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Trick-or-treating being made safer

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

Trick-or-treating will be made safer today with emergency service personnel patrolling the streets. Under a program called Partners for Safety, police, firefighters and ambulance crews will drive around the community from 4-8 p.m. "If any kids are lost, scared or in trouble, they can flag down one of the emergency vehicles for help," said Ken Gurba, the paramedic director for the NOR-MAN Regional Health Authority who is helping to oversee the patrols. Three ambulances will join the fire chief's vehicle and the police in conducting the patrol, which will run for the second year in a row. The ambulances and fire chief's vehicle are equipped with radios so the police may be contacted if need be. "We might not even see things such as bullying, but from us driving around, it's going to help prevent those kinds of acts against any kids," said Gurba, who is based in The Pas. "If nothing happens, we've done our job. It's a preventative safety initiative." Flin Flon, The Pas and Opaskwayak Cree Nation are the only communities outside of Winnipeg Gurba knows of that will use the Partners in Safety program today. The patrols will take place between 4-8 p.m. because that is when most of the younger trick-or-treaters are out collecting candy, Gurba commented. The Partners in Safety program began in Winnipeg in 2001 and has since garnered international interest, according to Gurba. "This is coming from society wanting to be more careful when it comes to children," he said. "It's simple for us to put out 'x' number of police cars, but if we can double that amount (of emergency service vehicles) for Halloween, it's going to help." Still on the topic of Halloween safety, Gurba is encouraging parents not to drive along with their trick-or-treating children due to the icy conditions. "With roads being so slippery, parents need to be very careful," he said. "They should really park their cars and walk with their kids."