“I’m sitting here with my background as a paramedic and a firefighter. It’s just really hard to sit on a couch and watch your friends and other people you know go out and help. My coworkers on ski patrol, that’s what we want to do.” –Leah Lombardi
Fired up for the 20+ Vail ski patrollers that have stepped up in this time of crisis to join Eagle County Paramedic Services. Colorado Public Radio reports that it is part of a statewide response as emergency responders are scrambling for supplies, adopting new technologies and preparing crews for long, dangerous days ahead.
Chief executive of Eagle County Paramedic Services, Chris Montera, said the ski patrollers will drive and ride in ambulances, potentially allowing the service to activate six reserve ambulances:
“With that surge staffing, we could double our ambulance capacity if necessary today.”
Although overall ambulance dispatches are lower than usual (fewer trauma calls, mountains closed, less people on the road ect), ECPS is transporting three to five suspected COVID-19 patients per day. These transports require masks or even hoods with powered respirators for the crew. ECPS has already had to test 9 of its 86 staff members. Thankfully none tested positive for COVID-19, but the slow turnaround for lab results kept some off the job for weeks so the addition of people like ski patrollers will no doubt help fill in the gaps.
We thank all of the Vail ski patrollers that have joined the fight against COVID-19 as well as medical professionals across the world. We will do our part to make your job to follow all guidelines to flatten the curve. Thank you.
***Eagle County Paramedic Services linked this post from Vail Mountain Rescue Group yesterday asking cooperation in refraining from all high-risk activities in the outdoors; that includes snowmobiling and skiing: