Ski patrol saves 8-year-old who fell from chairlift at Sun Valley
The actual chair the child fell from is seen in this photo courtesy Kent Kreitler / Facebook
Posted on December 30, 2013 at 12:08 PM
KETCHUM, Idaho -- Ski patrollers are credited with saving the life of an 8-year-old boy who fell nearly 40 feet from a chairlift at Sun Valley Resort on Sunday.
The incident happened Sunday morning near the base of the Christmas chairlift on Baldy Mountain.
Amazingly, the boy was not hurt.
While it's not exactly clear how he slipped, patrol supervisor Bryant Dunn says the 8-year-old managed to cling to the chairlift for about 5 minutes before falling.
Luckily, a member of the Sun Valley ski patrol spotted the problem, immediately called for the lift to stop, and initiated the rescue.
Dunn said four ski patrollers saved the child by quickly unhooking a 4 feet by 4 feet safety pad from a nearby lift tower and holding it under the boy to break his fall.
"We were able to use some large pads in sort of a fireman's catch style," Dunn said.
Official measurements indicate the boy fell 38 feet to a flat cat track.
Sun Valley ski guide Kent Kreitler witnessed the fall, and posted a picture of the rescue scene on Facebook.
"I think the child actually slipped out of his jacket which was being held," Kreitler wrote in a Facebook post. "They were beginning to back the chair down when he went, which gives even more cred to the patrol because they were adjusting a tiny pad to a moving object quite a distance above."
Regardless of how the incident happened, the outcome was unbelievably positive for the boy -- he wasn't injured in the fall whatsoever.
"He was up bright and early skiing with his father on Baldy this morning," Dunn told KTVB on Monday.
In related news, a 56-year-old Seattle man is believed to have suffered a heart attack and died after falling from a chairlift at Sun Valley in November of 2012.