By Andru McCracken

Ambulance responses are geo-tagged.. /COURTESY BC EMERGENCY HEALTH SERVICES

Since 2016 BC Ambulance has had calls to the bike park 14 times. The Rocky Mountain Goat was following up a reader’s question:

Are accidents at the bike park using off resources that should be reserved for seniors especially in the time of COVID-19?

As far as BC Ambulance service is concerned, they don’t have much of an impact.

Over the last four years call volume has remained steady over all at roughly 30 calls per month in Valemount.

Year Calls
2020 232 (to date)
2019 367
2018 385
2017 364
Shannon Miller, Media Relations, BC Emergency Health Services said that their records show little additional call volume from the bike park.
Calls specifically to the bike park as follows:

Year Calls
2020 2 (to date)
2019 6
2018 3
2017 2
2016 1

BC EHS uses the area shown in the accompanying graphic as the definition of the Valemount Bike Park.

The agency doesn’t track calls responded to by agencies like the fire department or search and rescue.

“The numbers represent any time there was a call that paramedics responded to at the bike park,” said Miller.
Inherent risk

Curtis Pawliuk, Manager of Valemount and Area Recreation Development Association said that while the sport is inherently risky, the Valemount Bike Park responds to safety concerns and is working hard to improve signage and trail safety and removes features that cause accidents.

Anecdotally the park is increasing in popularity each year, the exception being early 2020, when COVID related travel restrictions caused ridership to fall.

Pawliuk believes the risks are worth it.

“The positives of a healthy lifestyle, a local economy, things to do for my kids, things to do for grandparents… they outweigh the bumps and bruises,” he said.