The owner of Extreme Air Park has written a letter to the premier asking for the provincial government to develop safety regulations for the industry, less than a month after a Victoria man died at one of the facilities.
“I would welcome the opportunity to work with your government to develop comprehensive regulations that give the public confidence that, in addition to the hard work trampoline parks put into ensuring the safety of their guests, there is provincial oversight into trampoline park safety as well,” owner Michael Marti wrote in the letter.
Technical Safety BC inspects amusement park rides, as well as some waterslides and zip lines in the province. Swimming pools are regulated by the B.C. government. However, while most Canadian trampoline park facilities voluntarily follow the industry standards set for such parks in the United States, since there are no regulations for trampoline parks in Canada, there is no enforcement of safety standards.
In the letter, Marti requests a “hybrid approach that regulates the equipment and facilities under Technical Safety BC and operations in a manner that is comparable with swimming pools would be appropriate and is a conversation that we would welcome with your government.”
In January, 46-year-old Jay Greenwood died after an accident at the Richmond, B.C. trampoline park.
RCMP said Greenwood fell while “allegedly performing a series of acrobatic manoeuvres.”
According to police, the fall caused serious injury and cardiac arrest. A coroner’s investigation into the death is ongoing.
Marti said that paramedics have been called 87 times to the B.C. facilities. That is one ambulance call in 11,550 visitors for the company, which has had more than a million guests since it opened in 2013. Greenwood is the first fatal incident.
He also said Extreme Air Park has faced legal action on two occasions and both cases were settled out of court.
Trampoline parks have also been the subject of increasing scrutiny in Alberta after Landon Smith jumped into the foam pit of Jump Park Trampoline in Sherwood Park, breaking his neck and leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. Smith, who is now 19, is suing the business for more than $17 million.
Marti said the facilities have “well-established protocols” to ensure the equipment is safe and properly maintained. Guests are required to sign a waiver acknowledging the safety risks, the letter said. The letter also said all visitors are instructed on how to safely use the equipment.
Extreme Air Parks owns three trampoline facilities in British Columbia and one in Calgary. A letter has also been sent to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.
With files from CBC