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Tampa First Responders Prepare For Lightning Boat Parade

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - Police and emergency responders are getting ready for the Tampa Bay Lightning celebratory parade on Monday.

Officials say they will have different departments spread through out Tampa making sure everyone is staying safe.

Roger Young, with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, says "We are really excited, we are really happy for the Tampa Bay Lightning and the community but we want everyone to have safe day on the water and enjoy this parade. Tampa bay is known for boat parades now and we want to keep that up, but we want to keep that safety message up too."

First responders in Tampa say as people celebrate the Tampa Bay Lightning winning the Stanley Cup over the next week, their focus is on helping others.

"For us the day of is full of anxiety because there's so much that could go wrong so quickly on the water," said Young.

With the celebratory boat parade just three days away, Tampa Police say you need to be prepared.

Ruben Delgado, Tampa Assistant Police Chief, says "If you're planning on coming down, have a plan in place, try to get here early."

Barbara Tripp, the Fire Chief for Tampa Fire Rescue, says "Definitely they have to be aware of the traffic, make sure they look out for one another."

First responders say you need to stay hydrated and if you're going on a boat, make sure you have safety items.

David Arthur with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says "Vests and life jackets for all of your passengers. It's hot, there's going to be a lot of people out here. We're expecting the crowd in the thousands, so please pack some patience as well."

Officials say fans should not drink and drive and every group should have a designated driver.

"A lot of times they will be distracted by the parade and the celebrities and the hockey players on the boats and they lose track of where their boat is in conjunction to everybody else, so maintain a safe buffer," said Young.

Tampa Police, Tampa Fire Rescue, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, marine patrols and bike medics say no matter what, they will be all over the city making sure this celebration runs smoothly.

"If for some reason something happens and we have to go in the water, then we will be the first ones down there," said Delgado.

Officials say the boat parade will start around 11 a.m. Monday and then between 1 and 2 p.m., the Lightning players and the community will come together at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park for a celebrations on land.

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