Community peace officers Simon Butler, right, and Jeremy St. Germain help with ketchup and mustard at AMA School Safety Patrol appreciation barbecue at the Kin Ex Arena in Red Deer Thursday. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

WATCH: Appreciation barbecue held for central Alberta school safety patrollers

The event was held at the Kin Ex Arena in Red Deer Thursday

School safety patrollers celebrated a year of keeping crosswalks safe.

Nearly 600 central Alberta students, and their supervisors, attended the annual AMA School Safety Patrol appreciation barbecue at Kin Ex Arena in Red Deer on Thursday.

The program has promoted safety at crosswalks for 81 years, said AMA regional co-ordinator Darcy Baron.

“We love to appreciate them and thank them for all their hard work throughout the year.

“I think it’s really important to show that their leadership in their schools is really valued, and it brings them a greater sense of community within their schools.”

More than 17,000 patrollers at 523 Alberta schools monitor 738 crosswalks as part of the program, including 1,112 patrollers monitoring 59 crosswalks at 42 schools in Red Deer and the surrounding area.

There has not been a single fatality at a supervised crosswalk in the program’s history.

Baron said safety patrolling can be a tough job.

“It’s a rather large responsibility … and we want (students) to think about if they’re prepared to take on that responsibility of being attentive and focused at the crosswalk and putting safety first.

“They perhaps miss out on some other events because they’re out at the crosswalk. And one challenging part is being out there when the weather is kind of harsh – we still need them out there,” she said.

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