Safety top priority

BARRY’S BAY – When it comes to safety on the trails, the Opeongo Snowbirds and the township of Madawaska Valley are doing their best to keep it top notch.

“We are working together as a team to make the trails safe for everybody,” Cheryl Reid, president of the Opeongo Snowbirds, said.
The Snowbirds are working with the First Response Teams in order to ensure that those hitting the trails this winter are feeling safe in doing so.
A donation was made to the township of Madawaska Valley and was announced on December 28, at the Barry’s Bay Fire Hall.
A sleigh, which is pulled by a snowmobile, was given to the instant response teams of the Madawaska Valley from the Snowbirds.
The sleigh was originally purchased by the Snowbirds, which was at the time, what was left of an old, portable fishing hut, and after using a little elbow grease, they pulled together an emergency sleigh that can be used by the fire department, or the paramedics.
Both respondents are lacking when it comes to the proper equipment required to pull the sleigh.
A snowmobile will be a necessity for the teams when it comes to responding to emergencies on the trails, and the Killaloe OPP detachment is fortunate enough to have them.
However, if the OPP are unreachable, or there is no time for them to get the snowmobiles loaded, the responders have permission to commandeer any sled that goes by.
That however, is their last option, considering the Snowbirds have offered their volunteer services anytime they are needed.
The sleigh will be used when an accident along the trails is reported; this would be in a situation where someone has been injured and needs assistance.
The trails are impossible for the normal OPP, fire department, or paramedic vehicles to get through, so the sleigh will come in handy when it comes to quickly responding to an emergency.
The sleigh has a metal frame, and can fit up to possibly two people; this is so if a paramedic is needed to sit on the back of the sleigh with the injured it is possible.
Story continues in the January 9, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.