankfort Regional Medical Center before being transported to the University of Kentucky children's hospital for further care.

Pickens said the number of lifeguards on duty — typically 16 during regular operational hours — is upheld during private parties, Pickens said, the cost of which is mostly offset by the fee paid to rent the facilities. And Thursday night, there were similar numbers of guards on duty.

"We treat it just like a normal day at the pool," Pickens said. "But you can't prevent everything. Our staff and EMS did everything by the book. It could have turned out much worse without their prompt response."


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