Featured PSA: When Someone Needs Help, Do This

Discussion in 'General Skiing' started by pais alto, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. pais alto

    pais alto me encanta el país alto Skier

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    You ski to have fun, so you don't often think about when things go wrong for someone and they need help. Whether someone has an injury, illness, is over-terrained, or just tired and needs help from the patrol consider these points.

    When you see someone that requires patrol’s help, it is crucially important to gather and report the following information, which will probably require that you stop for a minute:
    - nature of the injury/incident. Patrol has equipment for trauma, airway, cardiac (probably), and meds (depending on the local qualifications). If they have an idea of what the problem is they can respond with the proper stuff, saving tons of time.
    - person's condition. Walking, standing, sitting, lying down. Talking, screaming, moaning, silent.
    - where exactly the problem is. “Hey, there’s someone hurt on Molly Hogan” isn’t near enough info. Where: run’s name, top, middle, bottom, skier’s left or skier’s right, in the trees, nearby features, lift tower number, etc.
    - male/female, approximate age, skier or snowboarder, clothing/helmet description, whether someone is with them.

    Make sure that the person you report it to gets all that info, and if it’s a busy lifty you may be asked to wait until all the info can be passed. If you witnessed the accident, wait for a patroller.

    Too many people reporting accidents blow by without knowing what the problem is, or exactly where it is, or how to identify the person needing help. “I was in the trees, I don’t know the name of the run, but I saw someone hurt,” and then they split. Which sucks for patrol deciding what to bring, where to bring it, and who to bring it to.

    It takes a little time (and fun) out of the ski day, but it will be a huge help to the person that needs help, and someday it might be you.
     
    James, Tony S, Decreed_It and 45 others like this.
  2. ZionPow

    ZionPow Getting off the lift Skier

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    I would like to recommend that everyone put the ski patrol dispatch phone number where you are skiing in your contact list on your phone. This saves time if you need to call for help. 911 works but usually takes more time to get the info to patrol. Thank you for helping!
     
    Decreed_It, pete, DanoT and 11 others like this.
  3. pchewn

    pchewn Out on the slopes Skier

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    Now if only the ski areas would list the phone number for ski patrol -- that would make it easier to call patrol. 2 of the 3 main ski areas on Mt Hood have the phone number listed on the web site. For the 3rd ski area I could not find a phone number for ski patrol. Phone numbers for tickets, food, rentals, public relations, parking, conditions, lost/found, the bar, racing team ........ but no ski patrol.
     
  4. firebanex

    firebanex Getting off the lift Skier

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    Especially at smaller local areas, the local 911 dispatch may have no clue about how to contact the ski patrol nor have any familiarity with how we do our job. At my area most every time we have to call for 911, I have to explain to them that yes we will be moving the patient and that it is impossible for them to pick up the patient until we get them off the hill.

    If you find and report an accident, please stick around in case we need you to take us there, especially if it is off a regular run or in a difficult location to easily find.
     
    Mendieta likes this.
  5. Dwight

    Dwight Practitioner of skiing, solid and liquid Admin Moderator

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    I don't understand when adults don't stay with a child. Had a 12 yr old with broken femur and adult never stayed with the kid. Not even sure they tried to get help. Granted she didn't show typical femur break symptoms, but dang.

    Great idea on having patrol number in cell. Even main resort number would be better than 911.
     
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  6. Kneale Brownson

    Kneale Brownson Out on the slopes Instructor

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    Many ski areas have patrol contact information on their maps. All Vail resorts have it there and, if you have EpicMix on your phone.
     
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  7. Green08

    Green08 Front Range for the First Time Skier

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    EpicMix does have a super helpful patrol button in the App. Always at the top of every screen.

    I have never had to use it thankfully.
     
    Kiki likes this.
  8. clong83

    clong83 Stauffenberg! Skier

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    I am guessing this happened recently at Santa Fe?

    I have only had to report an injury once (and it was at Santa Fe no less!), and while I did try to get the location exact (difficulty: guy with a suspected cracked rib somewhere in Camp Robber), I didn't note any clothing, or even remember if he was boarding or skiing. There's some great tips in here that I will try and remember for next time, thanks!
     
    Jerez likes this.
  9. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I accidentally hit the patrol button on the EpicMix app while fumbling around with my glove liners on.
    :) OOPS
     
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  10. CalG

    CalG Out on the slopes Skier

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    That is OK, Patrol gets many phone calls that are not emergencies. A call from a skiing guest would be welcomed by the hill chief, until an emergecy call came in.

    Then you might get cut off abruptly, but with courtesy.
     
    Tricia likes this.
  11. Thread Starter
    TS
    pais alto

    pais alto me encanta el país alto Skier

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    That was distilled from many incidents over more than 12 years of working there, not any particular recent one.
     
    jmills115 likes this.
  12. Pequenita

    Pequenita Out on the slopes Skier

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    In your other thread, you (or someone else) mentioned sticking with the patient until patrol arrived. What do you advise in situations where it's a stranger and they wave you off, and you didn't witness the fall? I've always skied off and reported to a liftie, but it's also always been in pretty busy areas and/or under a lift.

