Safety Tips

  • Work in pairs.

There’s safety in numbers, and the work that we do is best accomplished by working together as a team. If you are going to be unavailable to go out on your scheduled day, please let the scheduler know with some notice to arrange for another partner for your team that week.

  • Carry a cell phone.

If you find yourself in a situation that you feel you may have difficulty handling, call the DTW hotline (289-775-1351) to get some additional help.

  • Be prepared for wet weather.

We patrol when it’s raining, so have a raincoat on hand. We do not patrol during electrical storms, so “when the sky roars, go indoors!”.

  • Know the safe way to handle turtles.

Always wear gloves, as salmonella and other microorganisms can be transmitted by handling turtles and their eggs. Make sure that you have watched the video on how to pick up or move a snapping turtle, see Helping Out.

  • Be safe on the roads.

Always wear a DTW reflective vest. Don’t assume that vehicle drivers can see you, even when you are wearing your bright vest, as sunlight and shadows can reduce your visibility to drivers. Cross roads at a stoplight whenever possible.  Take precautions when stopping or directing traffic, and when removing roadkill. Never take unnecessary risks.

  • Avoid insect bites.

By taking a few simple precautions, you can prevent getting bitten by insects such as ticks (that potentially transmit Lyme disease) and mosquitoes. Wear light-coloured clothing that covers your arms and legs. Tuck your shirt into your pants and your pant legs into your socks to keep insects away from your bare skin. Avoid wearing sandals and open shoes.  Applying an insect repellent that contains DEET will help to keep mosquitoes and ticks away. When you get home from doing your patrol, check your clothing and your entire body for ticks. Risk of infection from a tick bite can be minimized by removing a tick correctly and promptly. For more information, go to

  • Be aware of slipping hazards.

Turtles may be nesting on slopes and muddy banks. Wear sturdy running shoes or hiking boots to reduce the risk of falls.

  • Always carry water with you.

Drink it to avoid dehydration, particularly in hot weather.

Courtesy of Catherine Shimmell & Pete Hurrell