San Diego River Access: New routes in and out of local spot - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego River Access: New routes in and out of local spot

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – Seconds matter in an emergency, and now lifeguards will be better able to reach people who may be trapped in the San Diego River after seven new access routes were created to help them bypass thick brush and vegetation.

In 2017, San Diego Fire Swift Water Rescue team helped more than 60 people get to higher ground around the area near Premier Inns – where one of the new routes is located.

“The fact of the matter is, for any lifeguard, any firefighter or any first responder, you can’t rescue somebody until you can access them first,” said Chief Brian Fennessy, San Diego Fire Rescue.

The seven new access routes were placed at key points along the river which are prone to flooding.

“One of the first challenges we have is finding the victim, but then being able to access them as quickly as possible,” said Rick Wurts, San Diego Lifeguard.

The routes not only increase the likelihood of future successful rescues, but will also help protect first responders.

The routes were possible because of multiple agencies that included the City of San Diego, San Diego Fire Rescue Lifeguard Division, Cal Fire and the San Diego River Conservancy.

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