Flotation Devices Now in Place Along Rock River
Over the last couple of years, Rockford Fire Department's water recuse team have had to respond to several calls to help someone who has fallen into the Rock River. At the Chestnut Bridge last week they were searching for a man who had fallen into the river.
Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten has said that several incidents over that last couple of years down along the bike path was what got the discussion of water safety and what they could do rolling. He also said that the Rock River has a very strong current, sometimes with a lot of debris, so if you're unfamiliar with it you should be very cautious when near it. One should never go into the Rock River without a life vest.
It's because of this that the Rockford Fire Department and Rockford Park District have installed 12 flotation devices along the Rock River in different key locations. Bergsten added "What we ask for in everything that ends with saving lives, is that we have a bystander that ends up stepping in with some type of assistance until emergency response gets there."
Some of the locations of the devices are behind the big hoop at UW Health Sports Factory and two in front of the Riverview Ice House. Riverview Ice House Hockey Assistant Cole Runkel is glad to have them in front of the ice house. He has had to rescue people who have fallen in the river in the past. Now with the flotation devices, rescue crews will no longer have to fish more than just the original person who has fallen in.
Of course people falling into the water will still happen, at least now there are safety precautions in place to help till the rescue crew can arrive.