Patrolling in COVID times.

pais alto

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I started to post this in the patrol stoke thread, but it deserves it’s own thread.

I’m curious about precautions and changes that will be implemented this season. I’d love it if ‘trollers here could post about that.

For instance, will the ski area provide N-95 masks? And I was thinking about how sometimes I’d be breathing really hard when I rolled up on a scene after pulling a toboggan and/or gear on a long traverse, or down a long steep tree shot - how much fun it’d be trying to catch my breath wearing an N-95 mask...and I’d want to be wearing an N-95 mask.

Who gets to disinfect the toboggan, gear, and aid room after each patient? Phones, radios? Will patrollers be given regular COVID tests? Will you give a shit about arguing with poachers, signing-ignorers or other behavioral issues? How will you feel about having to enforce the area’s mask policy?

The area where I used to work will be limiting the number of customers. Will that be reflected in daily patrol staffing numbers?
 

chilehed

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My personal precaution is that, because my wife is in three risk categories, I'm going inactive this season. A secondary reason is that the company I work for won't let anyone on site for two weeks if they've come into close contact with someone who's positive, and I can't effectively do my job from home.
 

jmeb

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Can't really list out all our protocol changes here, and there will be many more. But some general ideas:

- Morning meetings going to look very different -- much more email/text based for assignments. Many people directly to lifts. Staggered boot up times.
- Patrol rooms will be dispersed throughout mountain in closed-off facilities rather than mostly in just lift shacks/phq.
- PPE protocols will vary significantly -- common patrol spaces look different than aid room looks different than the "hot room" looks different than on mountain. AT min we will always be in surgical masks and medical gloves when interacting with patient, but most the time N95s/Face Shields/Scrubs to be provided by mountain for anything more than brief outdoor interactions.
- Minimal people in patrol room -- one way in/out, buzzer based entry, screenings at the door.
- Patient assessments socially distanced when at all possible.
- Minimal treatment for non-life/limb/eye threatening injuries. Most won't even go to a patrol room.
- Cohort-based assignments to aid in contact tracing.
- Laundry facilities for gear. Single-use of things like blankets in toboggans between washing (and reduced number used to aid in this.)
- Bunch of other things

I am not looking forward to enforcing mask policy -- but not doing it means putting lift served skiing at risk.

Personally I'm going to give it a go as a volunteer because I trust my areas management to do the right thing for their employees and volunteers. I think it is a much harder decision for those who can't work remotely, interact frequently with at-risk folks, or rely on it for a living. I imagine we have a large number going medically-inactive this year.
 
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firebanex

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Been attempting to stock up on the various items of PPE and cleaning supplies that we will need. I think I've managed to get a hold of enough hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies for the season but still need more surgical masks, face shields, and have not been able to get any N95's yet. Small local area, not sure if management will be able to provide much for supplies. I've been buying and donating the stuff to the patrol so far.

We have a small patrol room at the top and bottom of our mountain, it's going to be no entry without a mask for the public. Same with minor injuries, it'll be taken care of out on the porch to avoid having to clean up things inside. Any patient that we do have to bring in will have either an O2 mask on treating for shock or will have a n95 or surgical mask placed on them if it doesn't complicate treatment or patient comfort. I've got a small patrol at a small mountain with limited space and supplies, so the less work we create for ourselves the better.

My biggest concern is our lift, school buses. Only way to really social distance on them is to load them at 50% or less with 1 person per seat and require mask wearing at all times. Given what I see walk through my door at work, it's going to be a complete pain in the ass for management to actually enforce. Not looking forward to this part of ski season at all.
 

François Pugh

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Been attempting to stock up on the various items of PPE and cleaning supplies that we will need. I think I've managed to get a hold of enough hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies for the season but still need more surgical masks, face shields, and have not been able to get any N95's yet. Small local area, not sure if management will be able to provide much for supplies. I've been buying and donating the stuff to the patrol so far.

We have a small patrol room at the top and bottom of our mountain, it's going to be no entry without a mask for the public. Same with minor injuries, it'll be taken care of out on the porch to avoid having to clean up things inside. Any patient that we do have to bring in will have either an O2 mask on treating for shock or will have a n95 or surgical mask placed on them if it doesn't complicate treatment or patient comfort. I've got a small patrol at a small mountain with limited space and supplies, so the less work we create for ourselves the better.

