Panhandle South Plains Fair Gears Up - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/19/07

Panhandle South Plains Fair Gears Up

The lead inspector at this years 90th Panhandle South Plains Fair is in charge of inspecting all of the 56 rides to ensure safety. Inspectors will be checking these rides every single day, and they were also recently inspected by the state.

Tom Dorgan inspects fairs of all sizes around the country, and he says because the rides are put up and torn down so often, they're even safer than permanent amusement park rides because the crew can fix any issue before it becomes a safety problem.

"Is there one in particular that you'd be inspecting right now or were going to go too," NewsChannel 11 asked.

"We could go over here to the tornado," Dorgan said.

"First thing we do is look at the blocking to make sure the ride is set up on a nice firm, solid footing. As you can see on the corners of the ride here, we have what is called blocking. You have to make sure it's sitting on a solid base, and that's the first point you look at. Then you'd go around to all of the hangers," Dorgan said.

The hangers are inspected to assure they're not going to swing off during the ride.

"The other thing you'd check are all of the lap bars to assure they are working," Dorgan added.

Often we hear of people being thrown from rides.

"Frequently it's because they don't have the proper lap belts, or it did not come with lap belts or, more importantly, a lot of times its actually riders misbehavior," Dorgan said.

There's one thing that tom believes is most important for parents to remember on every ride.

"And very important. Making sure the height requirements are adhered to," Dorgan added.

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