WILTON, Conn. -- Wilton Fire Department Chief Ronald E. Kanterman is reminding residents to follow his tips on “Water Safety, What to Know.”
Here are some key facts to know about recreational water safety, from Kanterman:
- Know how to recognize an emergency: Drownings happen quickly and quietly. Teach family and guests to use the word “help” for a true emergency only.
- Know the signs of a swimmer in distress: Distressed swimmers are trying to swim but are not making any progress. Active drowning victims tend to push down on the water in order to keep their heads above the water line. Never assume a swimmer calling for help or believed to be in distress is joking around. Take action.
- Know how to respond to an emergency: If someone is missing in general, check the pool, hot tub, etc. Use the reach-throw method. Reach with a pole, skimmer net or other long-handled device. Throw a buoy or other inflated device. Only go in if you are a trained water rescue person/lifeguard or if you can stand up in the body of water with your head above the water line. A drowning victim will very often pull their rescuer under.
- Learn life saving techniques and CPR: Have the right stuff: A bamboo or aluminum pole makes good reach devices. A ring buoy on a rope. (A closed empty gallon milk container on a rope could work.) If boating, there must be a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD) on board for each person.
- Get emergency services rolling as soon as possible: Keep a phone handy and make sure someone dials 9-1-1 as the emergency unfolds. Whether in the back yard, at the beach or on a boat, have a first aid kit on hand.
Always remember: Drowning is not limited to the pool, pond, lake or ocean, he said.