With hundreds of people expected to be out on the water this holiday weekend, we’re learning how the Morgan County Rescue Squad is gearing up for any potential issues.
“I love the water and I know Morgan County well, so I know my areas," Danny Kelso said. "What better way to give back to the community?”
Danny Kelso has been volunteering with the Morgan County Rescue Squad for 20 years and says the water is his favorite place to be.
“You’re getting out and getting to meet people," he said. "You see people are having fun.”
And he’s not the only lover of water. Decatur is commonly referred to as "River City,' and Kelso said folks take pride in that, especially during Memorial Day weekend.
“It’s really the kick-off of water season, because everyone’s been cooped up," he said. "It’s the beginning of summer and everyone’s graduating, so everyone brings their boats out.”
Several boaters were out on the water on Friday, making sure they're ready for the holiday weekend.
“We eat a lot and just spend a lot of time out here on the water, playing with family and just enjoying the outdoors," Richard Bradford said.
“Safety is key and it seems there’s been some incidents recently that everyone would like to avoid," Kyle Pike added. "This weekend is a big weekend for boaters. There will be a ton of boats out, so everybody just be aware of where they are and what they’re doing on the water.”
Kelso told WAAY 31 the most important thing to remember is that everyone on board has a life jacket.
There’s already been two fatal boating accidents in Morgan County so far this year. Kelso said, in both incidents, the person who died wasn’t wearing a life jacket. He’s hoping there won’t be any incidents this weekend, but the rescue squad is prepared just in case.
“We have dive goggles and dive suits ready to go if we have to do a dive," he said. "We have medical supplies on the boat if we have to administer some kind of first aid.”
But he's hoping those things won't be necessary.
“We want you to have fun, we want you to be safe, and we don’t want to get called out," he said.
The rescue squad wants to remind everyone that if you are going to be drinking alcohol, you must have a sober captain with a valid boaters license.
They also want to remind everyone how important it is to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen.