Summer is a busy time of year along Calgary’s rivers and now a new program aims to make enjoying the water safer.
It’s called the River Ambassador Outreach Program, featuring young river ambassadors who set up interactive tables each day along the Bow and Elbow rivers.
The tables have a wheel people can spin, bringing up subjects like the environment and wildlife.
The river ambassadors are also engaging people in conversations about river safety.
“Are there things you want to avoid along the river if you’re in a raft or a boat, like rocks?” ambassador Kip Monaghan asked a family group.
“Rough water,” was the response from dad Cenon Almero.
“Yeah, rough water,” Monaghan said.
The program is being well received.
“I think it’s great,” Ashley Looysen said. “Especially with little ones learning about how to be safe around the river.”
The Calgary Fire Department welcomes the education provided by the river ambassadors.
“Any way that we can share the message about safety is really important,” fire department public information officer Carol Henke said.
Rescuing people on Calgary’s rivers is a regular part of summer for firefighters.
“There’s always room for improvement,” Henke said. “We have had some rescues where it could’ve been quite dire.”