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Olds College student in stable condition after fall from tree

An Olds College student is in stable condition and recovering in a Calgary hospital after falling from a tree on campus Thursday afternoon.

Blaine Jack, 23, fell about seven metres while performing basic training activities for his studies in the arboriculture program just after 2 p.m., said Dean Turnquist, a college spokesperson.

Jack was transported via STARS air ambulance to the Foothills Medical Centre where he was joined by his parents. He sustained broken bones and a concussion but his injuries are non life-threatening, said Turnquist.

Jack was climbing a coniferous tree on campus close to the water tower with an instructor and fellow classmates looking on. He is a first-year student, believed to be from Manitoba, but this was not his first time climbing a tree as part of the program, Turnquist said.

It is the first time there has ever been an incident during the program’s high-risk training, he added.

It is not known yet why Jack fell, said Staff Sgt. Joe Sangster with the Olds RCMP.

The college will be reviewing the incident and how the safety protocols were managed, Turnquist said.

On-campus counselling is available for staff and students wishing to talk about the accident.

Olds RCMP is working with Occupational Health and Safety and the investigation is ongoing, said Sangster.

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