The UCI Responds to Questions Over Brook Macdonald Evacuation Delays

Sep 11, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  

Following Brook Macdonald's crash in Mont Sainte Anne that left him with a spinal injury, a lot of questions have been raised about the medical procedures around serious injuries put in place by the UCI. Brook was on the hill for a number of hours in pain before his evacutation was carried out. In a recent interview with Pinkbike he described the evacuation effort as "not very good at all" and said:

bigquotesI spent 5 hours on the mountain waiting for a helicopter. I felt like they had no organisation in place for an event like this which is very bad on their behalf. They tried to take me down the hill in a quad. Come on! I had spinal injury, isn’t your first thought a helicopter? It was the worst day of my life spent there. I didn’t get any painkillers for an hour so I was in so much agony. People were arguing and fighting over what should be done about me, they were lying to me on when the heli was going to be there, it was really bad. The only thing that got me through was Peaty, Blinky, Wyn and our physio Dennis. If I didn’t have the guys there supporting me I don’t know how I would have handled the situation.Brook Macdonald

To understand more about the situation and how it might be handled in future, we reached out to the UCI and received the following statement from Xavier Bigard, the UCI's Medical Director, who was on the ground at the time of the incident. Their response is posted in full below:

bigquotesWe understand the anxiety and concern caused by the accident Brook suffered during Downhill training at the UCI World Championships in Mont Saint Anne last Saturday. After being evacuated by helicopter, he underwent surgery at Quebec City Hospital the very same day and has since been regaining sensation in his legs and learning to walk again.

The time it took to evacuate Brook has led to many legitimate questions being asked, not least by the rider himself. Being myself on site during the event, I want to clarify some points and put the accident into context. It should be pointed out that the place where the accident occurred was very difficult to reach. Even so, first aiders were on the scene within four minutes to stabilise Brook’s spinal column, place him in a secure position, and carry out an initial assessment that determined he was suffering severe pain in the lower back and pelvic regions, hyperesthesia in one lower extremity and altered motor function in the other.

The first doctor was on the scene within 30 minutes with all the necessary heart monitoring equipment and sedatives. From that point on, the victim’s spinal column was perfectly stabilised, his vital signs and blood oxygen levels monitored, and morphine administered. The doctor at the scene decided to request an airlift, at which point discussions began on the best way to evacuate Brook.

Such is the legislation in Quebec that the fastest services (the military) can only intervene in life-threatening situations. Important to note that only military helicopters are able to carry out air lifting rescue operations. In all other cases, evacuation is carried out by a private operator. Given that the rider’s life was not in danger, the medical regulatory authorities deemed that the evacuation should be carried out by a private operator, which was alerted by the medical service at 13.00, the accident having occurred at 12.10.

Given that it would take the crew 50 minutes to arrive at the helicopter take-off pad and the helicopter a further 50 minutes to reach the scene, it was estimated that the victim would be evacuated at around 14.55. Owing to the blustery conditions at the summit, however, and the difficulties posed by trees and cables in accessing the area, the helicopter eventually landed at a location close to the victim at 15.20.

The helicopter then flew Brook to Quebec City Airport (the hospital’s heliport having been closed for maintenance work), where he was transferred by ambulance to the hospital. In response to the reaction to the time it had taken and we all regret to evacuate him, we held a crisis meeting attended by team managers, riders, two emergency physicians, the event organisers, and myself as UCI’s Medical Director.

It goes without saying that we would have liked a speedier evacuation. It is worth repeating, however, that the victim’s life was not in danger and that he was being monitored and his pain managed by a qualified doctor. It is clear that the bone lesions and neurological injuries he suffered were caused by the accident itself. In no way did the evacuation time aggravate the victim’s injuries or condition. In general terms, the arrangements put in place by the organisers complied with UCI Regulations, taking into account local legislation.
Xavier Bigard, UCI Medical Director

We followed up with some further questions regarding their statement, and they responded by pointing to Article 13.4.011. "The organizer shall be responsible for the medical services to the exclusion of the UCI. Checks that may be carried out by or on behalf of the UCI are limited to checks of compliance with the UCI rules and do not shift responsibility for the medical services from the organizer to the UCI. The organizer remains exclusively responsible for the safety at his event."

It appears that they're saying that the Mont-Sainte-Anne organizers should take final responsibility for Brook's ordeal on the hillside. However, they did also say they were "open to considering an update of distances and duration for helicopter rescue operations," which will hopefully be a fruitful avenue of investigation for improving managing a situation like this in the future.

We also tried to get a comment on the situation from the organizers at Mont-Sainte-Anne but they declined to add to the UCI statement.

We wish Brook all the best in his continued recovery.





Additional reporting by Si Paton.

Regions in Article
Mont-Sainte-Anne DH Park


403 Comments

  • 468 30
 S-O-R-R-Y, it's not a difficult or long word to say, but it clearly takes someone with much bigger balls than anyone employed by the UCI to say it, no place for the blame game here, 5 hours is completely unacceptable - If that was a snake bite, brain injury or cut artery etc, he would would likely have died - too late to say sorry then. Time to grow a pair UCI.
  • 333 3
 UCI translation: he didn't die so what's the fuss all about?
  • 68 2
 The UCI can’t figure out why everyone thinks they suck. When they can’t even bring themselves admit someone dropped a ball here is it any wonder

Always had them down as feeling like they are a cut above MTB anyways but this just further underlines it. Of course it’s highly likely the injury was as a result of the crash, but that doesn’t hide the fact the incident threw the spot light on how shoddy the risk assessments and planning for the race was. Why the hell does one nicest guys in the sport have to go throu this ordeal to reveal this?!
  • 115 5
 Blah,blah,blah. When Paul Bass had his accident at Rampage , the helicopter had to land in a patch of dirt so small that it was almost inconceivable. The pilot landed it and Paul was out of there in no time.
  • 422 4
 Having worked as a first responder for several seasons at Trestle Bike Park as part of their patrol team, I feel qualified enough to say that the response times here are absolutely inexcusable, especially considering the magnitude of both the event and injury at hand. I can't really understand how it's even possible that a heli wouldn't have been on standby at the base of the mountain for a World Cup, but even having ruled a helicopter out the five hour wait is ridiculous. Perhaps this will illuminate how most evacs should or can go.

