Patrollers performs mock rescue in preparation for regional competition
BROOKVALE - Gary Ogle is no stranger to the dedication and professionalism shared by members of the Canadian Ski Patrol.
It was more than 12 years ago when Ogle witnessed patrollers at Brookvale Provincial Ski Park treat one of his own children with first aid after an accident on the hill.
It was the compassionate care and professionalism members displayed which influenced Ogle to become a patroller himself.
"It's the reason I got into it... I noticed how the patrollers handled that accident and how they treated their patient. I thought, 'that's what I want to do'," said Ogle, who is now the leader of Brookvale Ski Patrol. "I'm always very impressed with how the whole group jumps in and can handle any kind of accident scene."
The professional care and quick thinking was on display for parks patrons during Saturday's Canadian Ski Patrol (CSP) Day at the park.
There was a barbecue, prizes and bonfire, as well as a chance to meet and thank patrollers at the hill.
However, a highlight of the day was seeing three patrollers perform a first aid demonstration during a mock accident scenario.
The demonstration was in preparation for a competition at Poley Mountain later this month during the CSP's Atlantic West Division's annual conference.
Three Brookvale patrollers will compete as a team in the division competition, which will see the winners represent their home hill in a national competition next year.
Craig Taggart, who has been a patroller for 22 years, said it will be his third time competing.
With patrollers unsure of the scenario they'll be given during the competition, they'll have to be prepared for the worst, just like in real life.
"We have no idea what we're going to deal with and usually we only have about 22 minutes to do it," said Taggart. "This is really a test to see how well we work together and communicate."
Taggart, as well as safety coordinator Jonathan Duncan and six-year member Diana Lemay, performed Saturday's demonstration.
The scenario saw the trio determine and treat three hurt skiers, which had injuries ranging from a fractured arm to head and spinal injuries.
Ogle said serious accidents are uncommon at the hill, since it's mainly geared towards beginner and intermediate skiers.
However, members are trained to deal with all possible injuries during a 60 hour course every fall covering; treating abrasions, CPR and AED training, immobilization and backboarding and using splints to stabilize fractures.
Apart from physical injuries, Duncan said members are trained to respond to medical injuries and just about everything else in-between.
"We're out here to really promote safety and just ensure everyone has a fun, safe time at the hill," he said.
Saturday marked the 75th anniversary of the CSP, as well as the 25th anniversary of the Brookvale Ski Patrol.
Duncan, who is in his second year on the patrol, said it's a great job for anyone who has interests in skiing and first-aid.
"It's a great organization to be involved with and a lot of good people to work with," said Duncan, who plans sticking with the patrol next year. "I'd probably be here skiing anyways even if I wasn't on the patrol."
Ogle said anyone interested in becoming a patroller next season can either call Brookvale Provincial Ski Park for more information or reach the Brookvale Ski Patrol directly through Facebook.
"It's a great excuse to get out here and enjoy the hill on a nice day where you may otherwise stay at home," he said. "There's a great group of patrollers out here and it's a wonderful hill."
About the Brookvale Ski Patrol program:
- Brookvale Ski Patrol consists of 36 volunteer members who provide first aid and safety services at both the alpine site and nordic centre.
- Members also provide first aid services for non-ski events in the off season, such as the P.E.I. Marathon and cycling events
- Annual training consists of a 60 hour course covering everything from treating abrasions and fractures, head injuries, medical conditions and everything in between.
- Those wanting to join can either call Brookvale Provincial Park at (902) 658-7862 or contact Brookvale Ski Patrol through Facebook for more details