My biggest concern is our lift, school buses. Only way to really social distance on them is to load them at 50% or less with 1 person per seat and require mask wearing at all times. Given what I see walk through my door at work, it's going to be a complete pain in the ass for management to actually enforce. Not looking forward to this part of ski season at all.
Maybe a trailer hitch and hay-wagon type addition for the bus? Fresh air is better than people packed into a bus six feet apart breathing the same air. It (the virus that causes COVID-19) is airborne, after all.
 

Carolinacub

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Been attempting to stock up on the various items of PPE and cleaning supplies that we will need. I think I've managed to get a hold of enough hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies for the season but still need more surgical masks, face shields, and have not been able to get any N95's yet. Small local area, not sure if management will be able to provide much for supplies. I've been buying and donating the stuff to the patrol so far.

We have a small patrol room at the top and bottom of our mountain, it's going to be no entry without a mask for the public. Same with minor injuries, it'll be taken care of out on the porch to avoid having to clean up things inside. Any patient that we do have to bring in will have either an O2 mask on treating for shock or will have a n95 or surgical mask placed on them if it doesn't complicate treatment or patient comfort. I've got a small patrol at a small mountain with limited space and supplies, so the less work we create for ourselves the better.

My biggest concern is our lift, school buses. Only way to really social distance on them is to load them at 50% or less with 1 person per seat and require mask wearing at all times. Given what I see walk through my door at work, it's going to be a complete pain in the ass for management to actually enforce. Not looking forward to this part of ski season at all.
My understanding is that we can order PPE directly from NSP.
 

firebanex

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Yes, ordering PPE from NSP will be a thing, it wasn't quite a thing yet according to Meegan during her part of our division meeting. I remain skeptical about the shipping as shipping to Alaska is still obnoxious in the modern era.

Given the condition of the road and how cold it normally is, I don't see a trailer system like bike park shuttles being very practical for us. It might work during March when it's actually warm out and would actually be quite fun then! I also wonder if just leaving all the windows down would be an improvement too.
 

crgildart

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Given the condition of the road and how cold it normally is, I don't see a trailer system like bike park shuttles being very practical for us. It might work during March when it's actually warm out and would actually be quite fun then! I also wonder if just leaving all the windows down would be an improvement too.
Also, a cattle car full of people and children holding 180 cm razor sharp skis across a bumpy parking lot seems risky. If they do take that approach they will need adequate ski holders around the outside and safely separated from the passengers.
 

KingGrump

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Also, a cattle car full of people and children holding 180 cm razor sharp skis across a bumpy parking lot seems risky. If they do take that approach they will need adequate ski holders around the outside and safely separated from the passengers.
You 're gonna die.
Wouldn't worry about it. Ain't no way you're leaving this life alive.

Many ski areas use open air standing cattle cars. Stratton and TSV for example. The buses at Aspen and Breck are enclosed with seats but with many standing skiers. We all survived.

There will always be an excuse.
 

crgildart

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You 're gonna die.
Wouldn't worry about it. Ain't no way you're leaving this life alive.

Many ski areas use open air standing cattle cars. Stratton and TSV for example. The buses at Aspen and Breck are enclosed with seats but with many standing skiers. We all survived.

There will always be an excuse.
I ride tons of shuttle buses from remote ski lots. Skis are outside. Would I ride skis inside? Hell ya. But, will resorts faciliate that? They have enough legal risk without adding that. The example above that I responded to posted they did it for mountain bikes but seemed to be walking it back for skis. I merely suggested they'll need ski racks outside of the trailers.
 

KingGrump

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I ride tons of shuttle buses from remote ski lots. Skis are outside. Would I ride skis inside? Hell ya. But, will resorts faciliate that? They have enough legal risk without adding that. The example above that I responded to posted they did it for mountain bikes but seemed to be walking it back for skis. I merely suggested they'll need ski racks outside of the trailers.
Lots of open air cattle cars are seated. Like Big sky and DV. Most shuttle buses have rack on the outside. Most of the rack are made of 4" schedule 40 PVC pipes. Most skis do not fit in them Most people just take their skis inside.