Being on scene within five or so minutes from first call is reasonable enough, though at races with sufficient on course patrol, a responder should probably be there within three. Getting a doctor to the patient on hill is actually quite uncommon, however given the severity of Brook's injury including loss of sensation in an extremity, seems an appropriate if uncommon course of action. In any case, getting a doc on hill or trail with all of the appropriate gear can take some time, but shouldn't be any longer than another 20 or so minutes from first contact with the patient (this estimate assumes the most difficult entrance and exit corridors for doc plus a huge amount of gear at which point fast transportation to the base takes precedence over waiting for a doc). During doctor wait time, the patient should have been sufficiently stabilized minus pain management by the first-on-scene and additional rapid response patrol and gear, including at minimum a quality backboard or vacuum mattress spinal stabilization, oxygen, several sets of vitals for data, and cleanup or treatment of other minor injuries. During this time, a dispatcher should be coordinating potential evac routes based on preliminary information of the patient's condition including on ground transport off hill, on ground transport from the base location, and potential air transport from both the base, or from prescribed landing zones on the hill.

Heli evacs are notoriously dangerous in the mountains where I worked in CO, so I'll assume the worst for Mont St. Anne as well in the interests of reduced bias. Its worth mentioning now that any first responder on hill should have a good understanding of landing zones and should relay important incident local info to a dispatcher in preparation for a possible on-mountain helicopter evac. IT IS NOT UNCOMMON TO BE DENIED A HELI EVAC if it is deemed too dangerous for the crew. In my seasons, we had several denied, and there were two incidents with loss of life of pilots and crew in poor conditions including one of the most experienced evac-heli pilots in the western US. There are contingency ground plans for severe injuries for this reason, so even if it was impossible to ever get a heli there, Brook should never have been on the hill for longer than an hour, much less five, just to wait for a helicopter. Per google maps, its a 30 minute drive from St. Anne to Quebec City, seems like a no brainer to have ground transport ready with such difficult heli legislation.

Mountain evac isn't pretty, but it is extremely efficient if you look at most larger resorts in the western US. If it took longer than 30 minutes to stabilize and transport a patient from pretty much anywhere on hill to the base of the mountain, our crew would have a pretty lengthy and unpleasant discussion with our patrol director, mountain ops director, and risk management specialists. Five hours is the type of evacuation that costs a bike park millions in lawsuits. Bike Patrol is a pretty relaxed gig most of the time, collarbones, wrists, and concussions become a normal and frankly inconsequential part of the job, not taken lightly but rarely of any major concern. Massive trauma or code worthy events are not taken lightly and are treated with extreme care and expediency with a host of options available concerning fast response and transport of life or limb threatening injuries. There isn't always a "right" way to quickly move a spinal injury on mountain, but following basic protocols WILL ensure quality stabilization and timely evacuation, two qualities that are missing in Brook's case. I've gotten lost in the point I was attempting to make, but if a bunch of dirt-bag mountain bikers with EMT basic training and the radio assistance of doctors can safely get hurt people including those with injuries of similar caliber and occasionally more severe that Brook's off a hill and to higher care without causing further pain or damage in under 30 or 40 minutes (at the very high end), what the hell is the UCI doing?
  • 23 13
 Actually he even says that only the military can perform air lifts. So Brook is lucky that the helicopter finally managed to land, otherwise he might have spent the night on that mountain...
  • 13 21
flag opignonlibre (Sep 11, 2019 at 2:44) (Below Threshold)
 @endurocat: I wouldn't put Rampage at the pinnacle of health management. Basically in any redbull event riders you sign a waiver saying that if you die it is your own fault regardless of the course/organization.
  • 30 0
 Brook's evacuation took what equals to more than half a workshift for many people! Now let that sink in guys. Think you get up at your usual time in the morning but with agonizing pain. You then have to wait till well after your lunch break to finally hit the hospital. Now think how long that timespan feels already on any regular workday,without any pain or discomfort involved. Honestly the UCI's response is laughable and you cannot tell me convincingly this response time would pass for anything but absolutely unacceptable in any developed country. The fact we're talking about an event with foreseeable occurence of injury makes this even more absurd. Red bull at least have evac covered at their events and be it only to save their asses from any potential legal ramifications. Honestly i hope Brook can actually sue them for negligence or something. After this response they definitely deserve that.
  • 3 1
 @endurocat: not a uci event
  • 8 1
 UCI -as we have saying in Afrikaans- Waterkoppe !
  • 19 0
 offroad@uci.ch if anyone would like to email Peter Van den Abeele, the head of off-road at the UCI and share their feedback with him directly...
  • 4 1
 This is f*cked and super unprofessional but Bass’s situation was way easier to handle. There’s no lifts or trees and there’s multiple helicopters on site. Unfortunately I was stand on top of that drop when he crashed @endurocat:
  • 8 0
 @opignonlibre: big difference between accepting a fatal/severe injury is a part or your sport and organizers not being prepared in the event of the injury actually happening.
  • 4 0
 @nation: Preach brother! Pretty much 100% of Pinkbike agrees with you!
  • 40 0
 Saying sorry = admission of guilt
That response sounds like it was taken from UCI insurance company liability manual.
  • 5 1
 @opignonlibre: Health management is not summed up by a liability waiver. Everyone everywhere signs waivers that say "if you die doing [insert risky thing here] it's not [insert organization here]'s fault." That does not absolve the organization from providing reasonable health services for doing whatever risky thing.
  • 2 1
 UCI: "... and we still wait for anti-doping test results"

Jokes goes sideways: 5 hour?! Brook is lucky to be alive after that "service" (((
  • 32 0
 @nation: Loved the insight you provide. Speaking of insight's, the EWS Round at Northstar apparently had an emergency Heli on site for any injury requiring medical evac. So without assuming too much, the EWS event is deemed to be dangerous/risky enough to have a Heli on standby at the event, yet a DH World cup does not warrant the same safety precaution?? I mean ffs, absolute bloody amateur hour.

