Safety paramount for thrills of Stampede Midway
Published Friday, July 6, 2012 7:31PM MDT
Not everyone attends the Calgary Stampede for the rodeo. Thousands head to the grounds each year to enjoy the thrills of the midway.
Some Stampede goers had a terrifying experience two years ago when the Scorpion ride they were on malfunctioned, injuring several of the riders.
An investigation later revealed that previous cracks in the ride weren't properly repaired.
The 2010 incident prompted stricter regulations on ride inspections.
North American Midway operated The Scorpion and runs most of the rides at the Stampede. Officials from the group say rides are now examined every morning and spot checks are done throughout the day as well.
The group says one of the biggest changes is using a third-party to independently do inspections as well as North American continuing to conduct their own inspections.
The added measures are done to ensure the integrity of the work.
The head of inspections for the company, Michael Hupalo, has been doing ride inspections for a long time and says by now, he and his staff know when something is off.
“I've been doing this for 26 years,” says Hupalo. “Noises are an obvious thing, either a new noise or an old noise that goes away, and we want to know why, It may not prevent harm or be a hazard to anybody, an employee or guest, but it's a good idea to know why.”
The Scorpion remains retired two years after the incident.
Some of the carousel rides on the Stampede grounds are more than 40 years old but the company says as long as they're maintained, age doesn't really matter, especially for rides that are low to the ground.