It is a parent’s worst fear, but not an uncommon occurrence on the ski slopes – accidentally losing a child while travelling down the mountain. Ski areas of course have procedures for missing persons, the first step is to contact resort staff and inform them of the missing child. Notification is then sent out to everyone on the mountain. This will include Ski Patrol, Ski School, Guest Services, lift mechanics, lift electricians, and even the groomers. When appropriate, the local sheriff’s department and police also can be called.
Ski Patrol will determine where the person was last seen to concentrate the search. Dispatch helps send people to where they think they need them. At least one of the parents or guardians should stay in the First Aid Room or at the base of the mountain to keep in contact with the Ski Patrol.
The best approach is to have a plan before the crisis. Everyone should have a meeting place set out when the day begins. Put identification on your child. Make sure they have emergency contact information in their pocket or attached to their ski pass, if your kids are little. And if your child has a cell phone, have them carry the phone and use it if they have lost sight of you. Inexpensive hand held radios are also a good option for assuring communication with all members of your ski party.