Irrespective of whether it's the UCI's fault or the "Organiser's", EVERYONE involved is 100% accountable and responsible. UCI is the governing body no? The buck stops with them! This simply highlights their standards are seriously lacking for the health and safety of the riders in an emergency situation, as well as the embarrassing management by the organisers. If any good is to come, I trust this incident highlights the need to seriously review and overhaul emergency proceeding at a World Cup level at EVERY venue that is raced in future.

On a side note, I'm an Aussie living near Melbourne in Victoria. The first State Downhill Reace I participated in back in 2006 odd was in country Victoria (Long Gully to be exact). Not overly remote, but any serious injury would require a Heli. As it so happened over the two days of practice and racing, a Heli was called both days for two injuries. Got there in under an hour from the call, already had a landing site organised and the injured riders were airlifted swiftly. If a bunch of guys running a State round can organise a Heli, you'd think the f3@king UCI or MSA Organisers could manage it. . . . .
  • 21 30
flag rrolly (Sep 11, 2019 at 6:51) (Below Threshold)
 @nation: In Canada we have "free" health care (we pay by far more of our GDP on it than other countries), but it is horribly inefficient. The regulations we have usually start off to protect us, then end up biting us (take long too to access services and are very costly, etc).

Having said all that UCI and event organizers should have been aware and prepared for this. Having a private evac heli on standby should have been the approach for an event of this nature, no?
  • 7 4
 This is non-sense. Please pro riders take note on how important it is for UCI and Velirium.com (Event organizer of MSA) to ensure you get fast attention should injury occur in this dangerous sport.

I have track walked this downhill course many times and there are access points everywhere to get people off of the mountain on boards. I watched them take a few down and out a few times that weekend.

What I also did see is the UCI and Velirium.com people drinking and smiling/laughing later that evening. I am sure they were cheering for what a poor job they had done to ensure Brook's and others riders safety. I thought it was on-sense then and it is even worse after this response. Of course Velirium.com won't respond as they feel like after time it will all just go away.

Should be simple to understand that for four days you take on the cost to have a helicopter near the sight to transport injured riders. The line about they are any trees and wires in the way was correct...on the mountain that it. There were several ATVs that were there to take injured riders off the mountain once stablized to areas where a helicopter can land. Your excused are non-sense. BROOK AND OTHER RIDERS DESERVE A BETTER ANSWER THEN WHAT HAS BEEN GIVEN UCI AND VELIRIUM. Without them...you have no show.
  • 36 0
 @rrolly: This is simply not true. The US spends by far the most per capita/gdp and Canada is barely above average.
www.healthsystemtracker.org/chart-collection/health-spending-u-s-compare-countries

I have had multiple surgeries in both Canada and Australia, and I can tell you the service in Canada is much better. I waited nearly 6 weeks to get surgery on a severely broken clavicle in Australia and went to the hospital and put the gown on and got into bed on 2 occasions, then sent home before getting surgery the 3rd time. Contrast that with Canada where I had surgery less than 12 hours after a broken radius, and similar with a broken pinky. Wait times in emergency are less than 1/4 in Canada in my experience.

I just broke my neck last week, and the insane level of care in Whistler was impressive. They transferred me by ambulance to Vancouver to fit my brace, and since I was there they decided to add a second CT scan (this time with dye), just to be sure. Total cost = zero, including pain meds and I do not have an employer so I have no health plan other than the provincial basic one that everyone gets.
  • 2 0
 @jlague: Id go as far as to call them a bunch of poephols Smile
  • 32 1
 @nation: I’m a patroller in the whistler bike park, and although I would say we are actually much more professional than ‘dirt bag bikers’, you are bang on with everything else!

There isn’t a single part of the bike park that we can’t get any patient stabilized and moving downhill within 30-40mins, and I’m willing to bet we have much harder to access area’s than the St Anne DH course.
  • 5 12
flag Yetimike2019 (Sep 11, 2019 at 8:05) (Below Threshold)
 Lol, did you read the statement? Either you completed disregard UCIs perspective, or you don’t understand it. Sounds like the local laws and conditions played a big roll. Having been in this riders situation before, I would be pissed too, but not at UCI.
  • 22 19
 @rrolly: Off topic. And I see that you have qualified your "free" statement, but I must say it always erks me a little when I hear Canadian's say we have "free" health care.

It is not free in anyway and Canadian's know that, but say we have free health care. I noticed we like to say it to people that don't live in Canada. I always wonder why we Canadian's lie to people from other countries about our "Free" health care.

Free means it is not paid for..

Free = 0 $, at all, by anyone.

I can only speak of two Provinces that I have actually spent time in, but I know that in Alberta the medical payments are taken off of annual Provincial taxes.

If you live in BC you actually have to pay a medical bill monthly, they are called premium rates.
and like a good socialist Province, they go on a sliding scale depending on your family income.

What Canada has is a subsidized medical system, and I am sure you are aware of this, being Canadian yourself. I will also point out that scores of other nations around the world also have public medical systems, so why do Canadian's cling to this statement of free medical, which is actually untrue, like we are some sort of unique super caring Nation due to the fact that medical services are available to the public?

So, why, may I ask do Canadian's keep repeating that they have "FREE" health care.
We Do Not.

And if you actually listen to people from certain Latin American countries, one will see that our system is rapidly becoming similar to the issues they have in their social medical systems.

If you want fast efficient service, you pay a private clinic out of your pocket. This is quickly becoming Canada's situation, but Canadian's seem oblivious because the CBC keeps telling them otherwise.

One only needs to talk to some people with injuries that they had to suffer with for years before they got to have their day with a surgeon.
I know this as a fact, as I have two friends in their early and late 20's that had their lives put on hold for almost 2 years in one case and over 2 years in the other, because of a shoulder injury that the Medical system took that long to finally get them in to repair.

I won't even get started on the other abysmal failures that I myself have seen by this "Free" system, that have caused premature death.

Mont Sainte Anne is in Canada, so you all got to see Canadian bureaucracy at it's finest. Can't get a heli without a red tape dance first..

Anyways. I am ranting now. Just wanted to give some balance to those reading that actually believe Canada has Free World Class Medical for everyone because they heard so many Canadian's claim that.

