Summer safety tips from Rural Metro

Sandra ClarkFeature

Continuing with our summer safety message, Rural Metro Fire wants to urge everyone to exercise extreme safety when it comes to boating and riding ATVs or side-by-sides.

We see accidents every summer involving boating mishaps. Just some reminders as you enjoy the lake this summer:

**Always wear your life jacket! Even if you can swim better than most, you still should wear a life jacket. While skiing or riding a tube in the water, you may hit the water or something in the water that could knock you unconscious. If you’re not wearing a life jacket, you will drown.

**Be smart while operating a boat or personal water craft! Watch for other boaters and assume they don’t see you and make sure you see them.

**While working on your boat, make sure you have someone with you and the boat is in neutral while working on it from in the water. Make sure you follow the laws while on the water. Know the limits of the boats capacity and don’t overload it with more folks than it can hold. Don’t drink and drive a boat either. Alcohol causes impaired operators and leads to accidents, even on the water.

For questions you can go to the TWRA @ or US Coast Guard at

Riding ATVs or side-by-sides can be so much fun! However, you must be very aware of the dangers associated with riding these machines and the requirements for the operators.

First and foremost, always wear a helmet! This should be common sense, but we see too many accidents where helmets are not being worn.

Side-by-sides come equipped with seatbelts. They’re there for a reason, please use them! Know the terrain you’re riding or operate across unfamiliar terrain very carefully. Some hillsides you may try to go up could cause your ATV to flip over, causing significant injuries or death. Always consult the owner’s manual with questions about the machines capabilities.

Rural Metro Fire is a division of AMR, the nation’s largest provider of emergency services. Its 200 full-time and on-call firefighters operate from 17 stations serving Knox County since 1977. Rural Metro is member-funded, and its members generally pay far less for homeowner’s insurance because of having a subscription. Non-members are charged for services and do not benefit from insurance premium savings. Property owners can subscribe to Rural Metro by calling its Members Services Office at 560-0239.

(This information provided by Captain Jeff Bagwell, public information officer for Rural Metro Fire.)

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