AMHERST – No one’s head should go unprotected at the Amherst Lions Skate Park thanks to a generous donation of 40 bike helmets by paramedic students from Oulton College in Moncton.
The helmets, along with other accessories like horns and bells, were delivered to the Town of Amherst on Aug. 20 by classmates Brenda Hicks and Rodney Howse of Amherst.
The idea to donate the helmets began last spring when the two noticed that many young people using the local skate park were not wearing helmets. At the same time, their instructor Jason Hudson was encouraging them “to get out in the community and volunteer.”
Pointing to two studies that found the use of bike helmets reduced head injuries by about 69 percent, Hicks and Howse felt providing bike helmets “would be a good way to support the town.”
To raise the funds to purchase the helmets, the two students, along with about 20 of their classmates, brought an ambulance to town in May and took blood pressure readings of those who donated to the cause.
“People in Amherst were very supportive,” Howse said. “For us it’s all about safety. Using these helmets will help cut down on visits to the hospital.”
The helmets come in various sizes. They will be housed at the Amherst Stadium and available to borrow from the Town of Amherst’s Recreation Department.
“This is great news for us,” said Recreation Director Bill Schurman. “One of the town’s goals is being an active, healthy community. Part of that is providing facilities like the skate park that encourage physical activity. Having these helmets for people to borrow and use is a tremendous contribution to that goal.
“We want to thank Oulton College and the paramedic class for the donation.”