To become an Eagle Scout, a Chippewa Falls teen decided to make local swim-holes safer, by creating "Life Jacket Loaner Boards"
Kim Strasburg is with the North/Northwest Regional Trauma and Advisory Council, the group that helped fund boy scout Will Blake's actions, says, "People get to beaches, and [then say], 'oh shoot' [regarding lifejackets] 'I should have had a lifejacket'," but they're unlikely to go home and grab one. Or maybe don't have one.
The premise is simple: Use a life jacket for your recreating, return it when you're finished. They're located at Altoona Beach and Lake Wissota's Ray's Beach.
It's on the honor system, but, Strasburg says, at the end of the season, they often end up with more than they started.
She says people will sometimes think, "I've got this lifejacket in my boat, and I no longer use it, or it no longer fits." So they donate it to the 'loaner board.
The goal of the program is to save lives. Strasburg says, "[Though] We won't know if lives are saved [...] We hope that it's making a difference."