Lightning alert system can save lives on soccer field

Posted at: 09/12/2013 7:05 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Back in 2009, lightning struck at a 4th of July celebration in Rio Rancho, killing one man and injuring others.

Jon Fine, along with other members of the Rio Rancho Soccer Club, now New Mexico Sting, asked what could be done.

"In response to that tragedy, the Rio Rancho Soccer Club pursued funds for a lightning detection system, which goes off whenever lightning strikes within six to ten miles of the soccer fields,” Fine said. 

Once it goes off, the coaches explain protocol to let parents and players know to return to their cars until the all-clear signal has been given.

The system has been active this monsoon season, sounding the alarm two times so far this month so people could take cover. 

The Rio Rancho Soccer Club worked with the Rio Rancho Community Foundation through a grant proposal system to secure funding for the lightning alert system.

Up to seven teams play on these fields at any given time, so when lightning threatens, these teams can get to safety in a flash.

Fine also mentioned that when rain does hit the soccer fields, cancel games and practices.