Berks County Park Rangers have begun patroling the Union Canal Trail and the trails around Antietam Lake. Excerpts from the story, from the Tri-County Record:
“Not only does it ensure public safety, but it’s a way to engage the public to make sure they’re following safe bicycle practices,” explained Albert Evans, Park Ranger Supervisor.
Patrols will be added in two phases. The first phase of patrols are currently underway following the completion of a training course by two rangers and the acquisition of bicycles, a bicycle rack and high visibility uniforms. Two additional rangers will be trained and are expected to begin patrols later this month. The training course was provided at no cost to the county as an in-kind donation by state-certified instructor and retired Reading Police Sergeant, John Pontician.
Bike Patrol Rangers will be equipped with mountain bikes and first aid kits at all times.
“We frequently come across injuries on the trail. The majority of medical emergencies that occur in the parks, rangers are the first responders and often come across them before 9-1-1 is called.,” Evans said. “Bicycles offer a more effective and efficient way to patrol areas that are being used more and more and that are not accessible other than walking.”
Bern Township Police Officers are also assisting in the bike patrols of the Union Canal Trail, which runs between Blue Marsh Lake and the Stonecliffe Recreation Area. The trail sees significant traffic from walkers, joggers and bicyclists.