Really wish Canadian's would put down the "free medical" kool-aid..
Tell it like it is.
Canada has subsidized medical services for the general public, but if you have the money to pay, it has a much better and more efficient private system for your needs.
  • 9 0
 Did you read the article? LIFE THREATING INJURIES GET IMMEDIATE MILITARY EVACUATION.
  • 10 1
 While I agree the response time and handling of the situation was completely inadequate and unacceptable, if I were with the UCI I would probably feel this same way. They put responsibility for medical evac on the event organizer, right or wrong that is clear when organizers sign up to host the event. MSA should be the ones taking the responsibility and looking at their evac procedures before they host again.
  • 4 0
 @nation: I was going to say the same thing. Why wasn't emergency vehicles, including a helicopter already on scene? That's the real issue!
  • 9 0
 @rrolly: How does anything that happened here have anything to do with our health care system? This was a failure of the race organizers, full stop. They should have a heli on site or at a close heli-base on standby.
I live in BC (Squamish), and people regularly need heli-evacs from very difficult locations here. I've never heard of one taking 5 hours. It's usually 60-90 min to scramble the SAR crew, get them to the heliport and into the air.

Also, we spend much less per capita on health care than the USA and are about average in spending among industrialized countries.
  • 4 1
 @nation: This is quite possibly the best comment I've ever read on Pinkbike! In all seriousness, you've captured the truly important part here. While Brook's comments above were pointed mostly at the helicopter, and rightfully so given what actually happened, but the real key issue here is safe and efficient transport to the hospital. All of the things related to helicopters and possible delay should've been super obvious in the planning stages, and either the heli would've been already staged closer, or the team would've taken action on the backup plan of moving him in the manner you described, much more quickly and with little to no more risk. I hope I correctly interpreted your point, but all your additional commentary is actually really enlightening.
  • 13 1
 @nation: As you mentioned, I think an important point to highlight concerning your personal experiences in Colorado is that it is in the West. I worked in the ski industry in BC, and would say it is similar. However, Western states/provinces have a long history and culture of S&R and helivac that is not comparable to the East (at least in Canada). In BC, helicopters are usually available in all mountain towns in the winter & summer, mostly for heliskiing, lodge access, avalanche control, forestry/mining industry, etc. That has consequently built a local expertise in the S&R teams who regularly use helicopters for rescue. There is also STARS in the Western provinces, a charity funded air ambulance that provides medical rescue services in BC, AB, SK and MB. No such thing in Quebec.

On the other hand, the mountains in Quebec are no where near the size and scale of the Rockies or the Coast Mountains, and the types of activities practiced are not the same (ex. no alpinism as there is no alpine, other than in the Gaspe region, and I would argue it is mostly subalpine). People definitely cannot compare Europe and Western Canada/US with the Quebec City area where the tallest mountain in the Laurentian Mountains (local range) is about 1100 m high. There is simply not the need for nor the same level of expertise developed. Worth mentioning, I also worked on ski patrol in Quebec, and heli rescues are not part of the regular tools, while in BC, the team practiced heli rescues (identifying and securing LZs, long lining) in partnership with the local S&R teams multiple times a season.

My point is simply that helivac would likely not be part of the regular toolset for most sporting events (ERP) in the area. Should we question whether the response was appropriate? Absolutely. Should they revise their protocols? Absolutely.

But it is NOT comparable to most places mentioned in the comments where there is a rich history and culture of S&R and helivac. There are definitely challenges associated with having an ERP that offers timely helivac when it is not commonly used in the region. I believe this must addressed for all future sporting events in Quebec.
  • 1 0
 We got a bunch of recap followed by "so in conclusion we did everything right." How about a "we'll do better in the future" or at the very least a "we insist we didn't f*ck up but we're investigating what went wrong." I'm not watching WC cup next year.
  • 3 0
 @dan23dan23: I would start by asking what the cost is to have a Heli on standby, I'm guessing it is substantial. Not saying it isn't needed, but I wonder if a decision was made based on cost to not have one on stand by.....
  • 1 0
 @Emu-Jon: Rider's safety is more important than pleasing the sponsors.
Money should be no object in a situation like this one.
  • 3 0
 @nation: Question, because I think you implied it happens more than heli rides...is the quad evac. If Brook was backboarded & stable, what way do you guys use to get someone down the mountain with that type of injury?
Do you move them via quad or pickup truck in that condition down to the ambulance?

I assume it's a necessary mode of transport, albeit painful being jostled (cause I've been evaced on a quad and it hurt like hell but I got off the mountain to the pain meds faster), Shouldn't they have immediately loaded him on a vehicle and got to the ambulance once they knew a pilot would take 50 minutes to get to the heli-pad?

Here in the south, EMT's regularly have to backboard people and walk them and or quad them out and it takes 1-2 hours to walk them out.
  • 3 12
flag wheelie7 (Sep 11, 2019 at 10:19) (Below Threshold)
 @rrolly: Finally, someone addressing the healthcare system in Canada. It's not a popular political opinion to have, but the care is generally poorer in this type of system. There's no incentive for keeping high standards and improving operations. I've witnessed it first-hand when in MSA for a snowboarding trip which landed me in the ER after a 2 hour drive from the mountain. 5 stitches took 10 hours.
  • 5 0
 @wheelie7: Going to the er for five stitches is a waste of hospital time. There are walk in medical clinics that can deal with injuries like this.
  • 2 2
 @d-man: You're probably right. Not knowing the area and having limited cell connectivity didn't help, but I still don't think it excuses the wait time.
  • 1 0
 @nation: What happened with the code red on 9/2? I saw a heli-evac arrived for him -- I've been hoping this meant the rider made it out alive?
  • 2 1
 @endurocat: As was stated in the response, Quebec law makes airlifting civilians particularly difficult if their life is not in danger. I think they should establish something to circumvent that for special events, or put some new rules in place to improve response time, but their explanation for why this one took so long does make sense.
  • 2 0
 @B-rad74: Agreed! However, wondering why the private heli provider is less efficient than the army?
  • 6 0
 @nation: You guys at Trestle are the best! My buddy broke his hip (1st ride back after recovering from a broken femur- same leg) at Trestle a few weeks ago. A patroller in a Gator was up there in under 5 minutes, they had him loaded and in the clinic in under 20. Arrived at the hospital in Denver, via ambulance, about 2 and a half hours later.

