The remote town of Waterville Valley, New Hampshire seems like a movie setting. It’s a picturesque New England village, home to world class ski slopes and a local high school dedicated to training the next generation of Olympic skiers.
And just like in the movies, the setting wouldn’t be complete without someone behind-the-scenes, working hard to ensure that this dream doesn’t become a nightmare. That someone is Jeff Dropkin, paramedic and captain of the local fire department, who also teaches the American Heart Association’s ACLS, PALS and PEARS courses at nearby Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth, NH.
The same snowy slopes that give Waterville Valley its charm also pose hidden dangers. From cardiac arrest to head trauma, it’s Jeff’s job to ensure that everyone in the community – from the ski patrol to the teachers to the bystanders – have the skills they need to recognize and react at a moment’s notice.
“We’ve seen several instances where the athletic exertion and the deep snow cause sudden cardiac deaths,” shares Dropkin. “Moreover, they’ve added more dangerous features to ski resorts now, and we’re seeing a lot more injuries than we used to. Often, you have to make the correct treatment decision within seconds.”
In recent years, the State of New Hampshire has pushed hard to […]