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Cell phones---Ski patrol emergency number

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
So while reading another site--ForumsADKski.com---someone posted a bit of advice I felt was very important and then came up with an idea of my own.

1) has this been beated to death already, if so, I could not find any posts about it in the search....sorry.

2) here are the ideas.

A) Whether you ski the same area or visit other areas.....find the local mountain number, one that you know had a direct transfer to ski patrol or actually ski patrol's shack. Enter it and save it....in case of emergency. Better to dial the mountain number (in my view) than 911. If you dial the latter, they work backwards....to get patrol involved...Right?

B) This leads me to...Why dont ski areas and the National Patrollers come up with a quick number...x11 like 211 or 711. Post the crap out of it all over the mountain...'in case of emergency call...x11" That number could be directed to a local patrol shack. In areas of major resorts that are close, like Salt Lake-----they would have dispatch as the volume demands. If the x11 system would not work...they could use *snow or something like that.


Not a patroller...., maybe there are good reasons for not doing the above. But I have been at some major areas and it could take 10 or so minutes, at best, to find a patroller...if I had to do that, I would have to leave the victom alone to go search.

ONE NEGATIVE---more people might take to skiing/boarding alone with their cell as their safty net.
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by I:)Skiing View Post
So while reading another site--ForumsADKski.com---someone posted a bit of advice I felt was very important and then came up with an idea of my own.

1) has this been beated to death already, if so, I could not find any posts about it in the search....sorry.

2) here are the ideas.

A) Whether you ski the same area or visit other areas.....find the local mountain number, one that you know had a direct transfer to ski patrol or actually ski patrol's shack. Enter it and save it....in case of emergency. Better to dial the mountain number (in my view) than 911. If you dial the latter, they work backwards....to get patrol involved...Right?

B) This leads me to...Why dont ski areas and the National Patrollers come up with a quick number...x11 like 211 or 711. Post the crap out of it all over the mountain...'in case of emergency call...x11" That number could be directed to a local patrol shack. In areas of major resorts that are close, like Salt Lake-----they would have dispatch as the volume demands. If the x11 system would not work...they could use *snow or something like that.


Not a patroller...., maybe there are good reasons for not doing the above. But I have been at some major areas and it could take 10 or so minutes, at best, to find a patroller...if I had to do that, I would have to leave the victom alone to go search.

ONE NEGATIVE---more people might take to skiing/boarding alone with their cell as their safty net.
The general rule no matter what mountain you're at is to send someone to the nearest lift. Lift ops have a phone or radio and know how to contact Ski patrol.
post #3 of 15
Yes, but if you are first on-scene and ski alone, it would be nice to have that number. Anything to make it easier to have on speed dial on your cell phone is a good thing.
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Yes, but if you are first on-scene and ski alone, it would be nice to have that number. Anything to make it easier to have on speed dial on your cell phone is a good thing.
At the area I patrol at you have 2 options with a cell phone:

Call the Ski Area's Business Phone and ask to speak to the Ski Patrol -

Call 911 and "911 Dispatch" will call the Area business phone and ask to speak to the ski patrol before dispatching any rescue persons/ambulance's to the area -

These are the 2 best options for the cell phone while in the Ski Area, emergency resources are not unlimited and should be used when needed and not duplicated.

After several false alams, we have found this works the best at our area, The local 911 dispatch must be in the loop and agree to this procedure.
post #5 of 15
Cell phones are not much of a factor at our area because there are only a few places on the hill where you can reliably get cell reception.
post #6 of 15
I do have the patrol numbers in my phone for the majority of the mountains I ski and definitely for all those I coach at. In addition I've trained the kids I coach (5 & 6 years old) how to use the emergency phones on the hill. Although we should probably refresh that. It's now on my to do list for Saturday with them.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve2ski View Post
At the area I patrol at you have 2 options with a cell phone:

Call the Ski Area's Business Phone and ask to speak to the Ski Patrol -

Call 911 and "911 Dispatch" will call the Area business phone and ask to speak to the ski patrol before dispatching any rescue persons/ambulance's to the area -

These are the 2 best options for the cell phone while in the Ski Area, emergency resources are not unlimited and should be used when needed and not duplicated.

After several false alams, we have found this works the best at our area, The local 911 dispatch must be in the loop and agree to this procedure.
We are in the loop with 911, and occasionally get calls from the EMS system, Usually it's something we're already responding to.
Also, an operator will pick up at our area phone # and direct your call to ski patrol and I kind of prefer that, since you will then talk to patrol directly, and someone who knows the mountain can pinpoint the location. The advantage of going to the nearest lift is that you can point up to the spot where the incident is, in case there's any doubt as to the trail.
In our case, we're a small hill that's well patrolled. Our ski school supervisors, race coaches, ambassadors, mountain management and, of corse, patrollers are all skiing around and have radios. Rarely does anyone sit for more than a few minutes without getting attention.