The first femur break, in December, was in the backcountry with no cell service. We were lucky enough to have a couple of guys pass by at the time, they rode like hell to the parking area, where there's an emergency phone. We had to roust the volunteer fire department to come evac him about 2 miles by Rokon motorcycle before we could get him into a suitable landing zone to be flown out. He was still in a hospital bed and in surgery in half the time it took them to get Brook off the hill at all. INSANE for an event like this. We were just 2 idiots out riding and managed to piece together a decent evac. Part luck, definitely, but we hadn't planned an international event around the area either.

I realize he didn't have a spinal injury, but we didn't want to wiggle him around too much and catch an artery or something. I have been nothing less than blown away by the crews here around Denver.
  • 5 4
 @B-rad74: well your talking about Quebéc here. the f*cking frenchies are full of bureaucracy. i bet if this happened in BC, like Whistler for instance, helivac immediately. hell, my home resort Silver Star in Vernon has a emergency helipad at the makeshift hospital upthere. but not everywhere is the same, jurisdictions, practical liability etc.
  • 3 0
 @Marino82: UCI: But did u die???
  • 1 0
 @mm2020: I disagree that they don't have expertise to get someone off the mountain. If there's a mountain in your jurisdiction, especially one as high profile as MSA, you should damn well know how to get people off of it. As a medivac pilot they should not train you for best case scenario
  • 2 0
 I'd be interested to know what "checks" if any the UCI took of the organisers evac/risk assesments etc. It sounds like failures all around and both the organisers and UCI should be liable for the shitshow it was.
  • 4 9
flag SnowshoeRider4Life (Sep 11, 2019 at 13:02) (Below Threshold)
 Socialized medicine in a nutshell. There is no alternative just what the Gov't wants to give you.

@endurocat - Private medical. Competition in the market. Options. You want it, you get it. No bureaucrats making determinations for YOUR medical care.
  • 2 0
 @endurocat: I get you, but America is not Canada, and Utah is not Quebec; different country, different laws. In addition, one can't compare a UCI race to a RedBull competition.

However, I do think that the UCI should have a private chopper on standby for praccy and race days, when local legislation prohibits speedier exit, whatever that means.
  • 1 0
 To clarify some poor word choice, I'm not a medivac pilot.
  • 1 5
flag scott-townes (Sep 11, 2019 at 14:15) (Below Threshold)
 I think you're all missing the point here, Bruni won the overall!!!!
  • 2 0
 @CaptainSnappy: Even on South America they have some sort of plan in place.
If this is the way things work over there, then races should not be held there.
  • 3 0
 @mustbike007: There was a private medical service bird on the heli-pad at Snowshoe a week later during the WC DH elite finals. So someone was paying attn.
  • 2 1
 the arrangements put in place by the organisers complied with UCI Regulations, taking into account local legislation.—Xavier Bigard, UCI Medical Director
  • 1 0
 @mattradical: their regulations are outdated?
  • 3 0
 @cvoc: NO that is not what he said. He stated that the military is the fastest and that the military only mobilizes if the situation is life threatening. Nothing would prevent organizers from having a chopper on site for the event. This is a very common practice in other high risk sports. Give the fees being collected by venues, sponsors and teams it is inexcusable for the UCI not to have a plan to get any rider, injured on any part of the track to a trauma center in under an hour.

Also, why the heck did the Dr. need 30 minutes to arrive on scene. Should have been locked and loaded all day ready to go.
  • 1 0
 @tgent: The only thing the UCI seems to hold the organizers to is sending in them a check. The rest seems pretty circumspect.
  • 1 2
 @paulwatt: This has to do with our healthcare system since the organizers and UCI are responsible to know how our healthcare system works and that it is in most cases incredibly inefficient, which in this case the emergency response was.
  • 1 0
 @endurocat: Also at Rampage, the heli and full crew is parked right there behind the spectator area ready to go. I'm sure it's not cheap, but somebody needs to pay to have aerial EMS/evacuation services on standby at these events...or at least have specific contingencies in place at each venues closest hospital/trauma center.
  • 2 1
 @kram: Whistler tends to be the exception with dealing with traumatic injuries. And almost anything SAR related is spectacular. In the greater Vancouver area the time it takes for most medical procedures is unbelievably ridiculous. (an exception: MRI wait times have apparently improved given the new 24 hr system)

I apologize if I got my facts wrong regarding GDP and healthcare costs. My research back around 2010 showed that it was. I'll have to look at the link you posted and dig into the data. Thanks for posting it.
  • 2 0
 @nation: air ambulance dispatcher - this response is spot on.
  • 1 1
 @endurocat: Rampage isn't surrounded by trees and powerlines.
  • 1 0
 First of all, sorry ain't shit but it still needs to be said. Second, I had to be evac from my local after going not quite all the way OTB and being impaled close to my femoral artery by my handlebars botching an easy drop I had done 20 times before. I was going into shock after having lost a lot of blood, and with the help of my buddies, I was in the air within 45 minutes of making contact with the FD. This bullshit with Brook was TOTALLY INEXCUSABLE.
  • 3 0
 @nation: Just one point, Mount Saint Anne is only 800m high, Trestle is 3,676. So flying into MSA vs Trestle is not comparible. We have no real mountains here on the East Coast of Canada.
  • 2 3
 @scvkurt03: who are you to say its inexcusable?
  • 2 0
 @CaliCol: You only need a small open space.
There was plenty of it at the bottom of that track.
  • 2 0
 @Loki87:

