It’s always a magical feeling when you get away from people and just have fun in the snow skiing. Before you set off, ensure that you are prepared – anything can happen. There are times when people have ski accidents and if nobody is around or nearby to help them, it is a challenging situation. It’s cold, can be wet, and sometimes remote even inside resort boundaries. This can be dangerous especially if you are not well equipped or informed of the possible situations while snowboarding and skiing.

While skiing on piste, it’s good to know that things such as trees and colliding with other people can lead to accidents. Just like any other sport, skiing also needs to have a balance between your skill level, the challenges you take on, and care and attention to the environment.

What to do in a ski accident on-piste in a resort:

Despite the fact that it is in resort boundaries, having an accident doesn’t mean that somebody will immediately notice that you are hurt. It is therefore important that you are ready to help yourself out. Here are some of the things that you can do when an accident occurs:

Stay Calm

Having any accident can be a stressful and horrible situation. Try to stay calm whilst you set about getting help.

Safety

Ensure that the environment around the patient is safe enough for some time as you wait for help to come. Cross your skiis uphill of the patient to warn oncoming skiiers or stand above them if necessary to guide traffic around. Encourage your patient to stay still until help arrives.

Unclip

Make sure that if the casualty has their board or skis still attached on then it is loosened and removed. Do not try to remove any other item (like a helmet) unless instructed by a medical specialist. Keep the patient in the most comfortable position and do not attempt to move them too much. Every movement can make their injuries worse.

Call for help

Note your location as best you can. If you are in a group, send one person for help and keep someone with the injured person. Find a resort representative or ski to the bottom of a lift and talk to a lift attendant. Most resorts now publish their ski patrol phone number so you may be able to call directly. In either situation state the location or the patient, the nature of the injury, their name and any other relevant detail as accurately as you can.

First aid

If it is a serious injury then first aid is important. Check if the individual who had a ski accident is breathing and if not then commence CPR. If they are bleeding then try to control the flow of blood using direct pressure and whatever you can use as a bandage. Elevate that injury to keep blood in the core and slow the flow down.

Warmth

Finally make sure that the injured person is kept warm as much as you can. This can be done by covering him or her up using your jackets.

Never panic when an individual has a ski accident. Instead focus on assuring the injured person of their safety so that they may keep calm as they wait to be attended to by a ski patroller or doctor.

 

photo credit: Bernard and Myrtha Garon

Duncan Isaksen-Loxton