B.C. Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon awarded the St. John Lifesaving Award to Mount Washington Ski Patrol Association members Derek Tolmie, Don McCauley, and Carla Valentine as well as Pro Patrollers Sandra McLaughlin, Ian McConnell, Talia Major, Josh Morris, Charlie Eaton, Dan Goodwin, Kianna Thistlewaite, and Dr. Gene Filanovsky, Tina Webber and Michael Hamilton for the teamwork in administrating first aid to save a life on February 5, 2016 on Mount Washington Alpine Resort.
The award was presented on May 14. The Order of St. John recognizes individuals, or groups of individuals, who have saved or attempted to save a life, regardless of the risk, through the application of first aid knowledge and skills.
Maria Bekiaris, Marketing & Communications Coordinator for St. John Ambulance (British Columbia and Yukon Council), recounts that on Feb. 5 in Courtenay the recipients worked as a team and used their first aid skills to help save a life.
While skiing at Mount Washington, several people witnessed a man suddenly collapse on the hill. Skiers and responding members of the ski patrol immediately went to his aid. The team of rescuers collectively assessed the casualty and it was determined that the unconscious man was not breathing and without pulse.
CPR was initiated and the AED was brought to the scene. The casualty was resuscitated. Rescuers continued to monitor the casualty while he was being readied for transport down the hill to the first aid station and subsequent transfer to hospital for further treatment.
Without the immediate application of CPR and use of the AED equipment, the casualty may not have survived. The recipients are to be commended for their part in administration of first aid to save a life.
The award recipients are from Courtenay, Nanaimo, Campbell River and Victoria. One man was from Australia and he has since returned home.