I’ve gone that long before getting pain meds with a dislocated and broken hip, it ain’t fun. I was evacuated from the bike park in timely manner but the experts at the hospital wouldn’t give me anything for the pain until surgeon could see me. I couldn’t imagine the panic of waiting that whole time trail side, I’m glad Brook had a doc on site who could give him pain meds on site, at least!
  • 1 2
 @kram: Hear hear!! Two major orthopaedic surgeries, both required repair of weight bearing joint surfaces, and I’m riding bikes harder longer and faster than before, out of pocket expense... zero dollars including out patient Physio therapy.
** I paid a decent amount of money for private Physio, massage etc to help speed up recovery***
Ya I’m sure I bumped a few fat old smokers off the wait list for their 2nd fake hip... so what! the emerge team has done an awesome job of keeping this guy mobile and pain free post surgery.
  • 4 2
 @Mishtar: elevation has little to do with it. Yes, helicopters require certain conditions for lift but you cant just land a bird in a space surrounded by trees, powerlines, ski lift lines, or, for that matter, race course tape that marks up a course. Rotor blades suck all that up. I knew what the UCI's retort was going to state before I read it. As a retired service member that dealt with medevacs, and sling missions the UCI's statement is not a surprise, nor is it wrong. In the military, if life, limb, or eyesight aren't threatened then the medevac is constrained according to the geographical situation on the ground. All of you crying about the injustice of the situation are uninformed and REALLY need to take an objective approach to it if you have no real experience dealing with said situations. I will be flooded with social-justice-warrior-appeal-to-emotion-responses that are typical of 90% of Pinkbike members and its not going to bother me one bit, so, figuratively speaking, since you will tap on a keyboard, save your breath (though, you won't). For those of you that are getting it severely twisted at this point I want to add that the venue is responsible for these situations, not the UCI, so don't respond with arguments that don't acknowledge that fact (but someone will because it is Pinkbike hahahaha). While the UCI is bad for the sport in my opinion, they don't need to apologize for this.
  • 2 1
 @CaliCol: You don’t host/run these events if it’s going to take 5 hours to evacuate someone. How hard is that to understand? Everything else is bullshit.
  • 1 2
 @scvkurt03: okay, you just proved my point: blame the venue, not the UCI. The article states the obligations the venue has to emergency situations.
  • 2 1
 @endurocat: Are you a pathfinder certified person? Bottom of the track where there is tape, random debris and other hazards to consider with rotor blades that generate electromagnetic static AKA rotor wash. A flight for life pilot is not a military blackhawk or chinook pilot but is probably trained to know the hazards of an LZ like a military pilot and would have been very specific on the LZ requirements. It's not as simple as having a "small open space" available. I love the melodrama of pinkbike commenters, always a good laugh.
  • 1 0
 @CaliCol: The venue holds a distant second to the governing body of the sport. This middle ground response issue should have been vetted.
  • 2 3
 @scvkurt03: I was going to direct you to my response to another emotion-driven reply from another Pinkbiker but I will just cut and paste it here:

AGAIN, GENIUS, blame the venue, not the UCI. They OBVIOUSLY submitted a false or embellished plan. Again, Pinkbike commenters are AMAZING and you all never fail to provide endless entertainment. You must be a historian to have the will to look all that up. Let me ask you this: My days in the Army I had subordinates that presented to me a plan for whatever it is we were doing and I had to sign off on it, and do you think I called every respective unit or organization involved in that operation to prove what my subordinate was telling me was true? NO! It's called being a PROFESSIONAL and when you submit a required plan of action you are responsible for providing you ensure that it is legit because the higher command (or in this case, governing body) doesnt have the time or resources to contact everyone involved to make sure what is state dis legit. I know that if I submitted an operations order that was falsified I would have been held accountable for every injury or death that happened. No different here. Mont St Anne submits a report stating how they are meeting the requirements then that's on them.
  • 2 0
 @misledyouth21 @skycripp @bizutch and all others, definitely appreciate the love from y'all. To clear something up briefly, I no longer work for Trestle but will definitely let all the boys know how appreciative everyone is. It's an incredible job and an even more remarkable crew up there, and I'm sure you'd see that same quality and commitment anywhere in Colorado. It's certainly fun, but we always took it seriously and treated every situation as professionally as a human could, after all you're taking someone's worst possible day of riding or vacation and trying to make it positive in some way.

To clear up potential confusion about on mountain ground transportation specifically with spinal injury, moving the patient once a quality stabilization is completed can come from any number of sources. It isn't uncommon to use an ATV with a litter trailer or a reasonably equipped side-by-side to move a patient for a short distance if the terrain requires it, but even with good stabilization movement is avoided where possible. The thing with resorts is there is usually a ton of access to most of the mountain via foot or vehicle through maintenance roads, so if an ATV was going to be an issue for movement to the nearest ambulance access, carrying by arm and hand, or in a one-wheeled litter would still not take very long. With sufficient staffing, you could easily rotate groups of five or so guys and gals to keep arms fresh when carrying a patient. It's also always an option to pull capable friends and bystanders of which there would be tons at a World Cup to aid in extrication.

The most confusing part about this whole Brook story is the attempt to fully treat the patient on the hill. In a very worst case scenario with no vehicle support, if you have adequate medical staff you should easily be able to carry a patient off the mountain within an hour, once everyone finds a rhythm for movement it can go quite fast, still hard as hell, but pretty much eliminates any jarring movements when done correctly. I feel as though the preparation and organization by the venue must have been abysmal and feel awful that a doctor was made to administer five hours of care with limited support on the hill, that sounds like a nightmare, especially with facilities so close.

As a non-expert, but someone with enough experience to make commentary, perhaps the new approach should follow a similar strategy to what was utilized in my time at Trestle. Our directors would stage worst case scenarios, especially in early season or in preparation for major races/events and make everything as hard as possible. Steepest part of the mountain, difficult vehicle access, the gnarliest injuries or medical episodes, limited personel, etc. Humans make mistakes, and we certainly struggled on some of those trainings, but those mistakes were addressed and never repeated in actual practice because we had dealt with an artificially impossible scenario in training. In any case all the best and much love to Pinkbike peeps and the Bulldog. Go tell your local patrol you love 'em and quit ducking ropes. Cheers.
  • 2 0
 @commentsectiontroll: gurentee they have private helis on site at a big road event.
  • 1 0
 @nation: 609 Nation coming in hot.

Definitely an interesting situation though. It sounds like the first responders did a good job, if they were stabilizing in four minutes and monitoring and giving pain meds within 30, like the UCI says. I'm guessing at a certain point a decision had to be made: either move on foot or to wait for a heli. I wonder why they didn't just walk out, perhaps it was deemed too risky since they wouldn't have known how unstable the fracture was yet.

Hearing how long it took their private helicopter service to take off, I'm certainly grateful for the fast response times of the flight services in CO.
  • 1 0
 @nation: boom. Perfect explanation.
  • 2 0
 @CaliCol: Emotional? We're all emotional about this, even you, Mr. All Caps. Step off your high horse.

