Following ride safety check ups at the South Plains Fair - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/30/10

Following ride safety check ups at the South Plains Fair

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By Michael Slother - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - After an incident last weekend where a young girl was injured on one of the roller coasters, many wondered how often safety checks were performed. Today KCBD NewsChannel 11 followed one of the inspectors.

We asked Lonny Huseman with his son Colton about his concerns. "You always wonder if they're safe," Huseman said.

Kevin Telford is in charge of overseeing 5 of the more popular rides at the fair, but he checks all of them.  "It's my job to make sure when people come to the fair that their children are safe on all of our rides," he said.

Amy Fields got off one of the rides Telford inspects and said she felt safe. We asked her how important the inspections are. "It's probably number one. Everyone worries about taking them up and down all the time and you just want to get on and ride with confidence and have a good time," she said.

Telford starts with a clipboard with a checklist of requirements. "We go around to each ride, we pick up our inspection reports and check to make sure they filled them out right, and everything was checked. If anything was unsatisfactory we check that first," he said.

He says test runs are important to the checks, since no one is on the ride during the trial. There are several things he and other safety inspectors look for. "We make sure it goes at proper speeds, we check for loose articles or anything that could be a danger," Telford said.

Starlie Eenzer took her little one to the fair for the first time. She said the safety checks make her feel better about putting her on the rides. "It is very important that they're buckling her in and everything. I'm very concerned about that," she said.

When Huseman learned that at least 2 people check the rides at least 3 times per day, he was at ease.  "It makes me feel safe to bring my son out and he can enjoy the ride and not have to worry about not being hurt."

Telford has been working on rides for more than 20 years. His job is very important to him and he reminds himself that it could be his own children on the very same rides he's inspecting. "I feel like I've got a lot of time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears invested in this, and I would hate to see anybody get hurt. I've got two children of my own and I would let them ride anything out here."

 

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