Sparks Crews Practice River Safety Drills at Rock Park - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Sparks Crews Practice River Safety Drills at Rock Park

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Firefighters are beefing up their river rescue skills as we get closer to summer time.

Over a dozen Sparks fire and rescue crew members participated in a drill Thursday at Rock Park. Firefighters do these kinds of training every few months to stay up to date with their rescue training skills. And although it was a nice day today, temperatures can still hover around 40-degrees in the Truckee River.

Emergency crews say its extremely important to practice different rescue scenarios.

Organizers are hoping to start trying these water rescue drills at night to simulate a night-time water rescue.

The City of Sparks offers this personal safety tips:

Personal Safety Tips and Reminders in and around the Truckee River
*    Use a personal flotation device

*    Never swim while alone.  Be a competent swimmer.  Don’t attempt rapids which lie beyond your ability.

*    The Truckee River is very cold, hypothermia can set in very quickly (3-7 min).

*   Watch children while you are close to the water.  Remember that children can't maintain body temperature as well as adults - cold water will affect them quickly.

*    Don't drink while swimming in the river. The use of alcohol or mind-altering drugs before or during swimming reduces decision-making ability and survival reflexes and is often linked to fatalities.

*    If swept away, don't try and stand up. Swim to shore. Attempting to stand while moving in the river current can cause foot entrapment leading to broken legs and possibly drowning.

*   What to wear / what to take.  Carry equipment needed for unexpected emergencies, including foot wear to protect feet when walking in the river.  Sunglass and eyeglass users should tie them on.  Consider carrying a throw rope, knife, whistle, and waterproof matches.  Do not wear bulky jackets, ponchos, heavy boots, or anything else which could reduce your ability to survive a swim.
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