Life Jacket Loan Program

Metro Fire has partnered with Cal Boating to make life jackets available to the public on a loan basis. Each location listed below has life jackets available for children and adults. An individual or familiy can check out life jackets for a day or weekend simply by completing a loan form. Look for the sign, "Life Jacket Loan Station" at participating locations.

Chances are, that spending a few extra minutes visiting one of our Fire District Stations or other participating locations will ensure that you and your family will have a safe and joyful water experience this summer season.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Locations:

Station 31  7950 California Av, Fair Oaks       Station 61  10595 Folsom Bl, Rancho Cordova
Station 32  8890 Roediger Ln, Fair Oaks Station 63  12395 Folsom Bl, Rancho Cordova
Station 110  1432 Eastern Av, Sacramento Station 65  11201 Coloma Rd, Rancho Cordova
Station 59  7210 Murieta Dr, Rancho Murieta


Life Jacket Information

What type of life jacket should you wear?

Unlike the traditional orange horse collar of yesteryears, today’s life jackets are technologically advanced, making them more convenient, less restrictive - and sometimes - even unnoticeable to the boater who is wearing one. An additional advantage to boaters is that life jackets are now custom designed for their specific water activities, i.e. fishing, cruising, water-skiing, etc. Click here for information on what kind of life jacket you should wear.

How to Choose the Right Life Jacket

Looking for a life jacket? Today’s jackets come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and materials. No matter which life jacket you choose, be sure it’s right for YOU, your planned activities, and the water conditions you expect to encounter.

Try It On

  • Check the manufacturer’s ratings for your size and weight.
  • Make sure the jacket is properly zipped or buckled.
  • Raise your arms straight up over your head while wearing your life jacket and ask a friend to grasp the tops of the arm openings, gently pulling up.
  • If there is excess room above the openings and the jacket rides up over your chin or face, it does NOT fit properly. A snug fit in these areas signals a properly fitting life jacket.

Fit Facts

  • It is extremely important that you choose a properly fitting life jackets.
  • Jackets that are too big will cause the flotation device to push up around your face, which could be dangerous.
  • Jackets that are too small will not be able to keep your body afloat.

Important Reminders

  • Make sure your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard-approved.
  • Double check that your jacket is appropriate for your favorite boating activities.
  • Take the time to ensure a proper fit.
  • Life jackets meant for adults do not work for children. If you are boating with children, ake sure they are wearing properly fitted, child-sized life jackets.
  • On recreational vessels underway, children under 13 years old must wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket unless they are below decks or in an enclosed cabin.

Changes to the California Life Jacket Boating Law

The California boating law now requires all children under the age of 13 to wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

Life Jackets and the Law

For a boat less than 16 feet long, or a canoe or a kayak of any length:

  • Everyone on board a personal watercraft (popularly known as “jet skis”) and anyone being towed behind a vessel must wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • A Coast Guard-approved life jacket must be carried for each person on board. If stored, these life jackets must be readily available (easy to get to), and you must show passengers the location of life jackets and other safety equipment.
  • Anyone using an underwater maneuvering device is exempt from wearing a life jacket. An underwater maneuvering device is any towed or self-powered device designed for underwater use that a person can pilot through diving, turning and surfacing moves.

For a boat 16 feet or longer, you must carry for each passenger:

  • The same requirements as above and one immediately accessible (easy-to-reach) Type IV device designed for throwing – such as a ring, cushion or horseshoe buoy for each boat.

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