CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) Hogadon Basin Ski Area's Ski Patrol is constantly out on the slopes to make sure skiers are safe. In most emergency situations, they have to find and bring the injured person back up the mountain.
A Wyoming Life Flight helicopter takes off from Hogadon Basin Ski Area's parking lot.
"Usually people get hurt on the slopes so we have to go get them. We've got toboggans and we go down and pick them up. We bring them to the patrol hut and we stabilize in there, we splint, we do whatever we need to do in preparation for transport. When somebodies hurt badly, we notify life flight and we notify emergency dispatch centers right away," Mark Bower, National Ski Patrol Patroller at Hogadon, said.
When the ski patrol makes that 911 call, life flight is alerted that an air ambulance transport is needed and they respond from the airport. The Hogadon Ski Patrol will secure a landing zone in the Hogadon parking lot, flight paramedics are given a patient report, the patient is loaded onto a gurney and transported to the hospital.
"If we're not on the same page together, not only does it put the public at risk but it puts the patient at risk too. " Travis Lovelace, Wyoming Life Flight flight paramedic, said.
Ground transport to the hospital can take as long as 20 minutes from Hogadon Basin Ski Area. Lovelace said air transport can be crucial in emergency situations.
"When lives are in the balance and somebody is really seriously injured or really sick, we can offer speed like that in getting them to the care they need quickly," Lovelace said.
Bower said Hogadon Ski Patrol only has to use Wyoming Life Flight a handful of times a year but its great to count on them when needed.