© 2024 WRVO Public Media
NPR News for Central New York
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

How does the State Fair keep rides safe?

Paul Falchi holds a ride inspection tag for the Wave Slinger ride.
Ava Pukatch
Paul Falchi holds a ride inspection tag for the Wave Slinger ride.

The New York State Fair features two new attractions at the Midway —the Wave Slinger and a double-decker carousel.

Paul Falchi, the associate safety and health inspector for the New York State Fair, said ride inspections happen continuously throughout the fair.

"Someone from our office is on the fairgrounds the entire duration of the fair," Falchi said. "If something does happen, if there is an incident, we'll come out, we'll investigate. If the ride needs to be shut down, it's shut down. Once the problem has been corrected, it's all re-inspected, the rides open back up, the public is allowed back on it."

He notes ride inspectors are looking for trip hazards and sharp edges. They check fasteners and locking devices holding pieces together and make sure there are no cracks in the structure supporting the ride.

"We'll check all the seatbelts on harnesses, lap belts and restraint devices, make sure everything functions like it should," Falchi said. "When we're done kind of going over the whole ride, we'll get with the foreman for that ride. We'll let them know what we found, what needs to be addressed."

The Midway is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day except for Labor Day when it closes at 9 p.m.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.