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Safe Kids Stanislaus launches life jacket loan program
life jacket
Anyone can now borrow a life jacket from a list of fire stations in Stanislaus County free of charge (Photo contributed).

Families planning on taking their kids to enjoy local lakes and rivers before fall weather finally descends on the Valley can now borrow life jackets to ensure a safe return from their outing.

As part of its ongoing efforts to prevent childhood injuries, Safe Kids Stanislaus has partnered with area agencies and organizations to launch a year-round life jacket loan program for local families.

Safe Kids Stanislaus, led by Doctors Medical Center and the Stanislaus County Police Activities League (PAL), is a coalition consisting of more than 20 community agencies that have the common goal of preventing unintentional injuries in children 0-19. The coalition has a strong focus on water safety and the program expands yearly with the goal of preventing all childhood drownings.

The Modesto Fire Department has been instrumental in creating the distribution centers at fire stations around Stanislaus County for the hundreds of life jackets provided by Modesto Irrigation District (MID) and Century 21 as part of the new life jacket loan program.

Participating fire stations include Station 31 in Turlock, 540 E. Marshall St., along with fire stations in Modesto, Empire, Riverbank, Waterford, Oakdale and Knights Ferry.

Anyone can borrow a life jacket. There is no cost for the program. Each location has sizes available in infant, child, youth and adult.

Life jackets must be returned where they were picked up, any day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information about the life jacket loan program, contact Rena Bryant, Injury Prevention Coordinator for Trauma Services at Doctors Medical Center and Safe Kids Stanislaus Coordinator, at (209) 480-8786.