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International Ride Training Unveils COVID-19 Support Services To The Amusement Industry

Nashville, May 1, 2020: In response to the unprecedented challenges facing the amusement industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, International Ride Training LLC has announced a bevy of new services to support of the industry as it moves toward preopening.

“IRT recognizes that many industry colleagues, and the wider community, are re-writing the traditional book on how to operate an amusement park or FEC safely for both employees and guests. IRT is devoted to assisting in the development of these best practices and supporting their implementation,” commented IRT co-owner Cindee Huddy.

IRT’s new services include its International Ride Operator Certification (“iROC”) Online Training, a 2 ½ hour training course in ride operations safe operation fundamentals featuring streaming video, testing, an operator manual, and automated electronic record-keeping for each participating facility. Unveiled to iROC facilities and IRT clients at the beginning of April, and available free-of-charge until July 15, 2020 to any park or family entertainment center that would like to use it, more than 200 trainees have already taken the course. “The pandemic has created a necessity to approach training in a new, distanced way and has given us the opportunity to accelerate some of IRT’s plans for service expansion into the virtual arena. The feedback on the iROC Online Training so far has been phenomenal and we look forward to providing the training to the industry as we move towards reopening our operations,” commented Erik H. Beard, IRT Co-Owner and General Counsel. “As the nature of our day-to-day lives shifts, IRT is virtual-ready, and here to help navigate this new working environment. There are so many opportunities to push forward, to continue to improve and invent, and to emerge from this situation stronger than when we went in,” said Huddy.

Other services that IRT is offering to support the industry’s post-pandemic operations include its weekly “Coffee Chat” video calls. Since late-March, IRT has hosted these weekly calls focused on topics such as distanced ride operating procedures, sanitizing practices, encouraging guest compliance with new social distancing measures, and changes in employment policies and procedures post-pandemic. In conjunction with these weekly videoconferences, IRT has issued recommendations for modified ride operating procedures addressing restraint device security verification, ride perimeter security, rider screening, and loading/unloading procedures to assist facilities in operating rides safely while minimizing potential exposure to both riders and operators. All are welcome on IRT’s weekly “Coffee Chats,” held Fridays at 11:00 a.m. EST, and IRT has made its ride operating recommendations available at no charge to anyone that would like them. “We are not doctors and you wouldn’t want us to sew masks for you, but if we can help the industry – whether they are an IRT client or not – get back on its feet, we’ve hopefully made a contribution that’s meaningful,” said Patty Beazley, IRT co-owners.

IRT is also offering COVID-19 protocol audits to assist parks and facilities in ensuring that the procedures they have put in place for social distancing and sanitizing are being satisfactorily performed. IRT clients that are already scheduled for iROC Certification Audits or general ride operations performance audits this summer will have the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 protocol audit at no additional cost if they choose to do so. IRT will work with each client to create a specific audit tailored to individual park protocols. IRT’s COVID-19 protocol audit is also available to any other facility that may be interested at an additional charge.

International Ride Training, LLC provides a full slate of safety and risk management services to clients across all segments of the attractions industry, including theme parks, family entertainment centers, shopping malls, entertainment complexes and adventure facilities. IRT provides hands on training, operational policy development, compliance assessments and consulting, and ride operations auditing. IRT is also home to the International Ride Operator Certification Safety School, a “hands on” ride operators training program focused on safety, efficiency and professionalism and based around the iROC Ten Critical Component Standards of Performance. IRT’s next iROC Safety School will be held February 2-5, 2021 at Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina. For information regarding the iROC Online Training, IRT’s weekly “Coffee Chat” videoconferences, or to receive a copy of the IRT recommendations for distanced ride operations, contact Cindee Huddy at cindee@ridetraining.com.