ROSCOMMON – Sounds a bit counter to what we are all supposed to be doing for the time being according to health officials, and rest assured, we’re not trying to throw a monkey wrench into things.
Emergency services certainly supports the efforts of all those trying to keep everyone safe and that’s where a little bit of a conflict comes in. We totally support social distancing, however a few recent calls for help and a few observations by firefighters has given us cause for a few safety reminders for folks.
There’s lots of time left for summer activities like boating and heading out on the trails and such. We would like to focus on the use of machines like dirt bikes, jet skis, and yes, when the time comes, snow mobiles. These machines have primarily one operator which is the cause for our concern.
Example: a young dirt bike rider was observed at a high rate of speed heading down a trail. Several calls for assistance have been answered for solitary individuals on jet skis being long overdue.
The common denominator is the singular or solitary use. Of course, many machines are designed that way and we understand that. Many of us in the emergency services have and use these machines ourselves with great enjoyment. Our safety concern is being someplace; lake, trail, woods, etc., all by yourself.
Problem is, accidents happen, and things break down, nobody plans it that way, but that’s the reality. Our health and safety point is easily seen; don’t ride alone. Of course, this is complicated by our present need to stay distanced from one another, or isolated altogether. We’re not suggesting folks pile on the same machine, but get together safely and ride in pairs or groups, practicing distancing as needed.
We’ve answered actual calls from frantic friends or relatives with no idea of where a loved one is. Mechanical difficulties are one thing, a serious injury could prove fatal if someone can’t be in time to render assistance.
The addition of just one friend on an activity can really have a significant effect on safety for both.
Go have fun! Times’ tickin’.
Elmore is a Markey Township firefighter
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