The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

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Iron County group working for trail safety

 

December 28, 2019



HURLEY, Wis. — Iron County Trail Safety Committee is working to improve safety awareness and preparedness along Iron County Trails, according to a recent announcement.

An initial purchase of 10 first aid kits to be placed at establishments along the trail system was funded by the committee and Greater Northwoods Tavern League, according to the announcement. Each kit is designed for injuries commonly seen on the trails, including a trauma kit to stop bleeding and Mylar blankets to help keep an injured person warm until first responders arrive.

Seeing the importance of the project, the Iron County Recreation Council purchased an additional 20 kits with one to be placed in each club and county groomer, according to the announcement. Additional locations as determined and some left to have on hand to replace any kits used.

The kits are not intended to replace calling 911, but are there to use at the scene until help arrives.

“The ICTSC is a shining example of county agencies, local clubs and organizations working collaboratively together to support safety education throughout the Iron County area,” said Rita Franzoi, Hurley Area Chamber of Commerce marketing director and events coordinator. “Our number one objective is to bring the accident total to Zero.”

During the first two months of the 2017-18 snowmobile season (December 2017 to January 2018) Iron County saw four fatalities on its trail system. Neighboring Gogebic County had two during the same period, according to the announcement.

Snow conditions, safety and alcohol played a part in these accidents. Out of this the ICTSC was born to assume proactive efforts with accident reduction on county recreation trails including communication with law enforcement, clubs and prevention education.

In 2018, the committee developed signage for area establishments encouraging driver responsibility when on the trails. Safety brochures have been designed and distributed to remind drivers to drink responsibly, know the trails and how to report an accident.

In December 2019, members of the White Thunder Riders and Mercer Sno-Goers clubs worked with both Hurley and Mercer chambers to complete an application for the AWSC Snowmobile Friendly County designation. The application referenced several areas to analyze for the designation.

Having the ICTSC in existence, working on safety issues and promotion was helpful in achieving the designation. It also gives the committee momentum moving forward.

The committee meets four to six times year and assists with upcoming events and high traffic times to increase safety awareness. Recently during ATV/ UTV rallies, the WDNR mobile billboard has been placed at high traffic areas to remind riders to slow down.

Moving forward, ICTSC will looks continue to enhance safety preparedness with riders as well as business owners, assist in trail map development to include a symbol on the map indicating where kits are located and develop marketing plans designed around safety awareness.

The Iron County Trail Safety Committee representatives include Iron County Forestry, Sheriff’s and Health departments, the County Coroner and Board of Supervisors, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Hurley Police Department, Aspirus Ironwood, Hurley and Mercer chambers of commerce, White Thunder Riders and Mercer Sno-Goers snowmobile clubs, Iron County ATV Association, Mercer Dusty Loons ATV Club and the Greater Northwoods Tavern League.

For more information, contact Franzoi at the Hurley Chamber of Commerce at 715-561-4334 or visit hurleywi.com.

—Daily Globe staff

 
 

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