Lightning detectors help Liberal ball players

LIBERAL. Kansas – Lightning from southwest Kansas storms can put a quick end to a summer ball game.  Sometimes there is a question of when to call the game, but Little League coach Brock Ackerman said the safety of the kids, and everyone else, should come first.

“If there’s doubt, then it’s probably time to postpone it and not even mess with it,” he said.

The Liberal Rec Department hosts around 55 games a week in June alone.  So, to increase safety they’re using lightning detectors at the ball field (and pool) and they will have their supervisors and scorekeepers keep an eye on radar during games.  While the players are on the field other people can be monitoring the storm, that way if lightning hits they can be ready to get off the field.

“It’s really good that people are paying attention to that,” said Seward County Emergency Management Coordinator Greg Standard, “and that will doubtlessly make us safer.”

“I think it’s a great idea!” Ackerman said. “We have the technology so let’s use it and make everybody as safe as we can possibly be.”

In addition to lightning detectors and storm apps, there is the old stand-by that Standard said we shouldn’t forget about.

“If you can hear the thunder you’re close enough to the storm that you can hit by lightning, so you need to take action at that point in time.”

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