River patrols are bringing medical units on board this Fourth of - KPTV - FOX 12

River patrols are bringing medical units on board this Fourth of July to help out with emergencies

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COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE, OR (KPTV) -

The Fourth of July means BBQ's and fireworks for those flocking to the river this holiday; but for patrols, it means added security on the waters. 

This weekend river patrols for the Multnomah County Sheriff's office are bringing medical units on board with them for the weekend. 

For Deputy Sheriff Kevin McAfee, this will be his tenth year in a row out on the waters for America's holiday. 

"We've had drownings, we've had stabbings, we've had people fall into fires," said McAfee. 

So adding medical units he feels is important. 

"In years past, we've got out and had medical issues with people and just having medically trained people with us makes it easier," McAfee added. 

Normally one crew patrols both rivers, but this weekend there will be six crews along with two medical units on duty. 

McAfee adds with the heat on the rise, it's another reason they're thankful EMT's will be on board. Boaters also agreed having medical units on call near the river will help with emergencies. 

“I think it’s a good idea, a lot of people get injured or heatstroke out there so immediate attention would be good," one boater said. "Obviously the fourth of July weekend, there’s a lot of more people drinking, camping, it’s really hot, just with a lot of more people around prone to drowning, I think it’s a good idea." 

If you are headed out to the river this weekend, three things patrols advise is making sure each of your passengers has a life jacket. Also bring water and constantly stay hydrated. 

Lastly, a piece of advice that never gets old, wear sunscreen.

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