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Safety Patrol

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

A few season ago I was skiing with my nephew, who was a novice snow boarder at the time, it was late afternoon and on a major, high traffic run that funneled into an icy choke point where there was a group of safety patrollers, not ski patrollers, standing by some slow skiing signs waving everybody to slow down.  FIrst, I felt they should have been above the narrow, icy part of the run and not in the middle of the choke point.  Second, my nephew fell on his butt right next to a safety patroller and she asked him if he was OK.  


"Nooo" he said.  I knew he was just kidding because he was sore from landing on that part of his anatomy all day but the patroller was all over it and said don't try to get up while immediately getting on her radio and calling ski patrol.  The patrol came along very quickly and sledded him down the the base where he was examined and x-rayed and was fine.


I guess my question is twofold, maybe threefold: first, am I right that the safety patrollers should have been above the choke point and not in the middle of it?  Second,  do the ski patrollers consider the safety patroller help or nuisance?  Third, was I right to just keep my mouth shut and let them take care of the situation or should I have interjected and saved the ski patrol the effort that, who knows, may  even have delayed someone else's rescue?  I guess I figured once the wheels were set in motion there wasn't anything I could do about it but argue and that wasn't going to help the situation at all. 

post #2 of 7

1. We Don't Have Safety Patrollers, though at some resorts I get the need and I hate playing traffic cop so better them than me.




2. IF you knew your son was kidding, Well, why didn't you speak up??  That doesn't make any sense at all.  Did you think there was a chance he was hurt?  What was the nature of his Fall??  

post #3 of 7

It is pretty hard to tell if someone else is hurt or not.  When they say they are not ok, it's best to go with that until proven otherwise.


I don't think further obstructing a choke point is a good idea. On the other hand, if you are out of control enough to fall when trying to slow for the additional obstruction, I wonder how out of control you would be if you just blasted through the choke point; they are probably removing that option.


(edit: not "you" you, just a figure of speach)

post #4 of 7
First: I don't know - I'd have to see the layout to judge...and I love to judge.

Second: A help, a huge help. In fact, where I work pretty much everyone on patrol (except paramedics) started out on the safety team, where they train and learn the ropes. They help by actually getting more on-mountain and customer contact time than patrollers and doing things like helping at accidents and slowing people down in high-traffic chokes. biggrin.gif Which frees up patrollers for other things.

Third: The person that should have kept his mouth shut (if he wasn't actually hurt) was your nephew. However, as his presumable guardian you had the right to decline medical care, but you likely would have had to sign a refusal form. If you knew the kid was sandbagging then a refusal wouldn't have been a bad idea...but you had better be certain. Minors are generally considered to give implied consent until a guardian is present.
Edited by Bob Lee - 11/27/13 at 6:12pm
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Yes he should had kept his mouth shut.  He was maybe 14 at the time and is a very friendly kid...had been joking about his sore rear end for much of the afternoon and I was sure from that and his expression ( A kind of pained smile) that he was OK.  I kept my mouth shut because the safety patroller reacted so fast and was on the radio to the patrol in about a second... it felt, to me, like once the wheel were set in motion it would have been harder to stop them then to go along.  THinking about it, had it been earlier in the day I probably would have spoken up but it was late afternoon and our last run anyway.


Regarding falling in the icy choke point, the kid was a novice and it was narrow and icy... he was as out o control as any novice boarder which, if you have ever been one, you know you are often on the edge of control and are falling a lot.  The nature of his fall was that he slid out and landed on his rear end...he just happened to do it right next to the safety patroller he was trying to avoid sliding into.

post #6 of 7
I wasn't there, so this is just supposition, but I think if you'd said "Whoa, the kid's fine. Thanks for your concern but we're going to go on now," that you might have had to sign a refusal form but the patrollers would have been fine with not having to assess, package, transport, etc. your nephew.

An adult guardian has the right to decline treatment for a minor, as long as the AG is functional. And in this case it might have saved some trouble and allowed patrollers to deal with a more pressing problem.

You nephew might have gotten a "You must always ski/ride in control" lecture, but hey...biggrin.gif
post #7 of 7
Originally Posted by crank View Post

... it felt, to me, like once the wheel were set in motion it would have been harder to stop them then to go along.  


Trust's never hard to "stop" a response.  It's a "disregard," and it's no biggie.


As to whether you should have or not, that's your call.  None of us were there or know your nephew.

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