Ski season 2023: The alarm centre is ready and prepared
The highlight of the year for ski enthusiasts and snow connoisseurs is just around the corner. At SOS International’s alarm centre for travel assistance, everyone is geared up for some busy weeks when Danes, Swedes, Norwegians and Finns get injured on the slopes.
SOS International knows from experience: Skiing causes injuries. Minor injuries and serious injuries. When accidents happen at ski resorts, experienced staff are needed at the alarm centre to advise, ensure proper treatment on the spot, be a support, take care of the practicalities and possibly provide transport home with space for broken limbs and stretchers.
Therefore, during weeks 4-13, a so-called “Alpine Team” has been set up, dedicated to dealing with ski injuries, especially those requiring special transport home.
“By organising ourselves with a dedicated Alpine Team that handles all ski transports during the weeks in question, we avoid the other teams at the alarm centre being unnecessarily affected by the many ski injuries and transports,” says Ola Magnevall, head of the SOS International travel assistance alarm centre.
Air ambulance planes are ready
When an injury occurs on a skiing holiday, a different return journey than originally planned is often required. There is simply no room for legs in plaster, crutches and stretchers on scheduled flights. Likewise, doctors often discourage a trip home in your own car.
That is why SOS International has pre-booked air ambulance planes - popularly known as “the bone express” - for the weeks when most Nordic citizens go on ski holidays. Air ambulance planes can be configured as required - there are initially 16 seats, but a stretcher takes up three seats.
“In addition to the ambulance planes we have pre-booked, we have secured options for even more aircraft if needed,” says Ola Magnevall.
Hence the shared transport
When SOS International has several injured travellers on the same flight, it brings benefits on several parameters. It helps to keep costs down, and the medical staff accompanying patients on the trip make the most of their expertise and time, as they can look after several patients at the same time.
How Nordic travellers were injured on ski holidays last year
- Knee injuries: 40%
- Shoulder injuries: 14%
- Elbows and wrists: 11%
- Neck, back and hip: 8%
- Head injuries: 7%
These are the countries where SOS International recorded the most skiing injuries last year:
- Austria (32%)
- Italy (26%)
- France (20%)