A 19-year-old man seriously injured his back requiring emergency medical assistance last Friday while skiing the terrain park at Big White Ski Resort, despite the fact the BC resort has been closed since March 16 due to COVID-19 as reported by Victoria News.
Chief Chris Cormack of the Big White Fire Department said an individual came to the nearby fire hall around 3:10 p.m. to inform crew members of the injured man:
“We happened to have somebody at the hall who called dispatch. We had two trucks respond and eight members. Fortunately, it was close to the fire hall and we were able to respond on foot, but if it was farther away it would have been a very different story.”
Big White VP Michael Ballingall had this to say:
“The incident was all avoidable. They had to provide first aid, a backboard, a neck-brace, and physically walk him out to the road, at which time he was handed over to B.C. Ambulance and transported to Kelowna General Hospital.”
The poacher is being treated for a serious back injury. Ballingall went on to urge people to stay away from Big White until further notice to avoid further stress the rescue and medical network during the pandemic:
“The mountain is closed, the creeks have started to run, the snow is shifting, and it is simply dangerous to be out on a mountain that is not patrolled, groomed, fenced or managed at this time. Please do not venture out on Big White Mountain. You are just putting yourself in danger, and first responders, plus those on the front lines in a position that is not necessary if they are required to provide you with care.”