Last month, I was skiing down and happened on an injured person. I keyed the mike and got that horrible noise that said my battery was low, and wouldn't transmit. I looked atound and asked if anyone had a cell phone, borrowed it, called the 800 # and dialed the ext. to dispatch. "hi Marek, it's 2-turn, my radio's dead, but I'm with a possible on xxx trail near E lift tower x. send a sled, and quick splint." a second later I heard it over the radio, and less that 3 minutes later, a patroller came with the equipment. Thank God for modern technology. An alternative would have been to send a passer-by down to the lift attendent.
Before anyone asks, I don't carry a cell phone on the hill because I can't count how many times I left the mountaintop with it still sitting in my patrol jacket in the locker room when I used to carry it. Just last week, another patroller left his locker open, and I saw a big sign inside saying, "Don't forget Cell Phone."
post #8 of 15
Not all cell providers have service at our hill (Mt. Baker). The ski patrol has signs out saying they monitor radio frequency 9/11, but the one time I used it nothing happened.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
Not all cell providers have service at our hill (Mt. Baker). The ski patrol has signs out saying they monitor radio frequency 9/11, but the one time I used it nothing happened.
I came up on an accident at Heavenly, where they have the same signs re. 911. I turned my FRS to 9/11 and tried with no response. I sent someone down to the lift and it all worked OK. I later asked a patroller about it and he said they tried it a while ago but it had problems so they stopped monitoring. I suggested they take down the signs.
post #10 of 15
Schweitzer was doing the same with the 9-11 FRS monitoring but I tried it once a couple years ago when I happended upon an injury and also got no response. I think they were getting a lot of kid-pranks and other false reports. I think they did take all the signs down now. Too bad as it would be a good idea with all the family radios around but the abuse makes it unfeasible.
post #11 of 15
One problem we have -- people calling 911 from the hill. An ambulance shows up, and the patrol has no idea what the heck is going on. The person has gotten off the hill, and is waiting somewhere for EMS to show up.

It's a double-edged sword.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
So from all the posts......why not get NATIONAL involved....

1) get a good working x11 number or

2) post the crap out of the local patrol number and tell people to key it.


Bottom line,,,, tell people all you want about skiing to the lift or doing this or that....folks have cell phones and will reach for them if there is service. Embrace the technology.
post #13 of 15

Cell service here in Maine is ...maybe I can call out and then again maybe I cant..... even with a cell tower at the top I have no cell service.  Now at home in Switzerland we have cell service even in most train tunnels!  Not to many dead zones there.

post #14 of 15

Since it's easy to remember "911", I programmed the ski patrol number into my phone as a "9", just in case I need to call them for some reason.  Here and there on the trail lift supports the number is shown, but not near enough.

 

The cellphone coverage is spotty here, due to the fact that the tower is at the top of the mountain, so if you get in the shadow of the mountain or down a gorge or something, it disappears.  But at least there is some coverage.

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2-turn View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
Not all cell providers have service at our hill (Mt. Baker). The ski patrol has signs out saying they monitor radio frequency 9/11, but the one time I used it nothing happened.
I came up on an accident at Heavenly, where they have the same signs re. 911. I turned my FRS to 9/11 and tried with no response. I sent someone down to the lift and it all worked OK. I later asked a patroller about it and he said they tried it a while ago but it had problems so they stopped monitoring. I suggested they take down the signs.

This is, IMO simply a dumb idea.  While there are many FRS radios out there, and people should be able to use them to contact emergency services, the fact is that different manufacturers use different frequencies and different CTCSS (privacy) codes.  Therefore, channel 9.11 one one radio is not necessarily 9.11 on another.  In addition, 9 is an FRS only frequency, which obliges the user to transmit at low power.  According to the FCC and Industry Canada, all FRS only frequencies such as channel nine are limited to 0.5 watts.  So basically, you are playing Russian roulette by having a radio that MAY be transmitting on the right frequency, and MAY be using the proper CTCSS code, and hopefully the injured client is close enough to a receiving station that the 500 milliwatt signal MAYget through.
 

There is a movement afoot to get the FCC to declare channel one as the emergency frequency.  It is the only frequency that is the same in all models of FRS radios, and being a shared FRS/GMRS frequency, repeaters and higher powered transmitters are allowed.  While channel 1 is not ideal, it beats 9.11.

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