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Authorities Urge Holiday Safety
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Triple digit temperatures over the past weekend, combined with still surging currents in local waterways, provided plenty of tense moments for rescue crews in the Central Valley.

There were a couple of drownings in the Sacramento area over the weekend but, locally, officials are counting their blessings. And, getting ready.

"We just sent four guys to training," Escalon Fire Department Battalion Chief and Training Officer Joe Pelot said. "Their last day of the class is Thursday, they are going to the modified swift water rescue class at Knights Ferry."

Attending the training are firefighters Matt Herrero, Mike Rebensdorf, Ryan Burr and Nate Keyser. The training acquaints the officers with procedures for swift water rescue and they are doing some training in the Stanislaus River in the Knights Ferry area.

Once those four have completed the training, Pelot said the department will have about a dozen members certified in the water rescue. With both McHenry Recreation Area and Jacob Myers Park just across the bridge from Riverbank in the department coverage area, that's a good thing, he said.

Both areas front the Stanislaus River and both will start to fill up every weekend, now that the weather has started to turn warmer. Temperatures over the weekend soared past 100 degrees, bringing many people out in search of some relief from the water. But, said Pelot, it also brings danger at this time of year; danger that is not obvious.

"The problem is the river looks really calm, the see the water calm and wade out but it's actually the current underneath that drags them under," he explained.