Ghostriders captain Mitch Titus celebrates after scoring against the Golden Rockets, August 22. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Hockey teams, figure skaters back in action after equipment retrieved from Fernie Memorial Arena

For the past week, Fernie hockey players and figure skaters have been unable to access their equipment, which was left in the Fernie Memorial Arena.

However, this week, Fernie Fire Department personnel entered the arena, bagged up the hockey gear and skates, and brought it over to the community centre.

All of this equipment is now available for the user groups to pick up.

An engineer from GHD Services provided the City of Fernie with an engineering report. They were requested to determine whether hockey and figure skating equipment that was being stored in the arena may have been adversely affected by the recent anhydrous ammonia release which claimed three lives.

GHD has been conducting air monitoring in and around the release area since its discovery, and reported that they could not find any detectable airborne levels of anhydrous ammonia in the ambient air near where the hockey and figure skating equipment was stored.

“Anhydrous ammonia, when released, is a lighter-than-air gas, and should dissipate from the area and be removed by natural processes,” read the report. “Once dissipated, the anhydrous ammonia no longer presents an airborne hazard.

In addition, the report stated that the anhydrous ammonia is not expected to leave a residue on surfaces or in fabrics. Ammonia is specifically employed for this purpose in cleaning glass surfaces, as it does not leave a residue behind upon evaporation.

However, normal laundering of clothing and cleaning of equipment prior to use is recommended.

GHD concluded that, based upon current air monitoring readings, anhydrous ammonia is not anticipated to pose a risk to the users of this hockey and figure skating equipment.

The Fernie Ghostriders will be resuming practice tomorrow night in Sparwood. They will be on the road this weekend to play the Creston Valley Thunder Cats.

“It will be exciting to get back on the ice,” said Ghostriders Head Coach Craig Mohr. “The anxiety of waiting is over and we can get back to work.”

He thanked everyone who sent their best wishes to the Ghostriders organization.

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