First aid kits purchased for Iron County trails
December 31, 2019
Iron County Trail Safety Committee is working to improve safety awareness and preparedness along Iron County trails. 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. Each kit is designed for some injuries that are seen on the trails, including a Trauma Kit, which may 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, additional locations as determined and some left to have on hand to replace any kits used. These kits are not intended to replace call 911, but used after that initial call has been made, to use at the scene.
The Iron County Trail Safety Committee (ICTSC) was formed Jan. 30, 2018 with representatives from Iron County entities including: forestry, sheriffs department, health department, county coroner, board of supervisors. Other entities include WDNR, Hurley Police Department, Aspirus Gran View, 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 Greater Northwoods Tavern League. During the first two months of the 2017-18 snowmobile season (December 2017 through January 2018) Iron County saw four fatalities on their trail system. Neighboring Gogebic County had two during the same period. Snow conditions, safety and alcohol played a part in these accidents. Out of this the ICTSC was born.
Working together the committee strives to assume proactive efforts regarding accident reduction on all County recreation trails, through effective communication with law enforcement and clubs, as well as rider 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 of Commerce 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.
Meeting four to six times a year, the committee 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 be reviewing the SFC application 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 ICTSC is a shining example of county agencies, local clubs and organizations working collaboratively together to support safety education throughout the Iron County area,” Hurley Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Rita Franzoi said. “Our number one objective is to bring the accident total to zero.”