SOUTHINGTON — As a way to help with emergencies on town trails, the Fire Department has started on a trail-marking project.
Firefighter Christopher Fusco has been spearheading the project for over four years and first implemented it at Crescent Lake with the help of Firefighter Ryan Pulver.
The markers are placed about every hundred feet. All trails at Crescent Lake are marked and there are two large information signs — one in the parking lot — that give a brief explanation of the signs. The signs also have a QR code that links to a town website with a map of the trails, a more in-depth explanation of the trail markers and a list of hiking safety tips.
“If someone gets lost or injured and they are near one of the signs or they remember the closest sign they saw last, they call 911, they tell us what number they are near and we have our corresponding map and we’ll be able to get to them as quickly as possible,” Fusco said.
Fusco presented the project to the Parks & Recreation Board at a meeting last month. The board was in favor of the emergency trail markings.
“I think that if somebody does get hurt on one of these trails, hopefully it will give the emergency services an easier time finding them because they can get a more specific location, which is important,” said Annette Turnquist, director of public works/town engineer.
Fusco said he is in the process of getting other trails in Southington marked and started with Crescent Lake since it is town owned and is where most of the lost or injured hiking incidents take place.
“We have trails at Crescent Lake, Ragged Mountain, Camp Sloper and also the Metacomet blue trail runs through Southington,” Fusco said. “I am currently working with all of those organizations.”
Mark Pooler, chief executive officer of the Southington-Cheshire Community YMCAs, said the YM will be doing an audit of the Camp Sloper trails with Fusco this month.
“I think it is a great opportunity for our YMCA, for our entire community and really another extension of the partnership between the YMCA and the Southington Fire Department and any other emergency personnel to keep people safe in our community,” Pooler said.