IPC board voted to lower the ACA course level at which instructors may request reimbursement from Level III to Level II given the lack of interest by Level III instructors.
The fund’s mission when established was to increase the number of paddlers willing and capable of instruction. The importance of paddling instructors cannot be understated as data show that the number of paddling accidents is increasing, likely due to the accessibility (affordability) of low-cost boats now being sold by many big box stores.
Buyers may not be educated about safe paddling. Increasing the number of instructors makes sense, and there are more opportunities for Level II – rather than Level III instruction in Illinois. Other ideas for addressing the rise in paddling accidents is to focus on the use of PFDs, and to increase public awareness and signage.
Contact Safety Chair Scott Hewitt for more details or to apply for a grant: Gscott.firstname.lastname@example.org
Sigrid Pilgrim, Director at IPC, is currently working with the Coast Guard Auxiliary to develop uniform safety signage (like traffic signs.) The graphics would be universal in their messages and would be available for free to public and private entities willing to put up safety signs. Watch for more details as the project progresses.