New program promotes safety along Calgary’s rivers

WATCH: Some young Calgarians have come up with a new way to spread the word on water safety. As Gil Tucker reports, the ‘River Ambassadors’ are out to save lives this summer.

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.

READ MORE: Emergency crews rescue 4 people from Bow River in Calgary Saturday

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.

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“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.”

READ MORE: 28 people rescued from rafts along North Saskatchewan 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.

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“There’s always room for improvement,” Henke said. “We have had some rescues where it could’ve been quite dire.”

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