RISE Cowley awarded a $1,000 mini-grant to Winfield Fire/EMS to purchase life jackets for Winfield City Lake that will increase water safety for swimmers and boaters this year and in the future. RISE Cowley is a coalition of like-minded organizations dedicated to making Cowley County a healthier and safer place to live, work, and play.
“Our coalition supported this effort to make outdoor activities at the lake more accessible to all,” says Sarah Johnson, RISE Cowley steering committee president. “Winfield City Lake is a destination for families to enjoy, and providing this water safety measure removes a barrier for many.”
RISE Cowley partnered with Winfield Fire/EMS to create a life jacket loaner program at Winfield City Lake. The life jacket loaner board will be housed on the bath house by the swim beach for maximum visual exposure. This location also provides cover to keep the life jackets out of the elements as much as possible. Signage will also be mounted to the side of the bath house with information about the program and how to wear a lifejacket properly.
Jaron Mertz, Winfield Fire/EMS Lieutenant/Paramedic, stated that they have been thinking of implementing the program for a while but were unable to secure funding until Operations Support Specialist, Jessica Dibble thought to bring the program to RISE Cowley.
Mertz shared that the average response time to an emergency at the lake is between 15 and 20 minutes.
“We are hopeful that the life jackets will decrease the number of times that Winfield Fire/EMS is called to the lake and will make a life-saving difference as help is on its way.”
In order to make health and safety a priority, RISE Cowley has set aside funds for mini-grants. These funds help move forward healthy initiatives in Cowley County.