Tourism deptt organises mock drill on ‘avalanche accident rescue’

Gulmarg: The department of tourism Kashmir in association with Army Saturday organised Mock Drill at Ski Patrol Base, Kangdori to impart necessary skills to the ski petrol team regarding avalanche accident rescue operations.

Various agencies including Army, Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering, Ski Guides, Police, Ski Petrol Team participated in the drill who were imparted training on how to evacuate the victims hit by avalanche.

Early in the morning avalanche was triggered at Kangdori top where in few dummies were buried under the snow debris to be evacuated.

Live demonstration exercises were conducted as how to probe the snow to find the victim and how to dig him out and take to the safe place on stretchers for first aid treatment.

Many rescue groups were formed of 10 members each equipped with avalanche probes who set out to find the victim. Another group with skis demonstrated skills operating rescue sledges to extricate injured person from the slope and safely deliver to petrol base.

Speaking on the occasion, Snow Safety Officer of the department of tourism Brian Newman said the ski-petrol team has been trained to be prepared for any eventually during the avalanche.

“The first and the foremost thing for the skiers is to avoid avalanche prone areas. However, if skiers are struck with avalanche, we have kept initial response team stationed on mountain tops who respond to the accidents and find the victims quickly,” said Brian.

The department of tourism Kashmir has also been organising avalanche awareness talk on every Tuesday at Gulmarg where in Brian Newman provides advisories on avalanche prone areas to the skiers.

Director tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah said Gulmarg receives skiers from different parts of the world who are not aware about the avalanche prone areas and how to safely negotiate any avalanche.

“We have been issuing avalanche advisories and also hosting avalanche awareness talk every week to make skiers aware about the hazards during skiing. This mock drill is part of our endeavor to have quick response team to evacuate skiers in case of any eventuality,” said Director tourism Kashmir.

Justine Anne from Australia said the drill has helped her to know how to respond during avalanche.

“I have been skiing at many places in the world. But it is for the first time, I have watched such activity which will be fruitful during skiing,” she said.


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