What to do when things go wrong!

Posted by Emma on March 7, 2013

 Hospital Visit number 1

Last year, for the first time, our family was in the situation, not once, not twice but three times where we REALLY needed ski patrol. 

Firstly, my seven-year-old son was hit with speed from behind by a young man – resulting in a few nights in the hospital and pretty much no skiing for the rest of the season. 

Secondly, my husband who was skiing way too fast, ejected from his skis, flying head-first into a pole and landing in a ravine – also resulting in a visit to the hospital. 

Lastly, my sister-in-law who was skiing down Prospector, took a tumble and tore her ACL – having to be taken to the bottom by the ski patrol toboggan. Luckily for her, no visit to the hospital here, that waited until she was back at home in Australia. 

My son’s accident was in a very visible location and fortunately there were a lot of helpful people around and ski patrol was with us in no time at all. My husband’s, though was not in a very busy place and there I was with him not moving (I seriously thought he was dead) and no one nearby to send for help.  

What did I do? I hysterically called 911. They got me through to Ski Patrol who responded very quickly but afterwards, when I knew my husband and son would be OK and I’d had a few weeks to get my nerves back in check, I realised that I really was ill-equipped and quite frankly being irresponsible for not knowing the correct procedures here on the mountain. I didn’t even know Ski Patrol had their own phone number.

By the time my sister in law had her accident I felt like a professional Ski Patrol caller and knew exactly what to do.

So, according to PCMR Safety pages – if you find your self in an accident these are their recommendations:

Contact Mountain Patrollers wearing red parkas with white crosses. They can be contacted by calling 435-547-5411 or through a lift attendant or other Team Members.

  1. Do not remove the injured person's skis or snowboard
  2. Do not move the injured person unless you are trained to do so
  3. Cross your own skis uphill from the incident
  4. Send someone to the nearest lift or open building to report the location, type of injury and description of the injured skier

The Park City Mountain Resort website has a wealth of information on Safety Planning on the mountain. You can find all the information here, here and here. I wish I had known this sooner. 

As Donna mentioned on her post here the team of Park City Mountain Resort Ski Patrol are all super qualified. From personal experience they are AMAZING - at the time of the crisis and way after with their follow0up help and phone calls making sure that everyone was healing well. Burt – you know how much we love  you!

So do me a favour, before hitting the slopes make sure you have the Ski Patrol number in your own and your children’s phones and as a family go through what you should do in case of an unfortunate accident. Particularly, if your kids are of the age where they can go and ski with their friends, and are not always with you. It is a small peace of mind knowing they can contact Ski Patrol in case of an emergency. 

My family has healed and are enjoying being back on the slopes. It was a wake-up call to all of us that accidents do happen and I feel my family are much better prepared now to handle such situations.


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Comment posted by Kristen on March 12, 2013 9:37 PM MDT

Thanks for this post. I've always meant to put the ski patrol # in my contacts....I'm on it now. On another note, the emergency services are excellent here. We too, have had our run ins!

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Comment posted by J.D. Cronin on March 8, 2013 6:32 AM MST

Yikes wow that a pretty scary season but I have been there and first thing I just did was program ski patrol phone number in my iPhone. Good tips all around.

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