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EMS rewards those who wear bike helmets

Northfield Hospital Emergency Medical Services is teaming up with police departments in its service area to catch kids something right.

Each time a police officer or paramedic spots a child wearing a bike helmet, they will reward them with a coupon for ice cream or a treat at a local restaurant or Dairy Queen.

 Jim Ingham, a paramedic with Northfield Hospital’s EMS department, knows first-hand the value of wearing a helmet. He and his daughter both survived a serious motorcycle crash because they were wearing theirs.

 “Head injuries from bicycle accidents can be life altering,” Ingham said. “If you prepare for the unexpected by wearing a helmet when you jump on that bike, you’ve just improved your odds significantly of avoiding serious injury.”

 The program, now in its fifth year, is offered in Northfield, Lonsdale, and Elko New Market. Participating businesses, those providing the rewards, are: Northfield Dairy Queen, Northfield Culver’s, Northfield Perkins, Cocoa Bean in Northfield, Treats of Lonsdale and Fish Rock Country Market in Elko New Market.

 EMS makes bike helmets available for purchase at a variety of community events. Ingham said they encourage kids to wear their helmets for biking, skateboarding, in-line skating and winter sledding.