Mount Hotham Volunteer Ski Patrol utilises all your contributions to facilitate the training of our volunteer members and also for the purchase of equipment.

Mount Hotham Ski Patrol Ambulance

Proposed MHVSP Ambulance fitout3     Screenshot 2016-06-12 12.04.49

In 2016, the Mount Hotham Volunteer Ski Patrol raised the funds to purchase a new 4x4 ambulance. The new ambulance has replaced our existing 1970’s Ford F150 and will allow us to deliver to continue to offer the high level of quality level we strive for.

How is our Ambulance Used?

In 2014/15 our Ski Patrol attended 940 incidents with 441 transports to the medical centre.

In the absence of availability of the Victorian Ambulance Service (serviced by a qualified paramedic) our Ski Patrol Ambulance is used. The Ski Patrol Ambulance is also used for “walking wounded” (no stretcher required).

A ‘transport’ to the medical centre involves the following process:
A member of the Ski Patrol is dispatched to an injured person within the resort.
After a medical evaluation the injured person is transported over snow to the nearest Ambulance access point for evacuation to the Medical Centre using:

  1. A traditional sled
  2. Snowmobile with trailer
  3. Kassbohrer (snow groomer)
  4. Kubota over snow

Once the transport to the Ambulance access point has been affected the patient is loaded onto an Ambulance for transfer to the Medical centre.
The Ambulance access points at Mount Hotham most frequently used are:

  • Loch Car Park (4wd access required);
  • Bottom of the Summit Chairlift;
  • Top of the Village Chairlift; and
  • Bottom of the Big D Chairlift.
Why do we require an Ambulance?

The Ski Patrol Ambulance was used 202 times during the 2015 winter season, a 32% increase in usage the 2014 season and 125% increase from the 2013 season.
A fit for purpose vehicle is essential to the operation of the Ski Patrol as:

  1. the Great Alpine Highway runs through the Mount Hotham Village, effectively cutting the resort into two sections and making it impossible for the Ski Patrol to transport their patient to the Medical centre without the use of an Ambulance.
  2. Provides an essential backup to the Victorian Ambulance (which is often unavailable for 4-5 hour periods given all patients deemed in need of hospitalisation by the Medical Centre are then transported by road to the Wangaratta Base Hospital);
  3. Allows the transport of simultaneous transfers (in busy periods the Ski Patrol will transport 30-40 patients a day to the Medical Centre);
  4. Non critical / walking wounded patients can be provided with a free transport to the Medical Centre rather than tie up the Victorian Ambulance Service;
  5. It provides a safer option for both Ski Patrollers / Patients who would otherwise have to walk from the access point to the Medical Centre (across the icy and busy alpine road);
  6. The current 40+year old vehicle doesn’t comply with modern safety standards; and
  7. The equipment used within the Ambulance is now considered unsafe from an OH&S
    perspective;
What Vehicle and Equipment is proposed?

The standard vehicle used by the Victorian Ambulance Service is the Mercedes Sprinter Van. In regional and alpine areas the specification of the Sprinter is upgraded to a 4WD. This vehicle is also used by many ambulance services across Australia and globally.
In addition we have included in our donation request the necessary fitout works required to operationalize the vehicle. This works are:

  1. Hi visibility markings and safety lights;
  2. Gurney (stretcher) with rails;
  3. Basic fitout/storage and
  4. An observer seat.