    Actually, one time I was involved in a collision, and the other person and her friends waved me off. That was weird.
     
    Mendieta likes this.
  13. Thread Starter
    TS
    pais alto

    pais alto me encanta el país alto Skier

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    If they wave you off and you didn’t see it happen, just go and report it, mentioning that they didn’t seem to want your help. If you’re just skiing along and come across an accident, you’re under no obligation to stay with the victim. Something like what you described indicates to patrol that the person at least can maintain their airway, so that’s one set of equipment that probably won’t be needed.

    For perspective, where I work when we’re told there’s been a tree strike without any additional information, we dispatch a patroller with an ‘airway pack’ which has advanced airways, oxygen, masks, nebulizers, breathing assistance bags, crichotomy kits, etc. And we bump up additional patrol to assist and cover the station, put paramedics on alert, and prepare to dispatch an ambulance/helicopter. Usually all that isn’t needed, but when it is... Basically the same thing happens when we’re told about a collapse/loss of consciousness/severe chest pain.

    It’s easier/better to ramp down an initial response than it is to ramp it up.
     
    luliski, Kiki, SkiNurse and 5 others like this.
  14. Core2

    Core2 Out on the slopes Skier

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    I followed this advice inadvertently once. I was in Telluride a few years ago and walking around the resort base area before the lifts opened to get a coffee. I get to the coffee shop and there is a little girl on the ground out front turning blue and convulsing and everyone around her is freaking out yelling for someone to call 911. Multiple people were on their phones but it seemed like nothing was happening so I decided the best bet was for me to run to the lift ticket office which wasn't too far away and find someone with a radio to call patrol. Thankfully, on my way I ran smack dab into a patrol guy so I let him know about the little girl and that she was outside x coffee shop. He was instantly on the radio and took off running towards the shop. I don't know what ended up happening to that little girl, I just hope help got there in time.
     
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  15. Carolinacub

    Carolinacub Yes thats a Cubs hat I'm wearing Skier

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    Very true about the dispatcher especially about what we do to get the patient ready for ems transport. However we know the local ems guys pretty well and as a matter of fact have 1 of them on our patrol. If we have to contact ems while we are still on the hill with the patient we generally get connected with them directly rather than continuing to work through dispatch.
     
  16. firebanex

    firebanex Getting off the lift Skier

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    @Carolinacub Yup, it used to be that way for us, we actually had the direct line to the station chief for the nearest Fire/Ambulance station to our ski area. Sadly that changed about 10 years ago when they did some restructuring of how everything worked with EMS in our region and now we have to go through a central dispatch that connects us with our service area dispatch who still don't know much about the specifics of what we do. The crews know how stuff works once they get the call, but there is still a bit of a disconnect between us and them. We've learned and gotten better with coordinating with EMS and every year or so we get in contact with dispatch to update them on contact info for the patrol, they have our ski patrol phone number and the patrol director and assistant directors personal phone numbers just in case.
     
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  17. Carolinacub

    Carolinacub Yes thats a Cubs hat I'm wearing Skier

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    @firebanex ,I know this is a simplistic approach but prior to the season why don't you as the patrol director make a point to physically visit the central dispatch and the service area dispatch and work with them to fine tune the protocol that they need to use when working with you. Personal contact can do nothing but help.
     
    KingGrump likes this.
  18. skibob

    skibob Making fresh tracks Skier

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    Great PSA @pais alto .

    I've had N* Patrol in my phone for years. Vail does make it easy--its on most lift bars, at least at N*. Anyway, I've only had to call once. Snowboarder went down hard on the edge of his buddy's board. I didn't stay with him, but his friends were with him (didn't know how to contact patrol and were grateful I did) and he was on a main run in plain sight. I think I did pretty well based on your list, but next time I'll probably hang around just to make sure Patrol finds him alright.
     
    pais alto likes this.
  19. Ron

    Ron Don't judge a ski by its width underfoot! Pugski Ski Tester

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    THIS! for some reason I see this here too. I think part of it is kids skiing off from their parents rather than the other way around but yeah, I have come across little ones down and crying with no adults nearby. Parents, make sure your kids have your cell # in their phones and maybe even go old school and have it written down so they can give it to someone who is trying to help. I have experienced little ones who are so rattled, they cant really communicate their own names let alone, their parents name (beyond Mommy and daddy). And lastly, everyone, Please be careful watchful and considerate when on major cat track traverses. They are no place for tricks or skiing erratically
     
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  20. kayco53

    kayco53 Putting on skis Skier

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    What is really tough, is having a injured child as a patient when you are a patroller and having to search for parents. The kids are usually ok to deal with but we need the parents to help with info, consent, and transport home etc. One problem is we do not have cell coverage.
     
    freckles and Tricia like this.

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