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“Kids and Dogs Don’t Float, Life Jackets Do!” Newly created Life Jacket Loaner Station in Sayville, NY.
Published Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Kids and Dogs Don’t Float, Life Jackets Do!Newly created Life Jacket Loaner Station in Sayville, NY.

The Community Ambulance Company partnered with the Suffolk County Police Department Commissioner Tim Sini and the Atlantic Coast Veterinary Specialists George Kramer is continuing to help keep kids and dogs safe while on the water by offering loaner life jackets to the public for the day or weekend, at no charge!

According to Suffolk County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Caplan, there were 59 drowning deaths in Suffolk County between 2014 and 2016. 

Community Ambulance Company President Jamie Atkinson stated: 

"We have done extensive research with the Naples Florida Parks and Boat US Foundation in regards to this program. Since 2014, Naples Florida Parks has utilized a similar program which creates 15 loaner stations up the coast of Florida.  We have taken what we have learned to bring an effective and free program to the residents of Suffolk County in an effort to prevent drownings.  We have expanded the program to include life jackets for dogs.  Many community residents have pools that may need a life jacket for a visitor during the summer months or those who come here to enjoy many of our beautiful beaches, boating opportunities, town parks and take the Sayville Ferry Service to Fire Island that do not come prepared with a flotation device.  This program gives the opportunity to be safe in any water situation."

Suffolk Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said:

"Anyone looking for proof of the importance of life jackets just needs to talk to a first responder who arrived at a water rescue too late.  You can ask most veteran police officers or detectives how heartbreaking it is when they have to respond to a call that involves an injury or God forbid a fatality to a child.” 

Dr. George Kramer, Chief-of-Staff at Atlantic Coast Veterinary Specialists stated:

“Even though most dogs and cats know how to swim, in an emergency situation panic and fatigue sets in quickly leading to drowning.  An estimated 5000 pets drown each year in the United States.  This effort by Community Ambulance Company and the Suffolk County Police Department will help avoid needless tragedy and heartbreak.  Atlantic Coast Veterinary Specialists is proud to be a part of the effort to save lives.”

Here’s how the Life Jacket Loaner Program works: If a boater, resident or visitor discovers they don’t have enough life jackets, they can simply visit Community Ambulance Company and sign out an infant, child, youth, adult or dog life jacket for the day or the weekend. When they’ve finished for the day, they can return the jackets to the same location. 

Community Ambulance is making 20 (5 infant, 5 child, 5 youth and 5 adult) life jackets and 10 (2 extra small, 2 small, 2 medium, 2 large and 2 extra large) dog jackets available for loan, allowing hundreds of children, adults and dogs from our community to stay safer on the water.  Every person who borrows a life jacket will be provided with water safety educational flyers to include how to properly size and wear the loaner jacket. 

The program will be taken mobile on the weekends with the use of a trailer by delivering the life jacket loaner station to beaches and pools as needed to promote water safety and to prevent drowning fatalities.  Community Ambulance will evaluate the loaner usage at these other locations in an effort to expand the program next summer. 

BoatUS Foundation, a national nonprofit foundation whose aim is to reduce accidents and fatalities on the waterways, will add Community Ambulance Company’s loaner site to their online map which gives the public the ability to find a loaner life jacket location within their vicinity.

If you would like to borrow a jacket, simply stop by 420 Lakeland Avenue in Sayville between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM on weekdays only.  You will be asked to provide a valid Driver's license and sign a waiver. You can also call Community Ambulance Company at 631-567-2586 to learn more about our ongoing community injury prevention programs. 

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How to properly fit a life jacket.

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Suffolk County REMSCO | 360 Yaphank Ave, Suite 1B | Yaphank, NY 11980 Phone: 631-852-5080 | Fax: 631-852-5028