The first rule of snowboarding is to always have a buddy with you. The second is to stay within the approved runs of the mountain. Don’t ignore warning signs and roped-off areas that have been deemed too dangerous by the professionals who operate the mountain. However, accidents happen, so here are some things to remember in the event of an injury.
- Stay calm. Panicking won’t make calling for help easier, and it won’t heal a wound.
- Identify the injury. If the person is conscious, ask them where it hurts. If they are unconscious, make sure there is no risk of someone else running into them.
- Don’t move the injured person. If the person is unconscious, they could have a brain injury that could be exacerbated if they are moved. A broken limb can be painful to the touch.
- Protect the injured person. Remove your snowboard, and stick it upright in the snow, warning other snowboarders and skiers to stay away.
- Call for help. If you have a phone on you, call 911. If you know the number of Ski Patrol, that is better. If you don’t have a phone, flag down a fellow snowboarder/skier, and have them send Ski Patrol to help.
- Talk with the injured person. Enough time will have passed that the shock of the injury will have worn off. If they feel comfortable that they can make it down the mountain, help them onto their board, and accompany them down the mountain. If their injury is severe, stay with them and provide whatever assistance you can. Keep them warm, keep them awake, keep them hydrated, and keep them fed. Active listening is essential to their well-being.
- Clearly articulate the situation. If Ski Patrol comes, advocate for the injured party, and let the professionals know what happened. Be as clear as possible, and provide as much information as you can. If you were able to accompany your injured party to the first aid station, advocate for the injured party there.
- Remain calm. Getting injured while snowboarding can be traumatic, and a soothing presence during a challenging event can stave off any additional harm to the injured party.