Schooled On River Safety

Schooled on River Safety

ELMIRA (WENY) -- It was safety first for Parley Coburn Elementary students.
     Instructors of the river safety program say it's important to teach river safety at an early age to prevent any accidents in the future.
     It was a hands on experience for Parley Coburn Elementary students.
     Kayaks, canoes and rescue boats were all part of the river safety program by the River friends and Elmira Fire Department.
     "We're teaching the kids, that the river can be enjoyable," said Jim Pfiffer, Executive Director of Friends of the Chemung River Watershed. "But it can be safe if you use your head."
     Mother's day of this year, Donna Bailey drowned when her kayak capsized in the Chemung River.  She was not wearing a life preserver.
     "Always respect the river and always have a life jacket on," said Elmira Fire Marshall, Joseph Martino. "Even if you don't plan to go in the water."
     Third grader,Nolan Hulslander says after today's class, he now knows what to do when there's an emergency.
     "If I had a buddy and they had a cell phone or something they could call the police or 9-1-1 and fire dept so they could help me," said Hulslander.

     Important river safety tips:
     - Never Boat Alone
     - Always tell someone where you are going, when you'll return and where to call if you don't.
     - Wear a properly fitted Life Jacket at all times when you are in or near the river.
     - Never go in waters you aren't familiar with.

     River Friends and Elmira Fire Department says they are hoping to expand this program to high school students in the near future.