2019 AIMS International Safety Seminar opens with record numbers

By | January 15, 2019

AT: Pam Sherborne

GALVESTON, Texas — The 2019 AIMS International Safety Seminar opened with record numbers on Monday, Jan. 14, according to Executive Director Karen Oertley.

Conferring prior to the seminar’s start were AIMS Executive Director Karen Oertley, current AIMS President Tim Viox and Pat Hoffman, president of The Hoffman Consulting Group, LLC, who delivered the keynote address. AT/PAM SHERBORNE

The event is being held Jan. 14-18 at the Galveston Convention Center here.

This is the second year AIMS has held its safety seminar in Galveston. Oertley said the 2018 seminar was so successful, the organization decided to go back. Official attendance at the 2018 event was 450. 

Pat Hoffman, president of The Hoffman Consulting Group LLC,  a company that offers operational, safety and security consulting services for the amusement business, kicked off the event Monday morning. He took a packed house on a historical journey looking back at some of the earliest amusement rides. He showed  a drawing of what is believed to be the world’s first carousel. It was recorded in Turkey in the 1600s.

“There is some research of a carousel dating back to the 800s, but there is no real documentation to prove that,” Hoffman said.

The first idea of a coaster came in the 1600s as well. It was an ice coaster in Russia.

“The first known coaster that was attached to a track can be dated back to 1784 in Paris, France,” he said. “The first looping coaster was built in 1901 at Coney Island. It only ran for 10 years. “

For the first time this year, AIMS has added a Family Entertainment Center (FEC) series certification program. Oertley said this series is an eight-hour schedule of classes specific to the FEC industry.

This 2019 seminar will mark Oertley’s last in the  position of executive director. She has held that position since 2014. A search is underway for her replacement.

Lesley Lassiter, AIMS’s new certification program manager, is on hand at the 2019 event. Holly Coston remains the seminar manager.

AIMS International, a non-profit organization dedicated to the safety of the amusement industry, is offering approximately 200  classes this week.

National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials (NAARSO) testing is being offered Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 15.

Hands-on events will take place at Pleasure Pier, owned by Landry’s Inc. An evening reception is set for Pleasure Pier on Wednesday evening, Jan. 16.

AIMS testing is set for Friday afternoon, Jan. 18, after a morning of review and studying.

AIMS testing offers certification on several levels. The following is the list of testing: Certified Maintenance Technician, Levels I, II, and III; Certified Operations Technician, Levels I, II, and III; Certified Aquatics Operations Technician,  Level I; Associate Ride Inspector,  Level I; Certified Ride Inspector, Level II and Professional Ride Inspector – Level III. More information may be obtained by going to www.aimsintl.org.