Patrol serving as city’s eyes and ears

Your eyes are telling the truth. Those really are Canadian Ski Patrol jerseys on a new crew of volunteers patrolling Red Deer’s trail system.

Your eyes are telling the truth. Those really are Canadian Ski Patrol jerseys on a new crew of volunteers patrolling Red Deer’s trail system.

The national group’s local branch has recently cut a deal with the city to provide eyes, ears and first aid as a means of keeping the trails safe while keeping their own bodies strong and skills sharp for the ski season, says its president, Dick Hornby.

Well known on the slopes, Ski Patrol volunteers provide first aid and are dispatched whenever a skier gets into trouble. Those skills should transfer well to the city’s trail system, Hornby said on Monday.

As far as he knows, it’s the first time any Canadian Ski Patrol branch has offered its services to a municipal trail system, making the Red Deer effort a pilot project that could provide a model for other regions.

Ski patrollers pack first-aid kits and cellphones while they’re on the trails and those who are biking also carry bike repair kits, so they are capable of helping wounded equipment as well as wounded riders, he said.

They’re not about to intervene if they see any criminal activities, but they do have the means to notify the RCMP, who also patrol the paths during summer months.

Hornby and his group of about 15 volunteers approached the city earlier this year to see if Red Deer was interested in their help. There would be no dispatch and no set schedule, but each volunteer has been asked to go out for at least one hour per week. Most will patrol for five to six hours a week, he said.

“I’m on the board of Safe Communities Red Deer. I proposed it would be great to have a little patrol on the path, and that we were really interested in improving the safety on the paths and creating a presence and being the eyes and ears for the park.”

It looked like a great idea, but the city needed to get permission and the local branch needed permission from its headquarters, both provincially and nationally.

Those permissions have all be given, so volunteers are covered by the ski patrol’s insurance program when they’re on duty, said Hornby.

The patrol is being tried on an informal basis right now, he said.

“That’s a benefit for us, if we can get our patrollers out doing physical exercise all summer.”

It also helps members keep their first-aid skills sharp. Ski patrol members are required to train and write an exam every year, he said.

Patrollers report back to Hornby at the end of each shift to let him know what they saw and any services they performed during their walk or ride.

“We would actually like to see all organizations in town take an active role in the community. That’s a challenge we would put out to other groups, to make our community a better place to live, work and play and make it a safer place,” said Hornby.

“We hope to get some positive public response. It’s a way, if people are interested, in getting involved with the ski patrol. We now have a summer activity as well as a winter activity.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the ski patrol is invited to call Hornby at 403-304-9655.

Just Posted

Cannabis legalization won’t impact one Red Deer pot dispensary

Nothing changes for Compass Cannabis Clinic in Red Deer despite legalization

Cannabis retail store will open later in October in Red Deer

Two cannabis stores coming to downtown Red Deer

Neighbours drop opposition to Red Deer County communications tower

Communication tower to be located in Balmoral Heights

Legal cannabis comes with many unknowns: Red Deer County councillors

Councillors question how rural municipalities will be able to enforce cannabis regulations

Kitten season puts pressure on Red Deer shelter

More public education needed to control cat population

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

‘Start low, go slow’: Experts walk bud beginners through cannabis 101

With the countdown to cannabis legalization Wednesday ticking towards 4-20, some novice… Continue reading

NHL stays with status quo as Canada pot legalization looms

As Riley Cote took and delivered countless punches over more than a… Continue reading

Paul Stanley: Kiss farewell tour could include ex-members

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — It won’t be all night, but former members… Continue reading

Judge tosses Stormy Daniels’ defamation suit against Trump

WASHINGTON — A federal judge dismissed Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against President… Continue reading

Canada open to growing trade with China now that USMCA is a done deal: PM

TORONTO — Canada is open to doing more business with China now… Continue reading

Pot shop raids “highly unlikely” on Wednesday: head of police chiefs

VANCOUVER — Police departments across Canada are fully prepared for marijuana legalization… Continue reading

Campers will be able to smoke cannabis at campsites in Canada’s national parks

Parks Canada says visitors should do their research on cannabis before going… Continue reading

U.S. pot firms urge Trump to deny Canadian producers’ ‘competitive advantage’

WASHINGTON — An American cannabis producer is warning President Donald Trump that… Continue reading

Most Read