Photo Courtesy of AT

AT: Pam Sherborne

GALVESTON, Texas — With a brand new track and the second year of a 2022 new program, plans are well underway for the 2023 AIMS International Safety Seminar, which will be held for one more year at the Galveston Island Convention Center, Galveston, Texas, Jan. 8-13.

According to AIMS Executive Director Mary Jane Brewer, it is shaping up to be the best safety seminar ever, with many core ride maintenance, inspection and safety courses returning and some brand new ones being introduced, specifically the new track, Adventure Attractions.

This new program was created to address safety concerns of amusement attractions that fall outside the traditional theme park, carnival and water park.  These attractions include mountain coasters, trampoline courts, inflatables, parasailing, aerial adventure courses, zip lines, eco tours, tethered helium balloons and many others that are not covered in the traditional amusement industry safety education curriculum. 

"We are really excited about this new track," Brewer said. "We assembled a group of industry experts to form a committee to create the safety education geared to this part of the industry."

 Brewer said as the number of non-traditional amusement rides and devices, termed “Adventure Attractions,”continues to grow into a much larger segment of the amusement industry, AIMS International saw the need to develop a specialized safety education curriculum."

Then, AIMS staff assembled a group of industry professionals involved in the operation, maintenance or inspection of adventure attractions. These experts formed a committee that has created the educational portion.

"We will have a full week of classes for the Adventures Attractions track at the 2023 conference," Brewer said. "There will be one room dedicated to this program.

"The Adventure Attractions Committee, as well as the AIMS staff, believe this new track will greatly enhance safety in this segment of our industry," Brewer said.

A new Adventure Attractions Certification program also is currently being developed and is slated to be introduced in 2023.

"Hopefully, we will be able to introduce this certification in 2024," Brewer said.

Courses in the Adventure Attractions curriculum include Building an Adventure Attraction Safety Program; Evacuation Plan; Patron Education, Communication and Denying Entry; Maintenance Program Requirements; Inspection Program Requirements; Training Program Requirement and Communicating Your Adventure Attraction Safety Program.

Others are Hayrides/Trams/Trackless Trains AND Bumper Boats/Go Karts; Mountain Coasters/Alpine Slides; Harnessed Adventure Attractions; Inflatable AquaParks/Water Elements/EcoTours; Airbags/Foam Pits/Soft Play and Parasailing/Indoor Skydiving /Balloons Helium.

A field trip to Urban Air Houston, Texas, also is in the planning.

Back by popular demand for a second consecutive year, AIMS International will partner with International Ride Training (IRT) to create the enhanced custom-curated Operations Track.

New ride maintenance, inspection, safety, security, crowd management and carnival safety courses will be offered, as well.

AIMS also is planning the second year of the Academy of Amusement Risk Management Safety & Security, AARMSS, which was introduced for the first time in 2022. This is the program specifically designed for those with experience working in safety and security management positions and are seeking advanced education opportunities in the areas of safety and security management, risk management and emergency management.

Brewer said the 2023 seminar registration website opened on Sept. 1.

"Registrants will find a new, more convenient way to sign up for the seminar, while still offering the same option to fully customize their seminar experience," Brewer said.

This year, more than 300 courses will be divided into the following tracks: Maintenance Level I, Maintenance Level II, Inspection Level I, Inspection Level II, Operations, Aquatics, Safety, Leadership, Carnival and more.

"With the click of a button, registrants can choose the path to enroll in one of these tracks, which will be pre-populated with the related courses, so that individual courses do not need to be selected," Brewer said.

However, registrants who want it, will still have the option to customize their own schedule by choosing individual courses from any track, if they choose that path.

"We have never made any participant enroll in just one track, but they now have the opportunity to do that easily if they want," she said.

Staying well ahead in planning preparations, the 2024 AIMS International Safety Seminar is already set to be held in Orlando, Florida.