For the week of December 23 thru December 29, 1998  

Be safe, get a brain bucket


By KEVIN WISER
Express Staff Writer

helmet.jpg (17020 bytes)Skier Don Castle models his helmet at the bottom of River Run.(Express photos by Charmaine McCann)

Ambulances carrying posters promoting helmet safety are making the rounds at River Run and Warm Springs.

This is not an emergency situation—no sirens or flashing lights—but it could be if you ski and don’t wear a helmet.

Ketchum Fire Chief Tom Johnson hopes that by promoting helmet safety and encouraging people to wear helmets, his department won’t have to transport skiers with head injuries to the hospital.

The helmet safety poster is sponsored by the Ketchum Fire Department and Wood River Medical Center. It is endorsed by local residents and ski-racing notables Picabo Street and Muffy Davis, as well as snowboarder Sondra Van Ert, Sun Valley Suns hockey star Wade Clark and Indy Race Car driver John Unser.

According to Fire Chief Johnson only about 5 percent of skiers wear helmets. Johnson believes that adults can set an example—if kids see mom and dad wearing helmets, they’re more prone to wear them, too.

According to Wood River Medical Center spokeswomanHillary Furlong, "What we’re trying to do with the helmet promotion is make people aware and encourage prevention."

Furlong says helmets are very important in preventing injury and that the poster was designed to promote safety and make it cool for kids to wear helmets.

Johnson said none of us know when we’re going to have an accident, but if we’re wearing a helmet, the chance for serious injury is greatly reduced.

Just ask Picabo Street. Last year in a World Cup race in Are, Sweden, Street took a fall which she claims could have taken her life had she not been wearing a helmet.

So get serious about safety gear. Wear your helmet.

 

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