Helicopter used after worker injured

A HELICOPTER was pressed into service Jan. 20 to transport an injured Shames Mountain Ski Corporation employee off the mountain.

The worker was injured after being struck by a lift cable but couldn’t be taken to the hospital by ambulance because a bus got stuck on the access road leading in from Hwy16 in the morning.

Heavy snow the night before made driving up the road all but impossible, leading to a decision to close it down in any event.

A provincial ambulance was dispatched but remained at the access road turnoff.

Fortunately, a helicopter carrying provincial avalanche technicians was flying in the area at the time. “They became aware of the situation and took the young man down to the road [to the waiting ambulance],” said transportation ministry official Don Ramsay.

The patient was then taken to Mills Memorial Hospital. He suffered bruising around the upper body and neck area and was released the same day.

Shames manager Laird Carmichael said a cable got caught up with a grooming machine and that when it was released, it struck the young man.

“We’ve revised our procedure and changed it so it can’t happen in the future,” he said of grooming operations. “We’ve learned and investigated how to do it with more safety in mind.”

The Farwest bus was carrying 32 students and six teachers from Prince Rupert Senior Secondary. They remained at the scene until another bus arrived.

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