Free life jackets given away at Boise pond

The city is handing out 100 free life jackets.

BOISE - Idaho has some of the best lakes, pond and rivers to cool off in when it's hot, but safety is paramount.

Unfortunately, just last month at Quinn's Pond, a 15-year-old boy drowned.

To help prevent that from ever happening again, Boise Parks and Recreation, the Boise Fire Department, St. Luke's and Idaho River Sports have teamed up to outfit children in need with life jackets for free.

And along with free life jackets, the fire department was also on hand providing some very important water safety education.

"We quickly learn that for a lot of families, they might not be able to afford to purchase a life jacket, they probably won't go get one," says Boise Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway.

Which is why 100 free life jackets were being handed out Wednesday night at Quinn's Pond.

"We want to have functionable, fashionable, good life jackets and that's what we are going to hand out today," says Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan.

"If you were a 15-year-old boy that just arrived in our country, for example, and your friends all know how to swim but you don't, you will feel comfortable, you're putting on a life jacket that is a little hipper," added Holloway.

Not only are the life jackets stylish but they were custom fit to each child.

"Fit is very very important, need to make sure they are well fit, which is why we will have the Boise Fire Dive Team here and our Swift Water Rescue Team that will help fit life jackets to kids and adults that need them," said Doan.

The jackets were paid for by St. Luke's and were purchased at half price from Idaho River Sports.

The tragic drowning last month has highlighted the need for water safety equipment and education.

"I'm a parent too and I know how quickly kids can get away," said Doan. "And that's why we need to have life jackets on them, because we can turn our backs and the next thing we know they are in a canal or in a river or they are in a pond or a lake, and we just need to be diligent as parents and make sure they have their life jackets on."


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