LEBANON, Ore -- The Lebanon Fire District is seeking help from the community to keep the Life Jacket Kiosk program afloat after a third of their life jackets went missing.
"The weather is turning warmer, and more community members are borrowing life jackets," says Division Chief Jason Bolen. "We've had over 80 waiver forms turned in this year, but unfortunately, we are missing 14 life jackets. Each kiosk only contains 14 life jackets, so that's clearly a large impact to the program."
There are three life jacket kiosks located throughout Lebanon: one at each boat ramp at Waterloo County Park and one at the boat ramp at Gill's Landing. Life jackets are free for single-day use and range from infant to adult sizes. The borrower fills out a waiver form, uses the life jacket, and then returns it to the kiosk when finished.
"Our hope is that people will see the life jackets outside of the parks and encourage the borrowers to return them. Or they'll remember, 'Hey, we borrowed life jackets last weekend and left them in the boat,' and return them quickly," Bolen said.
Life jackets can be returned to any of the three kiosks or dropped off at Station 31 at 1050 W. Oak St.
"There's no punishment for turning in your life jacket late," says Bolen. "We just need them back so we can continue to keep our citizens and our children safe on the river."
The Life Jacket Kiosk program was created last year by the Fire & Life Safety Division of the Lebanon Fire District and supported by a one-time grant from the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce. Numerous local businesses donated materials and labor for the kiosks.