River Rescue team are standing by at Glenn Otto and High Rocks Park all summer

AMR River Rescue responders are on standby at Glenn Otto Park and High Rocks Park from now until Labor Day.
Published: May. 27, 2023 at 10:17 PM PDT
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TROUTDALE Ore. (KPTV) - Memorial Day weekend is underway, and popular swimming spots across the Portland metro area attracted crowds of people eager to take advantage of the weather.

With so many people in the Sandy River, River Rescue responders are on standby at Glenn Otto Park.

“The AMR River Rescue team really enjoys being out here to make sure people are safe,” said Keek Campillo, a River Rescue Technician.

Campillo is working alongside four other River Technicians, who explained that they’re both training and keeping an eye on the public.

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Glenn Otto Park was packed with people and families, like the Snyders, who are out enjoying the spring sunshine.

“Our goal is to take advantage of all the sun this summer,” Lindsey Snyder, said. “It’s a nice break from work too.”

The Snyders are out on the riverbank where they’re keeping an eye on their son while he plays in the sand. Sand that Lindsey said he was “currently covered in, so he’s having a blast.”

Meanwhile, Jessica Roy recruited her mom to help with her kids, keeping a watchful eye on the water, which she knows can be dangerous.

Roy said she “made sure we had some extra eyes with all the kids running around, because we know the Sandy is cold and fast.”

She said she’s paying close attention and making sure her kids don’t go out too far. Which would be something AMR River Rescue is on standby to help with if need be.

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“The currents are fast, and waters are cold,” Campillo explained, “both of those things can exhaust you when you’re trying to swim.”

Campillo said every river technician is either an EMT or Paramedic and has completed a swimming test and 80 hours of river training.

“It’s important for us to keep our cool and make sure that we’re focused and remember our techniques and training,” Campillo said.

The presence of the river rescue team on the shoreline is something Sean Snyder was happy to see.

“I love it,” Sean said. “It just seems like a really safe, welcoming space.”

One of the big things Campillo said you can do to protect yourself or kids is to simply wear a life jacket. He said you can borrow one for free through Labor Day at Glenn Otto Park or High Rocks.

If you need a life jacket, we invite the public to come to our station,” Campillo said. “We’ll be out here every single day, Monday through Friday.”