New life-saving equipment is now in place along the Rock River in Rockford thanks to the Rockford Fire Department and the Park District. 

The fire department had to recently activate their water rescue team due to an incident near the Chestnut Street bridge and they had numerous other incidents within the last year.

In response to this, the fire department has installed 12 buoys or floatation devices along the river. Those locations are as follows:

  1. UW Health Sports Factory
  2. Joe Marino Park
  3. Waterside Plaza
  4. Riverview Park (near pedestrian bridge)
  5. Riverview Park (near dock)
  6. YMCA
  7. Rock River Recreation Path (near Rockmen Guardians)
  8. Nicholas Conservatory
  9. Symbol
  10. Luther Village
  11. Beattie Park
  12. Burpee Museum boat docks

Fire Chief Derek Bergsten had this to say about the new life-saving devices:

Over the years, there has been an increase in public usage of the downtown area, especially along the riverfront where there could be an incident. Both agencies felt having floatation devices at strategic locations provides an important safety reminder and potentially life-saving assistance in case a water-related incident happens.

As the Chief points out these life-saving devices not only will help in an emergency but put safety in the minds of those who pass by. It's great that the downtown area is seeing such an increase in traffic, now it's time to make sure everyone is safe.