Orange County officials share summer safety tips ahead of Memorial Day weekend
Orange County officials are urging locals and visitors to abide by safety rules ahead of the unofficial start to summer this weekend.
Officials gathered Tuesday at the Erie Restaurant in Port Jervis to lay out tips to stay safe during summer celebrations.
Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler says local hospitals reported 70% of summer emergency room visits could have been prevented.
"I want people to go out and enjoy Orange County, I want them to go to the restaurants. I want them to go to the taverns. I want them to do it responsibly,” he says.
Port Jervis Police Chief Bill Worden says it’s important to have a plan ahead of time before you have a drink.
"We ask that you celebrate responsibly. Make a plan and make sure you have a designated driver or a safe ride home,” he says.
Ingrid Peterec, of the National Park Service, discussed safety guidelines when it comes to enjoying the water.
"The one thing we need to understand is that drownings are preventable … The No. 1 thing is to always remember a life jacket,” she says.
Peterec reminded everyone to never drink while driving a boat and to always wear a life vest when out on the water.
Officials say people also need to practice safe firework and grilling use.
Orange County is distributing a total of 150 throw bags to police agencies throughout the county to use when responding to water incidents.
Brendan Casey, commissioner of Orange County Emergency Services, says throw bags protect rescuers when helping someone stuck in the water.
“You can throw this out to the person who is struggling out there and pull them in. So, it keeps the rescuer safe and allows you to get help to the people who need it out there,” he says.