The Poudre Fire Authority has been hard at work training for swift water rescues.

Credit: Poudre Fire Authority
Credit: Poudre Fire Authority

The current and expected conditions on the Poudre River, the Fire Authority is making sure you know the dangers while hanging out near the river this summer.

Rainfall, coupled with spring runoff, add to the risk of the river. Also, debris, some underneath the water and not visible, can cause dangerous situations.

Tips from the Poudre Fire Authority to be safe around rivers this summer:

Tell someone where you are going and always go with a partner, when you expect to return and where and who to call if you don’t. If your plans change while you are traveling, put a note in your car on the driver’s side dashboard with the new plans.

Have a communication plan in the event of an emergency, not all areas west of Ted’s Place have cell service.

Wear life jackets around water. Some areas near the water’s edge and some riverbanks are unstable due to current high flow rates.

Stay away from riverbanks during times of high-flowing water. The banks may have become unstable and give way underneath you.

Never forget the power of the river, especially when it is running high and fast from spring runoff or recent heavy rains.

Be aware of the limitations of yourself in the water. Even if you are a good swimmer, fast-moving water and undercurrents can easily catch you off guard. Additionally, there are often rocks or other obstacles underneath the water that can knock you off balance even in shallow water depths.

Watch your surroundings, including the weather. Be prepared for extremes in the weather, especially if more rain is predicted. Heavy rains upstream can alter the water flow and depth in a short period and also contribute to hypothermia. When your clothes are soaking wet, hypothermia is a danger even in the summer.

Carry a First Aid kit and know how to use it. Take a first aid course for CPR and basic medical assistance.

• If caught in a fast-flowing river, rapids or storm water, try to float feet first in a half sit position.

• Remember: "Reach or throw, don’t go." If someone is caught in the fast-moving water, reach out to them or throw a rope to the person in the water. Don’t go into the water yourself or you may also become in need of rescuing. Call 9-1-1 ASAP with as detailed location to where the incident is located.

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