Now that you have learned how to become a Canadian Ski Patrol, I’ll discuss what the job entails, starting with equipment. Being first on scene at an accident that could be several kilometres away from the nearest medical centre not only requires training, but also the equipment required to put that training to efficient use.
All active members must have their first aid kit on their person anytime they are actively patrolling. These kits are available in multiple formats to cater to individual preference, from back packs, vests and my choice, the bum bag/fanny pack. Each format has pros and cons and caters to different scenarios, the back packs are large making them useful for working in the mountains wear you must carry avalanche gear. Here in Ontario the vest and bum bags are much more popular as they are compact yet carry everything in a well organized manor.
Once you have picked the container its time to fill it up, the Canadian Ski Patrol have certain requirements outlined below:
- Eight triangular bandages
- One tongue depressor
- One roll of one-cm adhesive tape
- One pair of scissors (not pointed) or penknife
- One pencil (not a ball-point pen)
- Six eight by eight cm dry sterile dressings
- Six safety pins
- Non sterile exam gloves
- Barrier device (CPR Mask)
- One non-metallic whistle
While these are the requirements many patrollers including myself carry extra gear that we find helpful. The Extra gear that I carry includes:
- Extra ABD pads and blood sponges
- Lift self evacuation kit (rope, carabiners, belay device and harness)
Other than what we carry on us we also have extra gear located at the top of each run which stays with the toboggans in whats called a trauma bag. Firstly the toboggan is what we ski patrol use to bring injured customers down the hill if they are immobile. In the toboggan there is two different sized splints used for immobilizing lower limbs due to possible fractures. There is also blankets for obvious reasons and a spinal board, the spinal board is used anytime there is a suspected spinal fracture to completely immobilize the patient for transport to hospital. In the trauma bags there is the required straps for using the spinal board, cervical collars (neck braces), more blankets and sterile dressings, and lastly an air way kit consisting of oropharyngeal airways and a suction device to open and maintain an airway. Lastly most hills now have at least one AED on site just in case it is needed.