Chief of Police
2 Mudge Way
Bedford, MA 01730
BEDFORD FIRE DEPARTMENT
David Grunes, Fire Chief
55 Great Road
Bedford, MA 01730
For Immediate Release
Monday, June 6, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
*Joint Press Release* Bedford Police and Fire Departments Provide Water Safety Tips
BEDFORD — As temperatures rise and summer approaches, Police Chief Robert Bongiorno and Fire Chief David Grunes would like to remind residents to follow essential safety tips while spending time by the water, including the Concord River, private swimming pools and ponds.
The town of Bedford contains fishing holes and ponds of various depths and many residents have created rope swings or other devices to launch themselves into the water. Officials warn residents against these practices because both the depths of these bodies of water and what lies on the bottom are unknown.
“There’s an entanglement hazard with every fishing hole and small pond,” said Chief Grunes. “These bodies of water are not monitored, and therefore residents should take extra caution.”
The Concord River, a 16.3-mile tributary that flows into the Merrimack River, sees heavy recreational fishing and boating activity. While the water is generally calm, officials advise residents not to swim in the river and to always be cautious when boating, as currents can be unpredictable and dangerous.
“Parents, please take extra caution when taking your children swimming this summer, even if it’s to the pool in your own backyard” Chief Bongiorno said. “We want to ensure everyone has a fun, but safe, summer.”
For those with their own pools, Bedford Police and Fire suggest that the community follow safety tips outlined by the American Red Cross:
- Per Massachusetts law, have at least a 4-foot-high barrier that encloses the pool and an access gate that self-closes, locks, and opens outward from the swimming area (even if you do not have children).
- Fasten a safety cover over the pool when it is not in use, and remove ladders to further prevent access into the pool. For added safety, install a pool alarm that will sound if anyone enters the water.
- Never leave children unattended while they are near or in a pool, and make sure they have an adult to accompany them into the water. Young or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket or inflatable arm floats.
- Make sure children stay away from pool drains, pipes, or any other openings to avoid getting trapped or hurt. If a child is missing, always check the pool first.
- Set safety instructions and share them with family, friends, neighbors, or anyone else who is near or uses the pool. Advise children to stay away from pool deep ends, and to always walk, never run, near the pool.
- Take a CPR course for adults and children to be prepared if an emergency situation occurs. Update skills regularly.