AFD: How to stay safe while enjoying the warm weather

- Since the start of the warm weather, the Austin Fire Department and ATCEMS medics have responded to a string of rescues at the Greenbelt.

One of those popular areas’s that’s known to attract many Austinites is Barton Creek. 

Derek Garson said he’s lived in Austin for five years and has visited the creek dozens of times with friends. "You know what I like about the trail? Every time you come out here it's a little bit different each time. I like the way nature interacts with the surrounding," Garson said.

However, the popular spot offers comes natural dangers.

Lieutenant Greg Reddish with the Austin Fire Department said people need to be aware that dangers still exist.

"We want this to be natural and we don't want to come out here and see all this man-made stuff. But if you're going to be out here and be drinking or intoxicated. You've really got to consider all these things and just be responsible,” Reddish said.

Garson said he's heard of accidents that happen when people are out and about. "You run the risk of slipping on a rock and hurting your ankle but as long as your careful and have proper equipment you will be fine out here," said Garson.

Back in April, a woman fell off a cliff in the Barton Creek greenbelt; she fell some 30 to 40 feet.

STAR Flight was called in to rescue her.

Austin Fire Department Division Chief Palmer Buck said incidents are common this time of year. "We have on a regular basis incident along the greenbelt, in this particular place. It’s not uncommon for us to have people who have fallen. We have had more than one person, who has fallen, in this general area," said Buck.

The Austin-Travis County EMS is consistently training and preparing for emergencies.

The search for a missing swimmer at Mckinney Falls came to a tragic end Friday when the Austin Police Department Dive Team found the body of the man. "He was a 20 year-old man and he was swimming with friends, and they lost sight of him," said Austin Police corporal Mark Foth.

Officials say they want Austinites to enjoy the great outdoors but at the same time, be cautious. "I can't understate the fact enough, people have to use common sense and understand where you are," Buck said.

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