Tampa’s favorite holiday is quickly approaching! In response to the estimated 300,000 attending this years parade, the first responders of Tampa have been undergoing safety training. Gasparilla will be the first major event for Interim Tampa Police Chief, Lee Bercaw, since he took over in December.

News Channel 8 reported that Tampa Police and first responders will be participating in a training exercise at the Marriott on Water Street. They are working to improve their response time for a number of different emergency situations and practicing crowd control. The Tampa Police and City of Tampa have shared these safety tips for your krewe to remember during Gasparilla weekend:

See Something, Say Something:

A good rule to follow for any major event. Police are asking all attendees to stay vigilant during the invasion and parade and report any suspicious activity. Tampa Police have started a tip line for anyone to report any suspicious activity during Gasparilla. TEXT: Type the key word SAFETAMPA and your tip to number 847411 (TIP411), and you will receive a response.

Have a Meeting Place:

It can be super easy to lose your group in any event with large crowds. It’s also common to have limited cell service when surrounded by thousands of people. Tampa Police recommend to establish a meeting spot ahead of time in case you are separated from your group.

Take a Photo of Your Child in Costume: 

If your child gets lost, it will be more helpful for Police to find them if you take a picture of them on the day of the parade. That way, they will know which little pirate to look out for.  If you lose your child, alert the closest officer immediately. They will be stationed along the entire route.

Get Gasparilla Text Alerts:

For more important Gasparilla event updates, safety tips, and traffic alerts, text GASPARILLA to 888-777 to have information sent directly to your phone.

Click here for more safety tips and parade maps from the City of Tampa.

[Source: News Channel 8]