I understand your perspective and agree with you to a point, but you stop short of holding UCI accountable. Should the venue be held accountable? Absolutely. By whom? At the very least, UCI. But you're acting as if UCI is blameless and needs to take no action. UCI's charter is to ensure the safety of its riders, not simply to ensure a "plan" is in place. UCI needs to pull out of MSA until they get their shit together and reevaluate how it vets venue safety plans at other venues. Short of that, UCI is failing.
  • 5 0
 @scvkurt03: I want to add to this from a different perspective. I’m very closely tied to local law enforcement, emergency medical, and rescue operations in our small town so I know how communications between agencies can dramatically slow down response time even under ideal conditions.

In my eyes this failure comes down to an overly complex set of guidelines for the situation and blame falls equally in multiple directions. UCI being one of them. The contingency for who to call and when depending on the patients condition will naturally lead to unacceptably long wait times.

These rules were written and enforced by some Canadian government entity, implemented by MSA and then approved by UCI.

That being said, I half way agree with the above that the UCI is not directly to blame for this incident as it was not their system that failed. They should however, hold the systems they endorse to a higher standard, even if that means not holding a race in a particular country because their emergency management laws suck so bad.
  • 1 0
 @endurocat: Even in South America??
What's that supposed to mean,?
Our special unit of “Burros “ name is would have pulled Brook out of the woods in less than 15 min.
No seriously, we are no careless people and we make things right and fast.
  • 3 0
 @rngd30: Hah. I feel like if you replaced South America with The South, it's the mindset of most.

They seem to think that the further you live from shiny, square concrete mirrors stacked on each other, the less competent you are.

You elude to the same thing I did. In the middle of nowhere here, they don't worry about trying to get a heli-evac. They backboard and get to working carrying the person out of whatever terrain they are in.

If anyone reads this wrong (and they will), what the hell entitles us to think the UCI and the mountain owe any of us the greatest of Cadillac rides in the sky and they should deliver us like pizzas to the hospital..."hot and now".

A freaking helicopter is a monster luxury and none of us are owed it and if one doesn't show up for us when we willingly adventured out of our bubbles, then it's up to us and the hard working and caring folk who can respond in the due time they have. Nobody forced us out into the wild places of this world. We choose to go of our own.

Unless we specifically pay for an insurance plan at the resort that guarantees specific response times for specific events, then nobody should be able to sue for us taking our own risks. Can we move on and just make sure Bulldog knows we love the hell out of his riding and his work ethic to recover??
  • 2 1
 If the injury was life threatening the military would have showed up quickly..
  • 1 0
 @wheelie7: I had 9 stiches in less than 10 minutes and a knee surgery in 8 days after meeting an orthopedist. Two unrelated injuries. None was life threating. Apart from my (higher than average I agree) income taxes, I did not spend a dime for that. What a shitty healthcare system we have here don't we?
  • 2 0
 I know brook states it was five hours but was the actual time ever stated? UCI reports accident at 12:10 and copter landed at 15:20. My math isn’t great but that’s 3 hours. The sad part would be if it was 5 hours and it took 2 hours to walk him to the copter. @scvkurt03:
  • 1 0
 @nation: loss of pilot and crew, oh my... Did they end up losing the patient as well or did they survive seeing rescue crash?
  • 1 0
 @endurocat: I was on site at MSA, the main problem with the helicopter was that the trees were too close from the pawls near the crash site. Hard to compare with Rampage were there is no forest....
  • 1 0
 @nation: 100% looking to have a civil conversation, if that is possible on internet forums. I am not as experienced with this as you. to me I feel that people’s general reaction has a bit of overreach. you actually seem to have experience in these matters which is why I wanted to ask you.
So I had a c6 burst fracture and c7 laminar fracture. resulted in 50% spinal cord reduction. went to ER took an hr to diagnose. was stabilized given fytanal for pain. ativan as a sedative and then a high strength anti-inflammatory and monitored. was told that once anti-inflammatory was administered and the spinal cord was stabilized that the risk of this getting worse was not a major concern and it was not a supper time sensitive issue. the controling concern was how to transport me to the hospital without further impacting the spinal cord. at this point it was determined that life flight was the best option. took 2 hrs to track down a heli and then 30 min to get to the ICU. was at the hospital 1 hr prior. so, this was a controlled environment and it still took around 4hr to get to the ICU from once I went to the ER. once at the ICU i was monitored and didn't go into surgery for another day. what I took away was that once I was given the drugs and stabilized time was not as much of a controlling factor. it sound like this was the same thought process as what was described above. also, with this incident you are having to transport the victim by hand to the nearest LZ. I have also work as a helitack crew member and been involvedin in 2 instances where people have to get helivaced out of fires with life threatening injuries. 3-4 hrs was atypical time from once the incident was called in to when they were evacuated. in regards to having a heli on standby my life flight cost 20k for a 1/2hr flight (granted this included two paramedics and the cost of drugs) so the cost associated with having a heli on stand by would be very expensive. more important you are removing access to valuable resource without knowing if it will even be used. what happens if there is a life critical accident 1 hr away but now you need to get a heli from 3 hrs away because the closet one is now reserved on standby? My take away is that they definitely need better procedures in place but peoples general overreaction to this is not completely accurate. Yes I know my spelling is the low hanging fruit on this response. cheers
  • 1 0
 @bgobeske: you have a solid perspective and make sense.
  • 2 0
 @thook: I think you misunderstood what I was trying to lay down. I am not saying the medevac team did not have the expertise, I am sure they do. I was trying to point out that most ski resorts/bike parks in QC do not helivac their patients on a regular basis, and therefore do not have familiarity around protocols and procedures. The medevac team is a private company for profit that services the entire province for users that pay a monthly fee. It has nothing to do with local SAR teams that practice on a regular basis with local resorts, as you can see in Western states/provinces. And maybe MSA is high profile in mtn biking, but it isn't super high profile otherwise. Anyways, lots of armchair opiniating here from people who have no clue about neither the local realities and intricacies nor helivac practices.
  • 1 0
 @mm2020: That is a fair point that MSA may not experience many life flights. Not to be too off topic, but I will say that I have been medevaced and seen multiple medevacs, including from the tops of peaks where the heli couldn't land (they used a basket, and that was for someone with a broken ankle). Anyway, without delving too much into armchair critic territory, maybe it is time MSA comes up with a better plan for this type of situation. They may not be very high profile, they are a resort hosting dangerous activities. At the very least they should designate a spot on the mountain and clear trees for helicopters to land.
  • 1 0
 @nation: good breakdown and nice insight from someone in the know. I think we all agree that the response time was completely botched, but it’s good to get a breakdown of basic procedures and realistic moves that could have been done better.
UCI needs to just own this, apologize, support Brook, and show us that they aren’t scum by improving every aspect of their emergency response prep.

