On July 1st, community members gathered at East Laporte River Access Park to witness a dedication for the new Life Jacket Loaner Station. The station was revealed just in time for the busy holiday weekend and is one of five stations that will be placed at water access points throughout the county. East Laporte received the first station due to its popularity.
With the many lakes and rivers in the area, children’s safety around bodies of water is a concern for our community. Jackson County prides itself on its various outdoor opportunities and believes that passing along the love of nature to generations to come is important. Sadly, drowning is a reality that too many families have had to face in Jackson County. Through providing the Life Jacket Loaner Stations, children will be given the opportunity to bond with nature, family, and friends in a safer environment.
The Safe Kids Jackson County Coalition has partnered with local and state organizations to provide the five Life Jacket Loaner Stations within the county. Each Life Jacket Loaner Station will house life jackets of varying sizes, from infant to adult, for children to borrow while they are participating in water activities near the site. Each station will have instructions in English and Spanish for how to properly fit a life jacket. Similar stations have been proven to be useful and effective in other parts of the United States.
Being able to provide these stations has been a dream for advocates in the county, and the Life Jacket Loaner Station has been made possible through the efforts of multiple agencies – Duke Energy & the Brian and Nathan Keese Water Safety Organization, Safe Kids Jackson County, Walmart, Jennings Builder Supply, Jackson County Department of Public Health, Jackson County Public Works Department, and McNeely’s Rentals.