First Street Beach Emergency Tower
The beautiful City of Manistee, Michigan is nestled between the eastern shores of Lake Michigan and Manistee Lake. With just over 6,000 residents, the scenic sandy beaches attract locals and visitors alike. Two popular beaches in the city are the Fifth Avenue Beach on the north side of the Manistee River and the First Street Beach on the south side of the River.
Along with the swimming, sunbathing, and sand castle building, safety is a crucial element of any day at the beach. Drownings, lost children, riptide situations, and medical emergencies could occur at any time. No one is more concerned about this reality than the city’s Police Chief, Mr. Dave Bachman.
In a meeting with Chief Bachman, a bit more was learned about beach safety. Lifeguards were removed from the Fifth Avenue and First Street Beaches. The lifeguards were an immediate source of assistance in an emergency and safety fears were high after the elimination. Additionally, the long stretches of shore made it difficult for first responders to pinpoint the exact location of a distressed party. According to the Chief, most panicked individuals have a hard time articulating where exactly an emergency is taking place.
Enter, Rath Security.
In the spring of 2009, after receiving public safety funding, two 9’ Emergency Phone Towers were purchased by the city and installed on both the Fifth Avenue and First Street Beaches. The phones were strategically placed in the center of the beaches next to riptide and other safety information. The area now acts as a safety information point for patrons.
The phones have been used during incidents such as drownings and lost child situations. Although incidents are an unfortunate reality, Chief Bachman still praised the phones for being a reliable source of help. The towers are always present and ready to place a call, unlike cell phones that can be out of reach or forgotten. He said that as soon as a call is placed, a police squad car is immediately sent to the exact location, which is quicker than finding the GPS location of a cell phone call.
Looking forward, Chief Bachman would like to install more phones throughout the city. Once funding becomes available, plans would include phones on the Riverwalk and at the Skate Park.