This letter is a shoutout to all the people who were involved in the locating, first response care and transport of my friend after his unfortunate tumble on the ski hill this past weekend.
On Saturday afternoon at Red Mountain a small group of us were making a run on the back side of Grey Mountain. Being just off a main run in a field looking to make a few turns in some fresh powder I was just in front and to the right of my buddy when he caught one ski on a small stick protruding which whipped him around, kicking out one ski. I saw him tumble to a stop out of the corner of my eye and then heard his shout of pain.
The others in our group were too far ahead of us to be within earshot of him, or my calls and whistles. I have taken basic First Aid courses and as soon as I got to him I could see the pain that he was experiencing and upon basis assessment we determined that he was immobile and had most likely sustained a fairly serious injury.
With no other skiers within sight or earshot I knew my only option was to make a call to 911 .
This is where huge kudos begin. From the 911 operator connecting me to the BC Ambulance Service who took my information of the situation, GPS’s our location, contacted and relayed this information to the Red Mountain dispatch, who radioed the ski patrol first responders.
Later looking at my phone I could see that the 911 call lasted 13 minutes. Within that time the first ski patroler and another volunteer arrived at our location and within five minutes of that there were seven ski patrol people there with emergency backpacks and a sled loaded with equipment flying into action as a well-rehearsed team working together seamlessly to assess, care, comfort and prep my injured friend for transport to the hospital.
It was amazing to witness their professionalism and how fast they got my friend down the mountain to the First Aid office and the waiting ambulance paramedics. It seemed like longer, but in reality from the moment of the wipe-out in this out-of-the-way field until he was in the hands of the paramedics was under an hour.
So from myself and on behalf of my friend, who is now in the hospital recovering from his injury, we would like to express huge gratitude to the 911 operator, BC Ambulance service, and especially the Red Mountain ski patrol who all continuously train for this type of rescue and are essentially guardian angels for the thousands of patrons at our beloved Red Mountain ski hill.