With Memorial Day marking the unofficial start of vacation season, families and friends head to swimming pools, lakes, and beaches for fun in and on the water. AMR medics urge safety in all water sports.
Jim Pollard, AMR spokesman, said, “A few simple but critical steps can reduce the risk of a tragedy while swimming, diving and boating.” He advised
Adults and children should know how to swim. Teach children water safety rules.
Never swim alone. Don’t overestimate your swimming skill.
Use only approved flotation devices. Do not use toys or inner tubes.
Swim only in designated areas.
Watch small children closely near all bodies of water, even small pools.
Keep a cell phone close.
Never dive into rivers or lakes. Each year, nearly 3,000 people in the United States are paralyzed from diving into shallow water or hitting an unseen water obstruction.
To avoid entrapment in pools, keep children away from drains, pipes and other openings.
Keep an eye on everyone in your party. Drownings can happen quickly and without much sound or movement.
Be mindful that ocean currents can carry people out to sea quickly. If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shoreline until you can safely reach the beach.
Never go swimming, boating or diving when you are drinking alcohol. Around any body of water, if your party is drinking, designate a sober person to monitor everyone without distraction.
If someone in the water is in distress, call a lifeguard if one is present or call 911 immediately.
Enter the water to help a person in distress only as a last resort. Stay on a secure base such as a pier or boat. Extend a pole or oar to the person, throw a line of rope or life ring or reach out to the person from your secure base.
If you’re the person in distress in the water, yell for help, splash and wave your arms.
On boats, insist that everyone wears a life jacket or personal flotation device.
Take a boating safety course.
Check the weather forecast before launching your boat. If severe weather develops while you are on the water, get to shore immediately.
Never stand in a small boat, canoe or similar watercraft.
Don’t overload your boat.
Operate your boat with safety foremost in mind.
Never let children take the wheel and pilot the watercraft, not even “jet skis.”
Tell a relative or friend where you’re going and when you’ll return.
About American Medical Response (AMR)
Serving 19 counties, AMR companies comprise Mississippi’s busiest ambulance service.
American Medical Response, Inc., America’s leading provider of medical transportation, provides services in 40 states and the District of Columbia. More than 28,000 AMR paramedics, EMTs, RNs and other professionals work together to transport more than 4.8 million patients nationwide each year in critical, emergency and non-emergency situations. AMR also provides fire services through Rural Metro Fire Department, www.ruralmetrofire.com. For more information about AMR, visit www.amr.net and follow American Medical Response on Facebook @AMR_Social on Twitter and Instagram.
AMR is part of the Global Medical Response family. Global Medical Response, Inc. is the industry-leading air, ground, specialty and residential fire services, and managed medical transportation organization. With more than 35,000 employees, GMR delivers compassionate, quality medical care, primarily in the areas of emergency and patient relocation services in the United States and around the world. For more information, visit www.globalmedicalresponse.com.