STARS and Alberta Snowmobilers partner to spread safety awareness

STARS and Alberta Snowmobilers partner to spread safety awareness

26-Nov-2014 Source: STARS

STARS air ambulance is looking to prevent injuries involving snowmobiles for the upcoming winter season. In 2013, the helicopter air ambulance service responded to 20 serious snowmobiling and related incidents.

It’s about mass times velocity and the potential for injury with these machines now is huge,” agreed Chad Hegge, flight paramedic with STARS. “They are so powerful, and so fast. We need a hyperawareness around safety.”

Joel Wasnidge, director at the Alberta Snowmobile Association, explains that there are many way you can keep yourself safe while participating in the activity. “Let someone know where you plan to go and when expected back, check and re-check all safety gear, ride within your abilities, recognize any hazards, minimize the risk, and keep others in the group in mind and sight if possible,” he said. “I have ridden a snowmobile in BC every year for the last 20+ years – education, equipment, awareness keep me coming home.”

• STARS air ambulance responded to 20 serious snowmobiling and related incidents in 2013;
• Injuries are suffered through incidents involving collisions with vehicles, other snowmobiles, people and geographical objects. Incidents can also develop from winter conditions, such as hypothermia;
• As of October 2014, STARS has already responded to 12 snowmobiling incidents this year. 

Safety messages • Personal protective equipment can help snowmobilers prevent or reduce injuries;
• Riding without protective gear is a risk never worth taking;
• Let someone know when you leave and your expected arrival back;
• Important items you should carry include GPS, emergency beacon, avalanche airbag, radio, first aid kit, tow rope, saws, extra clothing and rations;
• Never ride alone – always have support;
• Properly maintain equipment in good working order;
• Ride within your abilities, recognizing hazards;
• Keep yourself educated by participating in appropriate courses.

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