People are wanted for the Larch Hills Nordic Society’s Safety Hosts, a group of trained emergency responders who can volunteer their time when using cross-country ski trails. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

People are wanted for the Larch Hills Nordic Society’s Safety Hosts, a group of trained emergency responders who can volunteer their time when using cross-country ski trails. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Increased use of Larch Hills cross-country ski increasing need for Safety Hosts

Skiers asked to consider joining volunteer group of emergency responders

If you enjoy helping others as part of a group of healthy, happy people who cross-country ski and are nice to be around, you may be interested in becoming a Safety Host at Larch Hills.

The above description is how Jessica Klikach describes her fellow Larch Hills Nordic Society’s Safety Hosts, a group of volunteer emergency responders for the cross-country ski area.

“Right now we have only 14 (Safety Hosts) and we have close to 1,000 members that are skiing there, plus the people who come up there just for the day,” said Klikach, the Safety Host co-ordinator. “And now that we have the lit trail so we’re going to have a lot more evening skiers as well.”

Klikach stressed Safety Host volunteers are not scheduled. Instead, there is a sign-in board for Safety Hosts when they’re on the hill and available to volunteer.

“If you’re heading up even for two days a week to go for a ski, you can just sign in so that you’re available. That’s all we’re asking for – it’s very informal,” said Klikach. “It’s just good to have more people who have the skills and want to help.”

First aid training is provided to volunteers. Safety Hosts also have access to a snowmobile and a toboggan.

Klikach said a Safety Host phone number, 250-833-5467 (LHNS), is posted at Larch Hills and users are asked to keep it on their cell phone in case an emergency should arise.

“If the skier or snowshoer is out, they can call this number and it will tell you who is on the trail that they can call for help,” said Klikach, adding maps are also available at the chalet that show where cell phone service is available.

There are multiple first aid stations located in the Larch Hills cross-country ski area that people can use; however, Klikach still recommends calling for a Safety Host. For incidents requiring medical personnel, she advised calling 911 first before calling for a Safety Host, given the time it takes to get to the ski area.

Anyone wishing to volunteer or wanting more information about becoming a Safety Host can contact Klikach at 250-814-7891.

Read more: Trail Tales: Larch Hills’ ‘Mr. Fix It’ ready to focus on skiing

Read more: Column: Larch Hills Nordic Society considering bus in effort to reduce carbon footprint


lachlan@saobserver.net
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