One can always find more sh*t to worry about. Compared to terrain I frequent, the shuttles are pretty benign.
 

crgildart

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Lots of open air cattle cars are seated. Like Big sky and DV. Most shuttle buses have rack on the outside. Most of the rack are made of 4" schedule 40 PVC pipes. Most skis do not fit in them Most people just take their skis inside.

One can always find more sh*t to worry about. Compared to terrain I frequent, the shuttles are pretty benign.
Again,
r e a l s l o w..

It's the resort mentioned above saying no to the trailer for skier transport, not me or the other skiers.. Do other places do that? Maybe.
 

crgildart

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Not maybe. They have been doing that for years.
I'd prefer that to a bus made for people 4 feet tall. Someone mentioned weather issues. I dress for the weather.

As for the ski tubes outside the short bus... Ya, a pair of twins doesn't fit. I either go one ski per tube or just put one ski in and one out(strapped together) hoping the brakes and velcro strap ensure they're still both together when we get there.
 

tball

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I also wonder if just leaving all the windows down would be an improvement too.
Yes, leave the bus windows down for sure. The same goes for other windows or ventilation, when possible.

This is a nice presentation about the importance of fresh air circulation and filtration in reopening schools. This also applies to shuttle busses and patrol shacks!

 

firebanex

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We've been doing the school bus thing since '92. We have wooden ski racks bolted to the outside of the bus that you stick the tails of your skis into. Holds a good 30ish pairs depending on how many people have really fat skis. Snowboards go inside and most boarders sit with them between their legs vertically. This isn't a bus going up a paved road that's plowed and maintained well.. this is an old school bus driven up a very snowpacked, bumpy, icy, gravel road in the interior of Alaska. It's dangerous enough sitting inside and worrying about staying in your seat over the bumps for the 11 minute and 3.2 mile ride to the top. Go streetview it, Moose Mountain Ski Area in Fairbanks Alaska. You can seeeee the washboards in the summer, just imagine it in the winter with bus traffic along with the normal residential traffic. Also I'm pretty sure that Alaska doesn't allow riders in a trailer and 70% of our road is actually a public road and thus subject to all sorts of laws about passengers in trailers.

I totally agree about air flow, so many things prior to COVID showed that getting fresh air helped with recovery from sickness.

I'm looking forward to skiing, just not the people part of it.
 

firebanex

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If anyone was curious, my area decided to not open this year unless things changed to make it financially possible with Covid restrictions in place. Big driver appears to be our insurance company and the sole transport up the hill being our "trams" (school busses). I don't want to patrol at the other area in town, so I may be a regular skier this year and grab a season pass from them. We shall see.

Given how stressful life is already with work and the world.. I'm kinda glad I don't have to add patrolling on to the plate. It was looking much more like work than fun this season.
 

François Pugh

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If anyone was curious, my area decided to not open this year unless things changed to make it financially possible with Covid restrictions in place. Big driver appears to be our insurance company and the sole transport up the hill being our "trams" (school busses). I don't want to patrol at the other area in town, so I may be a regular skier this year and grab a season pass from them. We shall see.

Given how stressful life is already with work and the world.. I'm kinda glad I don't have to add patrolling on to the plate. It was looking much more like work than fun this season.
Most of my skiing is patrolling. It's a real treat for me to go skiing without the uniform. The lack of responsibility is euphoric. Hope you have a great season. I don't know what my local hill is going to do yet, but they do seem pretty risk averse (to me - but I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum).
 

ZionPow

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If anyone was curious, my area decided to not open this year unless things changed to make it financially possible with Covid restrictions in place. Big driver appears to be our insurance company and the sole transport up the hill being our "trams" (school busses). I don't want to patrol at the other area in town, so I may be a regular skier this year and grab a season pass from them. We shall see.

Given how stressful life is already with work and the world.. I'm kinda glad I don't have to add patrolling on to the plate. It was looking much more like work than fun this season.
I hope you have a great ski season. It seems like patrolling is in your blood so hopefully you will not miss it too much. I am really ready to go back to patrolling after consulting in the defense industry for 6 months. It will be an interesting season!
 
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