FF Safety: Out-of-Bounds at Tunnel Creek

 

Social Factors and Risk Assessment

Tunnel Creek Avalanche

This past February 19th, 16 highly experienced skiers and snowboarders, making up an impromptu group, attempted an out-of-bounds run near Stevens Pass, Washington.

These expert skiers had read the avalanche forecast and were thoroughly familiar with the dangers posed after a 32-inch snowfall, yet they went ahead.

The ensuing avalanche killed three.

The New York Times has created a stunning visual presentation of the event that is a must see.  When you do, substitute “collapse”, “flash-over” and “interior firefighting” for “avalanche” and ”skiing”.  Ask yourself if you would make the same risk assessment.  Ask yourself if you would behave differently.

Several skiers survived, one because of the deployment of personal protective equipment.  Their experiences are crucial because they spotted and heeded the signs ahead.

Warning:  Don’t click on the link unless you are prepared to be pulled into a gripping vortex of words, sights and sounds.  We can all learn from their experience.

The link:

http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/#/?part=tunnel-creek

 

(Credits:  NYT and Alan Ross)

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FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Comments
Dave Statter
DCFD: “Show the Kind of Commitment”
Not selective outrage. Just making sure my outrage is focused on where the real problems are. The lieutenant is a personnel issue. The OUC problems are systemic. This call failed before the lieutenant ever knew about it. Now, in the Rhode Island Avenue, NE case the situation was reversed. My focus then was on the…
2015-07-30 22:01:47
Dave Statter
DCFD: “Show the Kind of Commitment”
I have no problem giving DCFD hell when they deserve it Eric. That lieutenant needs attention based on what is written in that report. I urge you to listen to the interview with the interim head of OUC, Chris Geldart, by Mark Segraves today. He excuses the delay in sending the Cuesta call to dispatch…
2015-07-30 21:49:53
Eric Lamar
DCFD: “Show the Kind of Commitment”
And those are your questions and comments after reading that report? DCFD is glad you save your (selective) outrage for Fairfax officials. BTW, I agree with you on Fairfax.
2015-07-30 15:18:34
Dave Statter
DCFD: “Show the Kind of Commitment”
Eric, have you ever read the inspector general's report on Durand Ford? The report said the staffing shortage was not a rank and file issue but a problem with management. Also, did you notice that EMS 5 was not staffed during the Cuesta call?
2015-07-30 14:54:32
Victoria Huckenpahler
DCFD: “Show the Kind of Commitment”
They have clearly been sticking to the letter of the law, and not its spirit. Disillusioning, not to say shocking.
2015-07-30 14:50:55
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