Okemo Celebrates Safety

By AlpineZone News |
Jan 17 2012 - 01:47 PM

National Ski Areas Association Safety Awareness Week is January 14-20

LUDLOW, Vt. – As a member of the National Ski Areas Assoc., Okemo Mountain Resort will recognize National Safety Awareness Week, Jan. 14-20, with a variety of events, educational programs and special deals.

Vermont’s own PHAT team (Protect Your Head at All Times/Protect Your Head on All Terrain) will be returning to Okemo during Safety Week. The Vermont Snow Sports Research Team, a partnership of Vermont Children’s Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care and the University of Vermont College of Medicine will be on location to help educate skiers and riders about helmet use. Over the past several years, this team has been focused on developing a program to prevent serious head injuries by increasing voluntary ski helmet use among children and adults. The team of physicians and health care providers is headed by Robert Williams, M.D., pediatric anesthesiologist and critical care specialist at Vermont Children’s Hospital at Fletcher Allen. In addition to education, the team’s project includes observations of skiers and riders to track data about helmet use. Their work has been presented at medical conferences, accepted for publication in medical journals and has been extensively covered by news media nationwide. The program’s presence at a resort includes posters, distribution of brochures, an exhibit, stickers and raffle prizes. The program is non-coercive and is designed to promote helmet use and skiing and snowboarding as a healthy lifestyle. Visit www.skihelmetsafety.org for more information.

Okemo will host its annual “Helmet Head” contest during National Safety Week. Okemo staff members will be out on the mountain taking photos of willing candidates showing their best helmet head – that cool, disheveled look of matted hair that happens when a skier or snowboarder removes his helmet after a great day on the slopes. A panel of judges will select the top-ten best helmet heads and post those photos on Okemo’s Facebook page for voting by Okemo fans. The candidate who receives the most votes will win two complimentary lift tickets for a day of skiing or riding at Okemo. The National Ski Areas Association recently named Okemo Mountain Resort winner of the Best Helmet Safety Program in its annual Heads Up National Ski Area Safety Awards. Several resorts were recognized in different safety program categories and Okemo was the only New England resort to receive honors. In addition, Okemo’s Helmet Head contest was recognized by Yankee Magazine as one of its “43 Reasons to Embrace the Season” feature in the Jan./Feb. 2012 issue.

Also during Safety Week, anyone who purchases a new ski or snowboard helmet at Okemo’s Snowsports Shop Jan. 14-20, will receive a coupon for 50 percent off a full-day lift ticket, or 50 percent off a full-day equipment rental or high-performance demo, or 50 percent off a group lesson or specialty clinic.

Know the Code and Smart Style
The slogan for this year’s National Safety Awareness Week is, “Responsibility is the key to slope safety.” Regardless of how they enjoy the slopes, skiers and riders should always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements of risk in skiing that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. They should also observe the Skier Responsibility Code and Smart Style.

The Code:
Always stay in control.
People ahead of you have the right of way.
Stop in a safe place for you and others.
Whenever starting downhill or merging, look uphill and yield.
Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
Observe signs and warnings, and keep off closed trails.
Know how to use the lifts safely.

Smart Style:
Every time you use freestyle terrain, make a plan for each feature you want to use. Your speed, approach and take off will directly affect your maneuver and landing.
Scope around the jumps first, not over them. Know your landings are clear and clear yourself out of the landing area.
Start small and work your way up.
From the lift line through the park.

Also, as a way to promote safety and to familiarize skiers and riders with the Skier Responsibility Code, a Safety Scavenger Hunt will take place on the slopes of Okemo. Elements of the “Code” and “Smart Style” will be posted along trails all over the mountain. Winners who collect The Code elements will receive fabulous prizes from Okemo’s prize vault.

National Safety Awareness Week is an annual event highlighting resort safety education efforts while increasing slope safety. Resorts are encouraged to develop new and creative ways to involve employees and guests in activities for Safety Week.

For more information on National Safety Awareness Week and other NSAA safety programs, visit www.nsaa.org . To learn more about Okemo Mountain Resort and its commitment to safety, please visit www.okemo.com or call (802) 228-1600 .