Most skaters at your local rink probably wear a helmet, but last year, the arena in Springhill made it mandatory for even rink staff to wear a helmet on the ice.

Recent events have proven the idea was a good one.

Last year, veteran rink manager John Parsons suggested helmets be mandatory for all the staff at the Murray Community Centre in Springhill.

“I got a lot of my workers that was not for that. They were feeling kind of mad because they had to wear a helmet,” said Parsons, who has worked in ice rinks for 48 years. “But now, it seems now that everybody wants to wear one now.”

Fellow rink worker Ron Maine was one of those rink workers, who didn't like the idea at first.

“All of us sort of laughed under our breath and said it's kind of a silly idea because we're often on the ice a dozen times or more, in a hockey game,” said Maine. “And trying to get a helmet and keep it with you. It'd be a pain.”

All that changed recently, when Maine fell backwards on the ice, moving nets during a hockey tournament.

“Flew up in the air of course,” Maine said. “I struck the back of my head first when I come down and when I struck the back of my head, it was like a basketball. I bounced a couple times on it. The second bounce, she tore the helmet off my head."

Parsons saw it all happen and was relieved to find out his co-worker would be okay

“If it wasn't for a safety helmet, Ronnie would not be here today,” Parsons said.

Maine agrees that the helmet probably saved his life.

“Because I hit that ice so hard, I believe that probably I could have done very severe damage to my head.”

The Municipality of Cumberland County presented a certificate to parsons, for his contribution to safety culture.

He's surprised with all the attention.

“Today there was a lot of people on Facebook, through the week saying ‘Good job. Thanks John. You really did a good job,’” Parsons said.

Parsons believes the policy to have staff members wearing helmets, whenever they're on the ice, should be adopted by all rinks and arenas. He says what happens here, could easily happen anywhere.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Dan MacIntosh.