Ski Mountain Patrol- who helps you when you are injured
A mother’s worst nightmare is when their child gets hurt or injured. To make matters worse you are on vacation in unfamiliar territory and up on the mountain- now who is there to help.
Rest assured the Ski Mountain Patrol is going to be right by your side. I have had the pleasure of watching them in action with my own family members a few times. I have witnessed injuries and then have skied to find a person in the red jacket with the first aid cross and then they rush to the scene.
In my own hometown I know the best hospitals and doctors to go to but when you are on vacation it is different, you don’t know anything. After having my encounter with the ski patrol I was amazed at their skills, the way they stayed calm, and they even told my son a few jokes while getting strapped in. As a parent I wanted to know what are their qualifications and how many of them are there on the mountain. (Because if you notice they are everywhere).
Well, after a little investigating I found out that they are all highly qualified for outdoor injuries and traumas. The Ski Patrol consists of MD’s, DO’s, PA’s, RN’s, EMT’s and Paramedics. They are all trained in Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC), which is a nationally recognized program in the US, by the National Ski Patrol. Every October while the mountain is getting ready for snow this team is in training getting a refresher course. More information about the OEC program can be found here at www.nsp.org.
So, I had the pleasure of meeting Mike Adams, volunteer coordinator, who helped me answer a few questions. He informed me that some of the Ski Patrol on the mountain are actually volunteers. I found this to be amazing because it means they truly love what they do, which is helping others and skiing. There are between 40-60 Ski Patrol on the mountain at all times, some of them are employees while others are volunteers. They also have five avalanche dogs, there are 12 landing pads on the mountain for an Air Flight helicopter if needed, and at the bottom of the mountain is the clinic, which is staffed by the University of Utah.
After learning about all of this I know my family is in great hands if we ever have another injury. I hope we never have to use this service, but as a Mom you know never say never!
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