By Michelle Drolet, Quebec Zone Communications and Sporting Events Patrol Leader
Over the last few years, a number of Nordic patrollers in the zone have come together each February to offer first aid services for the Snow Pentathlon, a unique multisport event that takes place on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City for seven days spread over four weekends. During this time, 4,000 athletes must continuously complete, alone or in teams, in the following five disciplines: cycling, running, skiing, skating and snowshoeing, over distances up to 42 km.
Michelle Drolet, Chief of Medical Staff, SPRINT Quebec 2012 / Michelle Drolet, chef de l’équipe médicale, SPRINT Québec 2012
Our coverage of events like this has grown over the past year. It really started to grow in September, 2012, when I was approached by Gestev, a company specializing in major sporting events in Quebec. After several meetings, they asked me to step in that December as the medical team leader for SPRINT Quebec 2012 – FIS World Cup – skiing. Coordinating rescue operations for six non-CSP patrollers for three days, my understanding of the requirements for our event patrol became more precise and clear.
The purpose of the patrol is to:
- Provide additional income to the zone for training.
- Allow patrollers to work with colleagues from different patrols and share experiences.
- Allow us to participate and raise our profile within the community.
I took on the coordination of the first aid services delivery for the Snow Pentathlon – 2013 with these points in mind. We even decided to include rookies in order to diversify their experience in first aid. The total: 205 hours of volunteering done by 29 Nordic and Alpine patrollers.
In February, 2013, Gestev contacted me again to offer me the role of medical team leader for Red Bull Crashed Ice 2013. Wow! Bigger than Quebec SPRINT 2012 and the Snow Pentathlon 2013 combined, we provided more than 500 volunteer hours, 50 aid workers (24 per shift), and 114 shifts over three days. I took up the challenge and managed to recruit 25 patrollers in the area. The other rescuers positions were filled by volunteers recruited by Gestev.
The Red Bull Crashed Ice is an extraordinary event where competitors’ adrenaline is at its maximum and where rescuers are constantly overseeing practices, qualifications, the crush of the media and, of course, the finals. All patrollers, both Nordic and alpine, who attended the event want to come back. They find these events more constructive, allowing them to connect differently than they would in a training environment or party.
The CSP – Quebec Zone scored points not only with the organizer of the event, but also with the promotional opportunity and visibility Red Bull Crashed Ice offered the Canadian Ski Patrol via the streets of Old Quebec and the broadcasting of the event worldwide.
As of April 2013, the Events Patrol – Quebec Zone was officially born and we have already committed to four charitable events and a half pentathlon between May 30 and September 30, 2013. Several questions remain unanswered, so we are currently asking for information from other zones with experience in covering large events in order to continue our development.
To get a feel of the events described above, here are links to some YouTube videos: