Safety preps underway for Red, White, KaBOOM - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Safety preps underway for Red, White, KaBOOM

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Promenade, Festival and International parks sit peacefully still today.  But in less than 48 hours, thousands of families will pack the lawns and river banks to watch July fourth fireworks light up the sky.   Toledo police plan to post a mobile command unit and three portable cameras downtown, in addition to extra boots on the ground both in uniform and plain clothes.  Officers will monitor the cameras at the real-time crime center, responding as needed.

"We will probably have more officers on the fourth of July than any other day of the year," says Sgt. Joe Heffernan with the Toledo Police Department.  "The portable cameras, that seems to really cut down on people doing dumb things like starting fights or stealing things."

The patrols don't stop on the land.  Crews from Toledo Fire & Rescue, the U.S. Coast Guard, DNR and the Lucas County Sheriff's Office will be on the water keeping an eye on boaters.
"All of our stations are fully manned at this time on July fourth," says Lt. James Long with the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Toledo. "We will have responders here in downtown Toledo as well as other fireworks locations over towards the islands." 

Coast Guard leaders suggest boaters keep a personal beacon on board and leave a float plan with loved ones in case of an emergency.  Life jackets are highly recommended, even for strong swimmers.  And just like the rules of road, alcohol is prohibited for the person behind the wheel.

"When you drink and boat, your chances of getting injured in the water go up dramatically," says Lt. Long.
Safety leaders say the days never go exactly as planned.  But having the crews and manpower ready to go makes the holiday safer for everyone.


"There will be plenty of officers around. We just everyone to be responsible," says Sgt. Heffernan. "If you are going to be drinking, drink responsibly.  And just be courteous."

The Red, White, KABOOM show starts around 10 p.m. on Friday, July 4.  There is no cost to attend.  Spectators will be able to get into Promenade Park starting at 6 p.m.

To get information about upcoming boater safety courses, click on http://watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/coursesearch .
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