SAFE COMMUNITY- Eugene Kulmatycki

Safer Red Deer because of its people

Trio of Red Deerians honoured this month for making City a better community

Three local citizens were honoured recently for helping to make Red Deer and the region a safer place to call home.

It was National Safe Communities Day on Oct. 4 – an ideal chance to hand down the 2010 Ambassador for Safety Awards at Normandeau School, organizers say of the honours, which are spearheaded by Safe Communities Central Alberta.

“I consider it a great honour to have been nominated for the 2010 Ambassador for Safety Volunteer Partner award, and a greater honour to have received it,” said Eugene Kulmatycki.

“This award actually belongs to a large number of people, not jut an individual. It belongs to all the organizations and members that are a part of Safe Communities Central Alberta,” he said. “It shows the power of individuals working together towards a common good. When you work together for a cause, you can do something good.”

Kulmatycki has long been an advocate for bolstering safety, particularly among young people in the workplace.

“Young workers’ safety has always been a passion of mine,” he said, adding that those under 25 have four times the rate of injury that workers over 25 have.

Kulmatycki was first involved with Safe Communities Central Alberta through ‘What’s in it 4 U’ – an interactive safety workshop for young workers which was held in Red Deer back in 2005-06.

He also became an active member of the Young Farm Workers Safety Training Workshop held annually over the past five years.

“Young workers are also sometimes reluctant to stand up for their rights, so they get themselves in trouble because they don’t want to look bad in front of their new boss and other workers,” said Kulmatycki. “And yet they have those rights, so that’s what has kept me going.”

According to Safe Communities Central Alberta, preventable injuries are the leading cause of death and injury for those under the age of 45. Each week, Central Alberta communities see three injury-related deaths, 18 hospital admissions and 165 injury emergency department visits.

Meanwhile, this year’s theme for Safe Communities Central Alberta is ‘Be Visible’. Students who attended the presentation at Normadeau School were also reminded of a number of measures they can take including ‘Wear the Gear’ when it comes to biking, inline skating or skateboarding.

The children were also reminded to always ‘Be Visible’ by wearing bright clothing when out on their bikes and boards and to ‘Follow the Rules’ when it comes to staying safe on roads and sidewalks.

“The goal for National Safe Community Day is to bring attention to injury prevention, and the awards are a way of recognizing people who have been with Safe Communities Central Alberta for several years and work in their own way to prevent injuries,” said Karen Spruyt, coordinator.

Holding the event at an elementary school is also by design, as it’s essential to get the information to young audiences, she said.

“The schools are also some of our biggest partners, and we like to start that good safety information at this level and work it right on through.”

Also honoured at the event were Rick Lynch and Jackie McCullum for their work with Central Alberta Self Advocates.

The pair joined Safe Communities Central Alberta when they saw the chance to partner with the newly-formed Road Safety Committee in 2004.

Projects with Central Alberta Self Advocates have included poster campaigns encouraging proper crosswalk use, development of a road safety commercial, and a ‘Be Safe Be Seen’ campaign encouraging pedestrians, bikers and wheelchair users to use reflective gear and lights to enhance their visibility.

As for receiving the award, both McCullum and Lynch said it was a real honour to be recognized for something they both strongly believe in.

“I feel really great,” said McCullum, adding it’s about encouraging people to pay greater attention to their surroundings. “We just want to make sure people stay safe.”

Just Posted

Hee-Won Son takes home gold in 500m Female Short Track Speed Skating

Team Alberta sits in second place overall at the Canada Winter Games

Alberta’s Pascale Paradis earns bronze in 7.5 km Female Biathlon

Canada Games action carries through to March 2nd

Alberta earns three medals in Long Track Speed Skating

Alberta now has 16 medals (6-5-5) and currently sits in second place of the medal standings

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

Shots fired in Maskwacis home invasion

Maskwacis RCMP are searching for three suspects in a home invasion (with photos)

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Crude-by-rail shipments set new record in December despite lower price discounts

Canada exported nearly 354,000 barrels per day of oil, up seven per cent from November

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

Maskwacis woman dead, Wetaskiwin man charged with murder

RCMP Major Crimes Unit charge male with first degree murder

Most Read