On Wednesday, March 20th, Yosemite National Park emergency services personnel teamed up with Mercy Emergency Medical Services and DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc. to conduct a mass casualty incident (MCI) drill at the Badger Pass Ski Area, located in the southern portion of the park.
The drill commenced with a classroom review of the principles of MCI response, followed by a scenario drill, one in which a strong wind event caused a tree to fall and strike a ski lift, ejecting several riders and leaving others stranded on the lift.
DNC Badger Pass ski patrollers transported patients via snowmobiles and sleds to the treatment area, while NPS personnel coordinated with Mercy to provide treatment and transport to area hospitals. The ski patrol concurrently evacuated the remaining victims from the ski lift.
A unified command was established between the ski patrol and Wawona rangers to conduct the drill. Mercy ambulance and air personnel were also on scene to support the drill. A total of twelve patients were treated and transported and another seven uninjured persons were evacuated from the ski lift.
This important joint training was crucial to better establish and maintain communications and working relationships between the multiple cooperating response personnel within Yosemite National Park.