Saturday, March 5, 2022, will go down in Newfoundland’s Marble Mountain history as one memorable day for over 200 guests riding the Lightning Express chair. Due to mechanical difficulties, this chairlift stopped running, stranding many people on approximately 50 chairs on a cold and windy March day.
By a stroke of good luck, there happened to be many CSP members at Marble that day. Atlantic East Division was running its on-snow clinic and first aid skills competition at the resort, and there were 24 patrollers participating from patrols across the Atlantic provinces.
(photo by Doug Miller)
Within minutes of resort operations diagnosing the chairlift issue, the CSP group coordinated with Marble Mountain staff, firefighting crews, Bay of Islands Search and Rescue members, visiting search and rescue technicians, impromptu volunteers, paramedics, and police officers. All the groups came together seamlessly.
This high-angle rescue required teamwork and precision. A leader line was thrown over the chairlift haul cable, which allowed a rescue chair to be lifted up to patrons. Patrollers coached people on the lift on how to safely use the rescue chair and then lowered patrons to the ground. This was done by the Marble Mountain Ski Patrol with assistance from visiting patrollers and volunteers who were trained in the procedure. Visiting patrollers were instrumental in setting up and staffing triage and treatment stations at the top and bottom of the mountain to receive people who had been rescued from the lift.
Richard Wells, the general manager of Marble Mountain had this to say: “On behalf of Marble Mountain Resort, I would like to extend our thanks and gratitude towards all CSP Atlantic Division members who assisted in our time of need. As far as a training exercise goes, we could not have drawn it up any better. All first responders worked flawlessly together as a team to safely accomplish the evacuation. It was an event that we will never forget. Thank you all!”
To watch the news report, click here
Although some of our teams train for it, many patrollers will never have the opportunity to assist with a lift evacuation during their CSP tenure. We are so proud and fortunate to be a part of the team that pulled together on March 5, 2022, at Marble Mountain Resort to safely and efficiently evacuate all patrons off the chair.
Now that was one memorable first aid skills competition! We hope to follow up next year with a much less interesting event.
(Photos by Ian Taylor)
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