The skiing season is well underway
The high season for skiing – and skiing injuries – is well underway and SOS International is ready to help when accidents occur. Last year, more than 1,700 cases required assistance from the alarm centre.
During the 2018/2019 winter season, SOS International handled well over 1,700 cases related to skiing injuries suffered by Nordic travellers which corresponded to the same period the previous year.
In 2019, the peak season for skiing injuries was weeks 3-13 and almost one-third of the total number of skiing injuries occurred in weeks 7 and 8.
Dedicated alarm centre skiing team
Again this year, during weeks 3-11, a dedicated "Alpine team" has been established as part of an upgraded staffing schedule at the alarm centre for travel assistance.
The purpose of the Alpine team is to handle this winter’s transports as smoothly and efficiently as possible without affecting the other operations of the alarm centre. The team handles all transports, i.e. those cases where the traveller needs another mode of transport than that originally planned, from the Alps i.e. Italy, France, Austria and Switzerland.
Pre-booking of seats on scheduled flights
This year, SOS International has pre-booked approximately 300 seats on relevant departures from airports located near the major Alpine skiing resorts - e.g. Innsbruck, Munich, Salzburg and Geneva.
The pre-booking of seats on scheduled flights eases the case management and repatriation of travellers and, as far as our customers are concerned, this means that we can better manage the cost of the case. Often, these departures are sold out. However, pre-booking helps to ensure that the injured traveller does not have to wait unnecessarily long for his or her repatriation.
Pre-booked air ambulances and focus on collective transports
This year, a number of air ambulances, the so-called bone express, have also been pre-booked and the ski team is focusing on transporting patients collectively.
The coordinating role of the ski team and the focus on collective transports where this makes sense is of great benefit to our customers as it lowers costs. For patients, this means that they can look forward to a faster and more flexible repatriation after sustaining an injury. In the case of a collective transport, this also makes the best use of the expertise and time of the accompanying doctors and nurses, as they can take care of several patients at the same time.
Here is what the figures from the last skiing season show: