SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (WDRB) -- We're heading into the summer busy season for pools, lakes and one local theme and water park. On this edition of 'Gina on the Job', Gina is working in the thrill seeking business at Holiday World.
Gina was trained by Alan Saltzman, Attractions Manager to become a ride operator at Holiday World. "We're going to take you out and train you on Thunderbird and we're going to let you send some people, let you launch them zero to 60," Saltzman said.
Gina and Saltzman traveled to the back of the park to Thunderbird which was built in 2015. "This is our main console. We call it the perch. So, you oversee everything, our main console operators really controlling everything and we're really going to get into operating this ride," Saltzman said
Following four hours of general safety training, ride operators hit the ground running. "You are in control here of everything here. The main console. They [employees] are physically checking the restraints, but you are visually insuring that everyone's seated properly, loose items are put away, and that there's no one inside the ride gates."
A computer system, complete with a rain mode, ensures every seat gets the green light. Ride operators are communicating with two people on the ground, three sets of eyes.
"I look at those two in the back right and then I say, 'exit gates are clear, Thunderbird clear for launch."
"Push your buttons and hold them. You'll hold them until this train rolls in and the restraints release," Saltzman said.
It's Gina's turn to be trained on the floor. "We always start inside to outside. On the blue, we push down and pull and pull up. Yep, and then pull on the belt and make sure it's secure. Just do that all the way through," Saltzman said.
Thunderbird runs every 40 to 45 seconds. The system of checks and balances is constant. Gina goes through and checks one by one on the most high tech ride at the park. Then, it's a thumbs up to her partner and to the person at the main console.
"We always tell them, we are in control of their lives on these rides and if we aren't taking care of them, who knows what could happen. We don't want that here. We have a reputation here of being one of the safest parks in the world," Saltzman said.
The park makes safety its first, major cornerstone out of four.
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