Relay For Life Debuts New Safety Plan - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Relay For Life Debuts New Safety Plan

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The American Cancer Society's annual Yellowstone County Relay for Life kicks off this Friday.

Although the event is nearly two decades old in the Magic City, there are some new additions this year.

A very specific emergency procedures plan is making its debut. Helmed by Yellowstone County Commissioner Bill Kennedy, the plan provides responses to criminal activities involving weapons or violence, but it mainly highlights what to do in case of fire, medical or weather emergencies.

In 2011, a storm ravaged through the west end, knocking down tents and forcing participants to wait indoors. Last year, severe weather temporarily put a halt to the events, just before the 7 p.m. start time. But the participants overcame the storm; a microcosm for the cancer survivor community.

"It's a whole community effort that we come together," Kennedy said. "That's what the relay is: the relay is community."

Kennedy, whose father and uncle were claimed by Cancer, was the main catalyst behind getting the emergency plans on paper. Billings Mayor Tom Hanel says the safety efforts must continue to expand as the turnout grows.

"Each year it gets better and better," he said. "Also in regards to safety and awareness of those around us."

In the event of threatening weather, West High School, Mount Olive Church and Papa John's will provide shelter.