LAKE HAVASU CITY–If you’re out on the water this summer and suddenly experience a medical emergency, you will now have a quicker response for medical assistance thanks in part to the partnering of River Medical and Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Division of Boating Safety.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Anita Mortensen said the partnership has come after the agency saw a need for more medical personnel on the waterways.

“Most times, deputies with the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Division of Boating Safety are the first public safety officials to arrive on scene on many incidents that occur on the water. These incidents vary from boat crashes to basic medical calls,” said Mortensen. “Because of this, we began to implement a higher level of medical training to our members, including proper back board procedures, spinal immobilization, and trauma aid, so that they can better assist any injured parties. This training was provided to our members from River Medical at no cost to the tax payers.”

Mortensen said through further discussion with the sheriff’s office and River Medical, the partnership was drawn up and now several patrol vessels will have emergency medical technicians and paramedics on board during the holiday weekends. The boats will also have several pieces of life-saving equipment on board.

“Having EMTs and Paramedics on board of our patrol vessels will provide better medical care to patients in a faster time period,” said Mortensen. “The medical personnel will be able to assist the patients while the deputies tend to the scene and begin their investigations.”

Recognizing this extreme need, said Mortensen, River Medical will be providing medical personnel at no cost to the tax payers.

The boating season in Lake Havasu is expected to be extremely busy this year, she added. “The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office is taking the proactive approach, with the public’s safety being of the highest priority.”

Mortensen urges those out on the water this summer to boat safe, boat sober and wear a life jacket.