Emergency call towers to be added to Christiansburg trails

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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7)— When you head out on the Huckleberry Trail in the coming weeks, not only can you stop for sunscreen, but if you have an emergency, you can get help quickly.

“It’s very important to provide that extra level of sense of security,” said Christiansburg Parks and Recreation Director Brad Epperley. “The user of that trail that is facing the emergency can push the button, it will make a call to the regional 9-1-1 center, and with their technology they can allow the emergency responders the location and whereabouts of the emergency.”

Construction starts officially next Monday. Crews will start digging and foundation works and then the following week is when they plan to assemble the towers.

“It has been a work in progress to be able to get the call towers in place and it just so happens this year was the opportune time for the capital improvements budget to be able to put the towers along the trail,” Epperley said.

The cost of the project is just over $70,000 that comes from the capital improvements project. The sunscreen stops are being paid for by a grant that the department received.

In addition to the added security, the emergency towers will be energy efficient as well.

“Along the Huckleberry trail we don’t necessarily have the infrastructure for fiber and those types of things, so it was really a win-win in a lot of different ways for us,” Epperley said. “We were able to provide energy savings, but we found a way outside of the infrastructure that we don’t have to be able to accommodate these safety mechanisms.”

Simply another added safety aspect, to help everyone enjoy their time outdoors.

“There are a lot of recreational users that use the trail and while using the trail you may become ill, or anything can happen so being able to have those types of safety mechanisms is great,” Epperley said. “We’re being proactive instead of reactive, and I think that’s an important thing from a safety perspective of your community.”

There will be six emergency call towers placed strategically along the trail. The additional ones will be added to Christiansburg parks with trails.

Weather permitting, they hope to complete the project sometime in August. The trails will remain open during construction.