August 5th, 2009


GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. - A volunteer Mount Hood Ski Patroller credits his training and experience on the ski slopes for helping to save the life of an injured bicyclist on Mount Hood over the weekend. The woman was riding a child’s bicycle down Timberline Road Saturday afternoon when she crashed into a fog-marker on the side of the road.

“My training just kicked in and I started working to stabilize the patient,” says John Gastineau, a volunteer Mount Hood Ski Patroller. Gastineau had just finished a shift volunteering as a ski patroller on Timberline’s snow-fields when a resort employee notified him of the crash.

The woman is believed to have been participating in a “Hood Bomb” bicycle event, where participants ride small bikes down Timberline Road at a high rate of speed.

Gastineau, a veteran patroller and first aid instructor, arrived at the scene as passing motorists attempted to offer first aid. “I assumed control of the patient and began working to stabilize her,” Gastineau said, “my experience treating injured skiers was so valuable that I knew what to do.”

As more help arrived from the Mount Hood Ski Patrol and Timberline Ski Patrol, Gastineau oversaw the patient’s care and called for Life Flight so the biker could be moved to a hospital immediately. "I believe that deciding to put her on that helicopter helped to save her life," Gastineau says. “But the most important thing was the coordinated, rapid response of our patrol team.”

Crews from AMR and Hoodland Fire arrived after ski patrollers had prepared the patient for initial transport. The Mount Hood Ski Patrol would like to thank them for their assistance.

The Mount Hood Ski patrol is one of America's busiest volunteer ski patrols, providing nearly 2,500 days of service to four ski areas on Mount Hood. The patrol is one of the oldest in the country, founded in 1937 by a group of men who wanted to help injured skiers. 70 years later, the patrol boasts more than 250 volunteers who help thousands of injured skiers on Mount Hood every year.

The Mount Hood Ski Patrol is a non-profit, volunteer organization. None of our patrollers are paid for their hard work nor are they reimbursed for their expenses. Our patrollers spend countless hours of their free time patrolling Mount Hood's slopes and keeping up to date on some of the best emergency care training available.