PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The AMR River Rescue Team is extending its season due to high temperatures in the area this week.
The team’s season was supposed to end after Labor Day, September 6. Lifeguards will stay on duty at High Rocks in Gladstone and Glenn Otto Park in Troutdale.
After being sidelined for the entire 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic, the lifeguards returned this year to what officials said was their busiest-ever season.
“In the month of June, we were helping a lot of people out of the water, so I think that pays – that’s a large component as to why we had so many assists this year is because June was so hot,” said AMR river rescue program coordinator Phillip Stoinoff.
By the numbers provided by the AMR River Rescue Team, they took part in 200 assists, made 4 rescues and loaned 2434 life jackets during the season — about double from the last year they were on duty, 2019.
With more water assists, Stoinoff said AMR took careful COVID-19 precautions to protect medics and lifeguards.
Stoinoff, who is also a paramedic, suggests for people to wear properly sized life jackets, prepare for hazards in water, know your swimming abilities and keep children within arm’s reach while adventuring.
The AMR River Rescue program began in 1999.