Frank Dolman: Thanks, patrollers
April 12, 2009
Steamboat Springs — On April 1, I volunteered to wear a Ski Corp. jacket to be a presence on the hill and help guests have a great day. At 3:10 p.m., I was notified that it was OK to go home, and I started for the base.
While skiing on Right of Way near the ski patrol trailer, I was hit from behind by a child who appeared to be 10 or 12 years old, knocked out of both skis and my head hit the snow. Apparently, I don’t remember any of this, I put on my skis, skied to the gondola, took off my skis and went into the first floor of the gondola building where I was found by an Ambassador, Jim Ficke, in a dazed state. Jim persuaded me to go to the info center where ski patrol responded and called an ambulance. I have no memory of being there, but I am told that I was belligerent, confused and uncooperative. Luckily, Mike Hirshman, an old friend from search and rescue, a ski patroller and ambulance professional, held my hand, spoke reassuringly and persuaded me to cooperate so that I could be taken to the hospital. A scan of my head showed nothing more serious than a concussion, and an X-ray revealed a Grade 2 plus shoulder separation.
A very big thank you to Ambassador Jim Ficke, EMT Professional Mike Hirshman, and Ski Corp. ski patrol for their quick, controlled thinking and fast action. They had no way of knowing what they were dealing with as I was unable to provide any information at all. Their training and professionalism were key to gaining control of what for me was a very scary situation. I am very grateful.
And please, wear a helmet. I believe mine saved me from a much more severe injury.