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NWCC spearheads ATV rider safety and accident prevention

To prevent injuries and deaths due to ATVs and meet the industrial need for formal training in the region, Northwest Community College (NWCC) now offers certified ATV rider safety training. Open to the public and industry, the one-day ATV Rider Safety Course teaches the practical skills and knowledge necessary to ride an ATV safely and responsibly. Search and Rescue is very happy to see the College offer formal ATV rider training, explained Whitney Numan, a 19-year veteran at Bulkley Valley Search and Rescue in Smithers. Our volunteer members sometimes use their personal ATVs to aid on rescue missions. This course lets us offer them certified training. Moreover, we hope the training will cut down the number of ATV accidents in general. Educating the public about responsible behaviour is part of our mandate too and a huge part of preventing accidents, he added. Many riders use ATVs for recreational purposes, yet field workers, for instance in mining and exploration, and forestry, also frequently use the machines. ATVs are useful and unique tools because they can access terrain regular vehicles cant as well as cover large areas quickly, increasing worker efficiency. The Canadian Safety Council a national, non-government, charitable organization dedicated to safety, certifies the ATV Rider Safety Course. Therefore, the course satisfies WorksafeBCs requirement for worker training on the machines. This is significant because until now, accessing this type of training in the Northwest has been difficult, explains NWCC Industry Liaison Officer Rob Maurer. This course allows organizations to offer formal, in-depth knowledge and riding experience to their employees to prevent the worker from harm and the company from liability issues. Various stakeholders in the Northwest RCMP, paramedics, Search and Rescue, quad riders associations, ATV retailers would like to see accident rates go down, Maurer added. By offering this course, Northwest Community Colleges Continuing Education and Industry Training Department can make a real and accountable difference to the people in the communities it serves, added NWCC President Stephanie Forsyth.

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