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With Swim Season Starting, Firefighters Demonstrate Lake Rescues

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Chicago Fire Department took part in a little show-and-tell on Tuesday at 57th Street Beach, in an effort to help keep young swimmers safe this summer.

A fire helicopter and two fire boats kept the kids' attention while Deputy Chief Ron Dorneker tried to impart some wisdom about the dangers of rip currents.

"You can't swim against it. That current's too strong. Flip, float, and follow," he said. "If you get caught in one of these rip currents, and you can't swim in, flip on your back and float. Follow it for a little while, and then swim in to shore."

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) arranged the demonstration.

"Water is a great place to be around, but it also can be very dangerous," she said.


The kids had some questions for firefighters, like what to divers do if they're rescuing someone and there are sharks in the water.

"Well, we're lucky in Chicago. We don't have sharks in this water," Dorneker said.

Another child asked what would happen if a firefighter forgot his gear when he came to work.

"Oh, he'd be in big trouble," Dorneker said.

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