Mile markers to help in water rescues

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -- Tuesday, One Truckee River started installing mile markers along river trail bike paths to help first responders find victims during water rescues.

"They are not going to be hard to find," said Christi Cakiroglu, Executive Director of Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful. "These mile markers are going to be able to help people evaluate how far they have gone along the pathway."

"It is just a basic system for keeping track of where you are on the river," said Councilman Dave Bobzien with the City of Reno.

Between Reno and Sparks, there will soon be about 120 markers, one every tenth of a mile. They'll be useful for joggers and cyclists. But their true purpose is something far more important.

"This program can absolutely make a difference between life and death," said Chief Dave Cochran with the Reno Fire Department.

"Then we would be able to look at our map and know exactly where that is so that we can direct resources to that location," said Kevin Joell, Team Leader with the Reno Fire Department Water Entry Team.

Noting the time, flows and entry point firefighters can determine a victim's location.

"It is going to give us the precision, literally within a 10th of a mile to know exactly where that person is along the river," said Cochran.

Considering the anticipated runoff the markers couldn't come soon enough.

"Who would have known when this was being planned that this was going to be the runoff of the century," said Joell.

The markers are only being installed in the Reno/Sparks area, but they will eventually line the path from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake.