In Illinois, public pools are licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Part 77 of the Illinois Administrative Code, Section 820.310 discusses safety equipment. Paragraph c covers emergency telephone and Emergency Contact List. The rule is as follows:
TITLE 77: PUBLIC HEALTH
PART 820 ILLINOIS SWIMMING POOL AND BATHING BEACH CODE
CHAPTER I: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
SECTION 820.310 SAFETY EQUIPMENT
Emergency Telephone and Emergency Contact List. A telephone shall be accessible in the vicinity of the swimming pool, in or within 300 feet of the pool enclosure. At a multi-level facility, the emergency telephone shall be located within three levels of the level on which the pool is located. The telephone numbers of the local police, State Police, fire department, physician, ambulance service, and a hospital, or 911 where applicable, shall be posted in a conspicuous place near the telephone. The name, address and telephone number of the swimming pool shall be listed by the telephone. The location of the emergency telephone shall be posted in the swimming pool area unless the telephone is located in the pool area.
METCAD recommends the use of a standard telephone line with location information for the specific pool location (especially important if your complex has more than one pool). The telephone can be a wall mounted phone, a wall mounted phone in a weatherproof enclosure or a single pushbutton phone with two-way communications capability. It's important to note that these devices must fully comply with the electronic auto dialer rules.
Some complexes have begun installing cellular telephones in a glass covered enclosure, similar to a fire extinguisher, in order to comply with this rule. METCAD believes that this solution has a number of flaws. For example, the cell phone battery would need to be kept charged. If left plugged in to keep the battery charged, the battery would probably not hold much charge and the call would likely be cut off prematurely. If the phone were left plugged in for power, a power outage could render the phone useless. Further, a wireless 9-1-1 call does not come close in providing the accurate location information capable with a hardwired or landline phone. For these reasons, METCAD recommends use of a standard telephone line. Our only interest is the safety of your residents and their guests.
If you require more information, please contact Deputy Director Greg Abbott at 217/333-8000 Extension 4.