ATV clubs to train in mock rescue

Riders to join first responders for practice search on Moosehead Lake trails



Diana Bowley | | Thursday, July 19, 2007

Representatives of all-terrain vehicle clubs from throughout the state will join first responders and LifeFlight officials later this month for training that will include a mock accident on a remote trail in the Moosehead Lake region.

The emphasis for the mock disaster and training set for July 28 is on improving safety on the trails, according to Jim Lane, ATV Maine trail vice president.

"Safety is a big issue with us," Lane said Wednesday.

The date originally had been set aside for a training class to show trail club members what needs to be done during a medical crisis when a victim needs to be airlifted, according to Lane. That training was expanded, however, when Greenville officials offered to host a mock ATV accident.

"Having a visual [event] verses a lecture is a great thing," Lane said.

Greenville Town Manager John Simko, who also is an emergency medical technician and a firefighter, is pleased that the training is being offered. He also hailed the state and ATV Maine's ongoing effort to install latitude and longitude markers along the state-sanctioned trails. In the event of an accident, an all-terrain rider will be able to go to the nearest marker placed about every quarter-mile and give the coordinates.

Simko knows firsthand how difficult it is to quickly find a victim on a trail when directions are sketchy. "It becomes a bit of detective work to find out where the accident is located," he said Wednesday.

As for the mock accident, Simko expects participation from the warden and forestry services, the fire and police departments, county emergency management agencies and the hospital.

Lane said LifeFlight officials will provide classroom instruction on how to use a global positioning system to guide them to the scene and how to identify and set up safe landing zones. He expects about 50 trail masters from Maine clubs will participate in the training.

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