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Cell Phones, Minor or Major issue?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I patrol at a small eastern hill that has a large amount of kids at any given time that school is not in session, many many times they are at the hill alone and mom or dad may not be coming to get them for hours.

I, personally, like to maintain control of the information flow of all my accidents.

We have a hill protocol that prohibits broadcasting a patients name over the radio. Basic patient info and suspected injury is OK so that if needed an ambulance can be summoned when necessary while in transit.

When I am in charge of an incident, I like to be the one to call Johnny's mom or dad---once I am in the aid room and have a real good idea whats going on.

I like this approach because I have the time to assess what is REALLY happening, get the kid calmed down where necessary and warmed up as needed. It also allows me to "try" and control the parent's natural urge to "rush to the scene" when a leisurely stroll is all that is really required.

Cell phones make that hard to do in some cases. Johnny's friends may have already called Johnny's mom, sometimes even before I arrive at a scene and have any idea what is happening.

She shows up wild eyed, speeding ticket in hand, ALS truck on the way, wondering why Johnny is sitting on the edge of the bed with an ice bag on his wrist while I complete my paperwork in anticipation of letting him leave and go back skiing---cuz he was not really hurt.

How does anyone else deal with this sort of thing??
post #2 of 23
Our protocol does not allow for any discussion about the injury. We can use code words like asking for a hill captain, or management.

I don't think there is anything you can do about cell phones. Hopefully when you call, you catch the parent before they leave and you can bring calm to the situation.

Ain't the high tech world great.
post #3 of 23
Forget the parents what happens when bystanders call 911?

That happened 2 times last year. It's always humerous seeing Firemen run up the slope in full gear.

I almost had to do CPR on one of those guys. The best part is when they get up there and push us out of the way and say they have control then try to do first aid. They don't have anything with them and can't figure out how to get the patient splinted or down the hill, the fire truck couldn't make it up. If I would have been mean I would have left when they told me they didn't need me.

That story is always good when there are firemen in the bar.
post #4 of 23
Bryan, its odd a fire department would respond on a first aid call to your ski area in this manner. Your patrol director and the ski area management should work with the local fire and police departments to establish command and control procedures emergenciess that may occur ranging from fire, lift failure and personal injury, to hazardous and flammable material spills and criminal and terrorist acts. Most businesses do this.

Local firefighters need to be trained to know how and when to respond to a call, and the ski area needs to understand how to provide an orderly transfer of incident command from first responders (patrol, security, management) to agencies like fire and police. If you don't have an emergency action plan that is coordinated with the local emergency responders, the kind of confusion you just described can ensue and cause lost time, expense and hard feelings. Everyone should know their role, and rehearse it. Firefighters charging up a hill doesn't sound like a professional unit.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
If you don't have an emergency action plan that is coordinated with the local emergency responders, the kind of confusion you just described can ensue and cause lost time, expense and hard feelings. Everyone should know their role, and rehearse it.
Very well said Cirque.

A good portion of OEC and refreshers at the hill I patrol is spent on these exact scenarios. Not that Bryan's doesn't happen, it's just that it shouldn't.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
Forget the parents what happens when bystanders call 911?
Good point. This happened on our hill a few times last year and usually resulted in confusion and too many BLS and/or ALS ambulances dispatched to the mountain. Time will tell if they got these last years problems worked out with the 911 dispatchers. People are so well trained in call 911 on their cell phones. At ski areas the faster way to get help is usually the old fashion way by sending someone down to the bottom of lift and tell the lift attendants.
post #7 of 23
It seems that shouldn't necessarily be the case. If a skier is alone with someone and they are afraid to leave them, a call to 911 should not pose a problem. If a 911 dispatch gets a call from a local mountain there should be a plan in place to get in touch with the ski patrol - using a phone.

Seems logical to me?
post #8 of 23
We have had several 911 calls from guests on the hills - the 911 dispatcher contacts us directly at our main patrol dispatch on the hill with the caller on the line. Seems to work great due to the knowledge of the local 911 dispatch staff.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
That story is always good when there are firemen in the bar.
It's even good when there are firemen in the forum.
post #10 of 23
I think cell phones are great. I started patrolling in 1987 and prior to cell phones it was often difficult to get in touch with a parent of an ijured child. Often the parents would let there early teenages ski on their own only arranging a meeting time at the end of the day.

The few times that a parent will become overly anxious is outwayed by the times I have to sit with a injured kid for hours while other patrollers try and find the parents on the hill.

It is dissappointing when you ask a 12 year old if their parents have a cell phone and they answaer yes but they have forgotten the number.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easty View Post
I think cell phones are great. I started patrolling in 1987 and prior to cell phones it was often difficult to get in touch with a parent of an ijured child. Often the parents would let there early teenages ski on their own only arranging a meeting time at the end of the day.

The few times that a parent will become overly anxious is outwayed by the times I have to sit with a injured kid for hours while other patrollers try and find the parents on the hill.

It is dissappointing when you ask a 12 year old if their parents have a cell phone and they answaer yes but they have forgotten the number.
I agree. Paging for parents in the lodge, and leaving messages at the lift line boards waste time when you need permission to transport a child, cell phones or talkabouts are great for that.
I've been on radio when 911 called to report a situation and they knew to call us directly, and our local fire department was at our lift evac training.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easty View Post
I think cell phones are great......

