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Taking Action: HEMSI warns you and your family of Memorial Day weekend dangers

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Most consider Memorial Day weekend the start of summer. Barbecue and water activities tend to be the popular pastimes.

Huntsville Emergency Medical Services, or HEMSI, says this weekend is almost always busy.

Field supervisor, Kenneth Burke, says there's one rule everyone needs to remember: "If you're going to the lake, or going down to the river this weekend...the number one thing, alcohol and water doesn't mix. That's a bad combination."

If you're on the water, there's a device you should always have on hand.

"Personal flotation devices," said Burke. "One for every person on a boat. Wear them, use them. We've never pulled a drowning victim from the water that had one on."

One body of water in Huntsville, Burke says can be deceiving, even the best swimmer can be at risk.

"The river here in Huntsville, in south Huntsville down at Ditto Landing, the current is usually strong and it's stronger thank you think it is and stronger than it looks like it is," said Burke.

If you're hanging out by the pool for the weekend, Burke says pools with gates and a lock are the best option for families with small children.