County steps up safety measures with lifeguards at Klineline Pond
Bill Bjerke, Public Works
Vancouver, WA – Clark County will have lifeguards certified in open water rescue stationed at Klineline Pond near Salmon Creek starting Wednesday, July 31, 2013.
Lifeguards will be on duty each day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Labor Day, Sept. 2. In addition, they will provide weekend coverage Sept. 7-8 and Sept. 14-15.
“We are adding this service to make family outings safer this summer,” said Steve Stuart, chair of the Board of County Commissioners. “However, we are still asking parents and other park users to be vigilant about safety in and around the water. The new team will provide more trained eyes and ears to help everyone do just that.”
Four lifeguard stations and float lines for a designated swimming area have been installed at the west end of the pond. The number of lifeguards on duty will vary according to the weather and number of people expected at the park each day. They will be dressed in red and white.
Stuart noted that parents and swimmers may now choose Klineline Pond as a destination that offers lifeguards and other extra safety features. No other county parks have lifeguards on staff.
In Washington state, drowning is a leading cause of injury leading to death of children. Life jackets prevent such tragedies. A properly fitted life jacket should be snug, but comfortable. When lifting the shoulders of the jacket, the child’s chin and ears should not slip through.
People who forget to bring their own may borrow a jacket at Klineline Pond. About a dozen jackets are available in various sizes. They must be returned to the loaner station and hung up to dry.
Lifeguards were discontinued in 2010 after sharp budget reductions began in 2009 because of the economic downturn. The commissioners authorized spending up to $120,000 for lifeguards at Klineline Pond in 2013 by adjusting the county budget this spring.