It is dissappointing when you ask a 12 year old if their parents have a cell phone and they answaer yes but they have forgotten the number.

I agree, cell phones are great, I tried to get my area to put the emergancy contact number on the back of season passes so that we could contact parents when/if issue. [Season passes because usually they are the only kids skiing with out parents, families buying passes seem to ski togeather and stay in touch.]

But the ski area is myopic and wouldn't do it. Drats!!!
post #13 of 23
I find the cell phones a distraction when I'm treating a kid and three of his buddies are filming it on cell phone cameras. If I screw up it is certainly well documented!

Overall, they have increased safety and efficiency.
post #14 of 23
[instructor's viewpoint]
I have the speed dial on my cell set for dispatch. If I have an injury in my group, or arrive on the scene of an injury, it's a lot easier to call dispatch than it is to send someone to a phone and hope they don't screw up the information needed too much.
[/instructor viewpoint]
post #15 of 23

Nordic is different

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
Forget the parents what happens when bystanders call 911?
That happened 2 times last year. It's always humerous seeing Firemen run up the slope in full gear.
And what would they do it the patient was only accessible by lift????

Fortunately, we don't have to deal with this in our areas. By the time someone calls 911, they get the Sheriff's snowmobile and rescue sled on-scene, set up and headed in, and the ambulance makes the 20 minute trip from town, we can usually have them stabilized, packaged, on the pulk sled, and pretty close to the trailhead. If we need a snow machine, we can either use the grooming sled, or get one of the big Tucker Sno-Cats from the snowmobile club at the north edge of the state forest.

Yeah, Nordic is different and remote area Nordic is even differenter.

Ski safe,
Hans
post #16 of 23
Good idea or bad idea to post the phone number of the patrol room so folks on the hill can call in an injury sooner than someone skiing to a lift shack? Consider little traveled, maybe treed, off-piste ski routes with just the injured skier and their partner on site.


Ken
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
Good idea or bad idea to post the phone number of the patrol room so folks on the hill can call in an injury sooner than someone skiing to a lift shack? Consider little traveled, maybe treed, off-piste ski routes with just the injured skier and their partner on site.
Our patrol has been discussing the merits of this. The advantage of some one skiing to a lift is that they can point to where the accident is rather than trying to describe the location. A lot of people have no idea of exactly where they are. Often the lift operator can clarify the location rather than taking up the dispatchers time trying to decipher where the injured party is.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
Good idea or bad idea to post the phone number of the patrol room so folks on the hill can call in an injury sooner than someone skiing to a lift shack? Consider little traveled, maybe treed, off-piste ski routes with just the injured skier and their partner on site.
Ken
It would be a good idea if that is what people would use it for. But getting calls asking "is Jupiter open?", or "how much snow did we get last night?", or "when are you guys going to open McConkeys?" gets old real quick. Use needs to be for emergencies only.

If an injured skier calls 911 and explains where they are and that they have an emgergency the 911 dispatcher directs call to patrol (at our resort at least).
post #19 of 23
There is another aspect of cell phones that I just descovered. Our lift was down for awhile the other day. And everybody on the lift called the Ski area and asked for updates and what was happening

Cool!!!
post #20 of 23
The FCC's E911 initiative required cell phones to be equipped with GPS chipsets since 2005. Most of us are probably using these newer phones. Carriers must be able to pinpoint their customers' location within 100 meters, so emergency responders can reach them in a crisis. However, phones with GPS chips can actually find you within a few feet. The rule required ninety-five percent of cell phones to be E911 compliant by the end of 2005. Although several phone carriers have asked for extensions, in the future nearly all cell phones will have location-tracking features.

Question is, how many ski patrols are gearing up to use this information?
Do patrollers carry GPS so that a coordinate can be entered, or are you fully reliant on "Landmark navigation"?
I can foresee the day SAR and large mountain patrollers will keep a GPS capable of receiving coordinates from a dispatcher, then use that to navigate to a victim.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
However, phones with GPS chips can actually find you within a few feet.
No cell phone bases GPS can claim anywhere near this accuracy - 15 meter radius is optimistic. Of course that is good enough for most all search and rescue work.

Implementation of E911 is being slowed by both cell carriers and local 911 agencies. It will be nice when it does come.

All one whould have to do to respond is enter the GPS coordinates into Google Earth and get a location on a satalite image of the area. A area specific GIS system of course would be better.
post #22 of 23
Question is, how many ski patrols are gearing up to use this information?
Do patrollers carry GPS so that a coordinate can be entered, or are you fully reliant on "Landmark navigation"?
I can foresee the day SAR and large mountain patrollers will keep a GPS capable of receiving coordinates from a dispatcher, then use that to navigate to a victim



For that matter, all anyone has to do is ski the sled to the intersection of Powderkeg and Claimjumper, look for the crossed skis and Voila. There is the wreck.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
I can foresee the day SAR and large mountain patrollers will keep a GPS capable of receiving coordinates from a dispatcher, then use that to navigate to a victim.
Garmin already has this technology in their Rhino models. I know FRS/GMRS don't have great range, but if the technology is available for consumer use, wouldn't you think it's available at higher power for professional use?
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