WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- We are just days away from The Big E and crews at the fairgrounds are making sure everyone is safe when heading to the fair.
Tom Jones, head of safety inspections with a national firm hired by The Big E, told us they are making sure each and every ride is safe and, just like a car, some rides need maintenance.
"Being that this is one of the top five attendance fairs in North America, it's quite a task," Jones said.
Whether you are on the bumper cars or the giant wheel, crews at The Big E are making sure rides are safe for everyone to enjoy.
"One of the things that they do here at The Big E is that they kind of go over and above required inspections normally. Within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, they go through three inspections for normal shows or travel shows," Jones added.
Jones said it's all hands on deck.
"They add extra layers of inspection. Instead of three, there are five different groups of people looking at all the different attractions here at The Big E," Jones explained.
So what does that inspection process look like?
"They have a pre-inspection before paperwork is sent in. They have a certified maintenance mechanic that is sent in. It inspects it after they get their permitting and then the department of public safety comes in then finally finalizes the inspection process and they give you a permit to operate," Jones added.
Cliff Hedges, the director of public safety at The Big E, told Western Mass News they take safety very seriously.
"My job as public safety director is to make sure that everybody that comes through these gates is safe and secure, not only on the grounds, but when they put their child or themselves on one of these machines,"
There is a lot that goes on behind-the-scenes to prep for the big opening.
"We are implementing metal detectors at all the gates. We have 24 AEDs. There is one in every building now. Our security staff has all been trained and certified as security guards for a 40 hour online course," Hedges added.
Jones said the ride inspections will continue through the week, but will be complete before the fair opens on Friday.
"I put my kids on rides when they were little and I'd put my kids on these rides as they are young adults," Jones explained.:
There will be more than a dozen rides at The Big E. The much anticipated event on Friday at 8 a.m.