Forest service meets with local emergency response agencies over water safety

Posted at 5:43 PM, Apr 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-28 20:43:01-04

The Kern River Ranger District in the Sequoia National Forest met with several local emergency response agencies Wednesday to discuss the potential for water rescue incidents this summer. 

This winter's substantial snowpack has significantly increased the volume of water in our waterways and could extend the runoff period. 

The group shared individual agency guidelines and protocols along with the skills, abilities, and training of responding agencies.

Each agencies' involvement varied to some degree on actions that can be taken safely.

"It is our goal for Kern River Valley visitors to make water safety a priority," Deputy District Ranger Philip DeSenze said in a press release.  "It's important to understand water safety in and around these tempting waters. Seemingly peaceful, warm and shallow areas can prove to be deceptively cold and easily overwhelm even the strongest individuals."

The Kern River Ranger District asks that you keep the following in mind during water recreation. When near rapids or other moving water, always stay on the established trails or developed areas. Keep a close watch on children even if they are far from the water. Water safety for children is especially important.

Wear life jackets near a waterway. Never walk, play or climb on slippery rocks and logs near rivers and streams.