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Airdrie resident delighted by City's response to her son's injury

By: Matt Durnan

  |  Posted: Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 11:38 am

This grate was covered with wood by City staff after Airdrie mom Wendy Bates-Wiebe's son fell on it in March and needed stitches to repair the gash in his leg.
This grate was covered with wood by City staff after Airdrie mom Wendy Bates-Wiebe's son fell on it in March and needed stitches to repair the gash in his leg.
Matt Durnan/Rocky View Publishing

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Airdrie mother Wendy Bates-Wiebe heaped praise on the City’s quick reaction after her son Ben was injured on a storm drain.

Ben, 12, was walking to school in Bayside on March 13 when he slipped on some ice and fell onto a storm drain, cutting his leg open in a gash that required stitches to close.

Bates-Wiebe took to Facebook to post about her son’s injury and word spread quickly, reaching some City staff and aldermen, including Deputy Mayor Ron Chapman.

“Ron (Chapman) was the first to call and he asked where it had happened,” said Bates-Wiebe. “They had City staff out there within a few days and they replaced the grate with a temporary wooden one.”

Airdrie Director of Community Infrastructure Lorne Stevens said this accident seems to be an isolated event but the City is taking a proactive approach to ensure that this doesn’t occur again.

“Any time you have a child or someone needing stitches because of a storm grate it’s something that will get our attention,” said Stevens. “In this instance, there was a lot of snow and ice around that grate that caused this child to slip and fall. We went out and replaced that grate and we’re looking at other grates around the city to evaluate whether we need to replace them because we don’t want to see this happen again.”

The City’s Infrastructure and Parks departments will continue to investigate storm grates around Airdrie before making a decision as to whether or not a change should be recommended to council.

Chapman took the reins after speaking to Bates-Wiebe and passed the message along to Stevens.

“Once Wendy told me what had happened I took this right to the Infrastructure department and they got out there right away,” said Chapman.

Bates-Wiebe commended the City’s proactive approach to the incident and said she was shocked at the response.

“The City was fantastic to deal with,” she said. “I didn’t think that this would get looked at so seriously and so quickly.”

She again took to Facebook to express her content with the City’s efforts, and the post received more than 80 likes and a personal message from Mayor Peter Brown sending well-wishes to Ben.

“I love hearing positive feedback from the community with things like this,” said Chapman.

“That’s why we’re here.”


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