Orrin Turrold, Sugar Bowl ski patroller – dark shirt, third from right top row was awarded the purple merit star from the NSP.
The next time you see Orrin please congratulate him on receiving a Purple Merit Star at the Far West Division awards banquet last Saturday 8/3/13. He represented our patrol in a fine way and we are very proud of him.
We are lucky to have Orrin on our patrol and we should also be proud of the other Division patrollers who among other awards tallied 3 Gold Merit Stars and 3 National Appointments.
Here is an edited version of Orrin’s nomination letter explaining how he earned his Purple Merit Star:
He was returning from Montana over the Labor Day weekend in 2011 on Highway 12 through Idaho. At the time the nominee was following a full sized Chevy pickup. Highway 12 at this point is a winding road through deep Idaho forestland. As the Chevy pickup made its way through one of the curves on the highway a motorcycle drifted too high through the turn and clipped the rear quarter panel of the pickup.
The rider was thrown from his bike and rolled on the pavement less than 5 feet from the nominee’s car as he swerved into the roadside ditch to avoid hitting the dismounted and obviously injured rider. The nominee immediately relied upon his OEC training and took charge of the scene by instructing his passenger to return to the hotel they had passed or until she could get cell reception and call to request life flight helicopter response at the mile marker location of the incident. Securing the scene was next.
The nominee stopped the next 2 people who passed and instructed them to stop traffic coming down the highway and ensure the scene was safe for everyone involved in providing medical care at the scene. The third person who stopped happened to be an Idaho firefighter with a full trauma bag. The injured person was a 72 year-old man who had just left a nearby hot springs and was riding home.
When the nominee approached the injured rider he was unresponsive, had a very weak pulse and was barely breathing. After 10 seconds of rubbing his sternum and yelling at him he began to open his eyes. He had sustained severe hand trauma and his lower leg and foot were rotated 90 degrees. He also had severe cervical and mid back pain.
As the nominee and the attending fire fighter were caring for the rider they could hear the life flight helicopter hover nearby and then leave only to find out later that the helicopter crew were called away to another motorcycle accident near Missoula, MT. They continued to take care of the rider until an ambulance arrived on the scene nearly 45 minutes after their initial 911 call. While the nominee was questioning the patient to learn pertinent medical information the rider told him that he had just had quadruple by-pass heart surgery 6 months prior. The nominee continued to apply SAM splints from his medical kit, bandage wounds and help run the scene until the rider was loaded into the ambulance and taken to a local hospital. When he left the scene his pulse was very weak and irregular.
The nominee called the hospital at 10PM that night to see if he could find out how the rider was fairing but was told by the hospital staff that they could not share specific medical information regarding the rider. They did inform the nominee that he was recovering and looked as if he was going to be OK.
The nominee’s quick action and medical training were instrumental in see that this injured gentleman received the best primary care available until he could be passed off to a higher level of care.
Congratulations and thanks Orrin.