COVID-19 puts river rescues on hiatus
This summer there will be no lifeguards at a popular Troutdale swimming hole.
American Medical Response Inc. (AMR) announced Thursday evening, May 28, that its River Rescue Team will not be present at Troutdale's Glenn Otto Park. They will remain off-duty at the park until the team can conduct the yearly U.S. Lifesaving Association training requirements, which have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group said there are no facilities open to conduct mandatory swim testing and training, nor is there a way of protecting rescuers from the virus while conducting contact rescues and resuscitation on swimmers in distress.
In the absence of lifeguards, officials warn swimmers to be extra cautious. Life jackets are freely available at the entrance to Glenn Otto Park, and officials strongly recommend children always wear one when near a body of water.
Other safety tips include:
• Wearing a life jacket when in or near the water
• Be wary of the risk of cold shock due to frigid spring water temperatures
• Read and follow all signage
All of this comes on the heels of last summer, when East Multnomah County had a trio of drownings — an 8-year-old and a 15-year-old at Oxbow Regional Park and an adult swimmer at Rooster Rock State Park on the Columbia River all lost their lives between July 30 and Aug. 19.
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