AMR River Rescue preparing, training for summer lifeguard season - KPTV - FOX 12

AMR River Rescue preparing, training for summer lifeguard season

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With summer-like temperatures gracing the northwest Tuesday afternoon, lifeguards with AMR’s River Rescue were able to get out on the water.

As part of their two-week training program before the summer season begins about two dozen men and women were out practicing lifesaving skills at High Rocks Park in Gladstone. 

The Clackamas River is still running fairly cold as snow continues to melt in the upper elevations of the Cascades. 

“Water temperatures are going to be really cold so be ready for that cold-water shock when you get in, it is going to make you gasp and it will not let you swim correctly in the first couple seconds,” AMR River Rescue Program Coordinator Justine Kilsby said. 

She added this week they are practicing skills they learned last week before the summer lifeguard season begins Memorial Day weekend.

"Basically, they have all the equipment that they would have and they are making them make judgment decisions,” Kilsby said. 

The training is done every year, some of the lifeguards have been working with AMR at High Rocks and Glen Otto for several summers. This year, 11 people returned which Kilsby said is a big benefit to the program.

“They bring so much experience back every year, they know our parks like the back of their hands. They are ready to take on any situation because they have seen a lot of it before,” Kilsby said. 

AMR is asking people who head out to area rivers to make sure that they have a lifejacket with them. Especially since the rivers and lakes are still running very cold. 

AMR River Rescue will have lifeguards stationed at the two parks starting Saturday.

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