What’s in a name? The Dr. Tom Pashby Play Safely Rink

Leaside arena at dusk.
The exterior of the Dr. Tom Pashby Play Safely Rink at dusk. Staff photo.

When the Leaside Gardens board named the new ice surface the Dr. Tom Pashby Play Safely Rink, it wasn’t just a way to honour a well-known pioneer in sports safety and revered member of the Leaside community. While that in itself is a wonderful reason, the heart of the decision behind the donation made by the Dr. Tom Pashby Sports Safety Fund was to make Leaside Gardens one of the safest facilities in Canada.

The Gardens board established a safety committee charged with the responsibility of making recommendations to the board for improved safety measures. Members were drawn from the major user groups, swimming pool users, Pashby Fund and Gardens board.

Since first sitting down in October last year, the group has made some good progress focusing on unsafe conditions that presented themselves at the facility. To date the board has adopted many recommendations of this committee, including:

1. More defibrillators accessible to users on the ice, main lobby, swimming pool change rooms, time-keepers’ benches.
2. Signage regarding emergency action plan protocols to be posted at strategic places around the facility, letting patrons know where ambulances should go, having someone meet the ambulance, and ways to get on the ice.
3. Implementing a system of locating and calling the arena staff for assistance.
4. System of notification to arena management for accident reporting.
5. Helmet policy for all recreational skaters.
6. Annual or semi-annual educational sessions i.e. CPR/first aid or concussion clinics both for user groups and community at large.
7. “No ball playing” signs posted in the facility dressing room areas and corridors.
8. Consideration of a deterrent on the ramp leading to and from the rink and dressing rooms in Pashby Rink to reduce running, horseplay and use of wheelies.
9. New exterior ramp beside the stairway at the flag stand to alleviate dangerous traversing of the muddy and snowy hill to the front entrance.
10. Regular safety messages electronically displayed in the lobby.

In conjunction with the Mikey Network, a donation of four defibrillators has brought the total number installed at Leaside Gardens to six; this in itself is unprecedented. Following this will be a community CPR, Choking and Defibrillator clinic on May 31st, offered at no cost, in the William Lea room. Working with Panno Medical, we will have Toronto and area paramedics provide critical life-saving information. Space is limited, so be sure to register today at: https://safetyclinic.eventbee.com/event?eid=136867701

So, the next time someone asks, “Why The Dr. Tom Pashby Play Safely Rink?” you’ll be able to tell them.

Story contributed by Ray White, Vice-Chair, Leaside Gardens Board.