The Mock Snowmobile Incident

On December 4th, 2010 the Bear Point Sno-Crisers held a mock snowmobile incident at the ball diamond in Wausaukee.  These are some of the pictures from the event.  Click on any picture to start a slideshow of larger photos.

The mock incident demonstrated the response to a snowmobile accident in the woods. They brought trees out onto the diamond and three old sleds. Two of the sleds had gone head on, a third one rear ended one of the first two sleds after it crashed. The scene was complete with three victims.

Slug narrated the incident and told the story of a crash about 5 miles into the woods off of 180.  Of the three victims, one had a hurt arm, one was seriously injured, and one was a likely fatality. The victim with the hurt arm called 911 and the clock started rolling.

The first people on the scene was the trail patrol. They got blankets on the victims, helped 911 dispatch guide rescuers to the scene, rendered what first aid that they could, and marked the scene to alert other snowmobilers coming down the trail. A few minutes later the Wausaukee VFD responded with an ATV and ATV pulled ambulance.  Soon after the Wausaukee Rescue Squad was on scene with an ambulance and first responders.

It took some time to get the victims stabilized and into the ATV ambulance and eventually the regular one. One rider wasn’t in a hurry. He had a date with the coroner and the DNR Warden investigating his death.

One of the points really driven home was that as snowmobilers we bring difficult logistics for rescuers. Even with the nearly ideal conditions for the simulation it took between 45 minutes and an hour after the initial call to get the injured back to the ambulance. They still had a 45 minute ride to the hospital. Just how long that really is when you are laying in the snow in the woods was further driven home to the spectators by the cold day and biting wind that had everyone shivering by the end of the demonstration. Laying in the snow injured would only make it worse.

It was a real eye opener that hopefully sent the message to think a little before you make that risky move on the snowmobile. Help might be an hour or an hour and a half away under ideal conditions, and you passed ideal conditions  about 10 miles ago.

From what I understand, the mock snowmobile incident was the first like it here in Wisconsin. Many, myself included, thought that not only should there be another one, it would be a valuable addition to snowmobile safety classes. It was a very compelling demonstration.

In addition to the mock snowmobile incident itself, there were a few other things going on. They had the AWSC trailer there, the AWSC Miss Snowflake Brittany Thompson was there, and a DNR Warden brought out an ATV/Snowmobile accident reduction and alcohol enforcement patrol trailer loaded with REVs. The Wausaukee Loins Club kept us in hot dogs and hot chocolate, and the fellow from Pastor Fred’s Food Pantry in Amberg was collecting food and cash donations.

The AWSC trailer was the scene of the attendance drawing, where you were entered into a drawing just for showing up. The local business community responded in a huge way, and there were prizes all around.
The 2010-2011 AWSC Miss Snowflake and her family were at the event. Her name is Brittany Thompson, and according to the article in this month’s AWSC magazine, she is a junior at UWGB with a math major and business minor. She is a snowmobile safety instructor, and was a junior instructor for 6 years. She and her family were really nice. They will make excellent ambassadors for our sport. Best wishes to them, and of course, thank you very much for coming to our event.

Also visiting the event was Cathy Hanson, the editor of the AWSC magazine. It was great to meet her, and again thank you for coming to the event.

A big thanks also goes out DNR warden Dave Oginski that brought out the ATV/Snowmobile accident reduction and alcohol enforcement patrol trailer loaded with nice Ski-Doo REVs. He also explained the DNR’s role as part of the demonstration.

A lot of people worked really hard to make this event come together. Thanks goes out to the usual suspects and leadership of the Bear Point Sno-Cruisers, and especially to Ron Rost (right), who really took the lead on this one. Attendance could have been better, but we can chalk that up to it being a new event, a really slow weekend for tourism, and a pretty cold day. Personally I thought that the event was a great first effort and a huge success. It is something that I’d like to see repeated both for an audience and as a video for safety classes.