HOUGHTON, Mich. (WJMN) – The trail marker project in Houghton and Keweenaw Counties would add emergency trail markers on the main snowmobile trail from the Houghton Hancock Bridge to Copper Harbor.
The markers would be placed in half mile intervals and each have a number on them that people would give to emergency dispatchers in case of an emergency. Joe Schneller is driving the project and has 20 years of EMT experience. He says the markers will decrease emergency response times on the trail.
“It helps us find the people much faster because we have down times that are approximately an hour and a half to find people when they don’t know where they’re at,” said Schneller.
The project is approved by the DNR already. Schneller says they will also be able to map staging areas for both the summer and winter in relation to the markers.
“Each sign has its own number and with that it has GPS coordinates so that when someone calls 911, it’ll show the county, they come up in Negaunee but what it will do is they will get that location number from the trail number be it 701, 702 whatever it is, they’ll give that number and it will tell Negaunee or the State police post dispatchers exactly where that person is at or where the accident is at,” said Schneller.
The signs will be located on trails 135, 134, 3, and 17. Schneller says interest from community organizations may mean that more trails get the markers in the future but they are focusing on the highest trafficked areas first.
Signs cost each including the posts. The project is being funded by donations, there is a gofundme page set up and donations are accepted at the Houghton and Keweenaw County Sheriff Offices. Checks can be made out to Joe Schneller or Keweenaw County Sheriff or cash can be donated, the envelope should be marked “attn: Trail Marker Project.”