Also, side note... but where was Red Bull through this thing?? Really haven’t heard much on their end. Probably a lot I don’t know about sponsor rules etc... but don’t they have a lot of helicopters? Seems like keeping a Red Bull heli on site for these events would be amazing publicity and a nice gesture to the athletes that take insane risks to keep Red Bull associated with the gnarliest of gnarly. Just an idea to make things better, not intended to hype the blame game or start arguments about fault.
  • 1 0
 @CaliCol: being an ex Military member certainly does not give you the right to act like a disrespectful to people on here. It should have taught you to get your point across with respect but from a few of your responses it does not seem that is the case. I for one only commented that the difference between a mountain in Colorado and Quebec is fairly large. So as a current Military member with 24 years service don't address me and then say all of you crying about injustice. I know what I wrote and I don't need it exaggerated or twisted to fit what you're trying to make as a point. On a side note we fly out people for all kinds of reasons on MEDEVACS. If you're to large to go in an ambulance or are in a remote area you can get a Military helo. Also if the person requires a hoist here in Canada or a night flight the Military is always called in.
  • 1 0
 That should say to act disrespectful. Not act like a disrespectful.
  • 1 0
 @nation: pretty much sums it up. Great words
  • 1 0
 @nation: don’t know how I didn’t notice your comment before. Over bars, slammed into stem at Trestle. Taken down the mountain in a van on a service road with oxygen and stabilization. Thank you. Very professional and supportive staff. Ended up with severely bruised ribs and could laugh or make drastic movements for a month haha
  • 1 0
 @Marino82: That's the UCI for you. Do you guys remember that jackass Simon Burney pushing the girls at the start line, last year at the world cup? He hit Emily Batty in the throat with less than a minute to start the race. He should have been fired. No apology either.
  • 1 0
 @alexlag: I want video asap.... Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @bizutch: Video of the who thing would be like watching "Apocalypse Now"... almost 5 hours long. LOL
  • 110 0
 There seems to be some misunderstanding in the comments. If the situation was life-threatening, the military helicopter would've been used and the situation would, presumably, have been resolved in minutes. The problem was the abysmal handling of a middle-ground situation: serious, but non-life-threatening, and in a difficult location. This is more than a foreseeable situation at a World Cup mountain bike event, it's *likely*.

The timeline of events provided by the UCI official is not what was being asked for and come across as defensive or evasive. What's needed is acknowledgement of failures and solutions for the future.
  • 26 9
 Mt. St. Anne owes us a sorry, even if they're Quebecois.
  • 59 2
 @GVArider: Not sure they owe *us* anything, but they certainly owe Brook something.
  • 12 1
 Rmr , you are the only person here that read correct the article or what. I agree with you!!
  • 8 10
 @GVArider: They're Canadian, isn't "sorry" their first response to any inconvenience, minor or major?
  • 5 1
 @scoobydoo666: Yup, makes perfect sense. Explanation was completely reasonable (if read with comprehension).
  • 8 4
 The life threatening line is totally bogus.

Brook's injury at the time could have been severely life altering. Life as Brook knows it could be over but that isn't good enough for a reasonable evac time?
  • 11 1
 While we all agree that total time to get Brook at the hospital to get surgery is absolutely unacceptable, based on the UCI explanation and time line of the events, I honestly think that the fault lies on the private evac services. 50mins of prep before take off and another 50mins of flight while it's about 45min drive from Québec City to mount Ste-Anne ski hill is hugely questionable. Aren't they supposed to be on standby 24h/7days just as firefighters?

Assuming that the facts in UCI response are correct, how UCI/Velirium/Medics on site dealt with the situation: 5 mins for the first responders, 30mins for the doc to reach Brook and then 1h from the accident to call the heli is, in my opinion, acceptable. What I mean is that you have to take in account that the doc had to hike up the track, futher stabilize him, evaluate and then make the decision to evacuate him by air... I highly doubt that on any ski hill (Alps, Rockys, whatever), any mountain bike events or any high risk events where NO HELIS ARE ON SITE ON STANDBY, that the very same accident that Brook suffered would've been dealt more efficiently. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
  • 4 1
 @dhx42: What someone perceives as their ''life being over'' is not the same as life threatening as in actual death. It's pretty clear, if his actual life was at risk of ending then the military helicopter would have been called for. Ultimately the rules and regulations in Canada seem to be the actual problem as they make getting help that bit harder.
  • 6 0
 @dhx42: I agree the delay was too long for a minor injury, let alone a spinal injury. We need to separate the issues, though.

Brook's injury could have been - and may yet be - life altering. That is not the same as life threatening. A doctor on the scene determined the injury was not likely to cause loss of life, which appears to be the criterion to determine whether the most urgent solution - the military helicopter - was deployed. Death was considered unlikely, therefore the military helicopter was not used. On that issue, protocol was followed.

Some of the questions we might ask include:

• Were the protocols appropriate? For example, there could have been additional criteria for deploying the military helicopter, such as the timeliness / availability of other options.
• Were all protocols clear?
• Were the preparations for non-life-threatening situations adequate?
• Did all parties comply with preparedness standards or with the protocols?
• Did all parties promptly and accurately communicate their status?
  • 3 0
 Sure... But, shouldn't an event of this caliber have this eventuality worked out in advance by the host organization, having a heli medevac team on standby?
  • 2 0
 @Hyakian: Yes, or something comparably fast. That would be caught by the question:

"Were the preparations for non-life-threatening situations adequate?"

and possibly

"Did all parties comply with preparedness standards or with the protocols?"

The answer to the former is almost certainly "no" and it sounds like there may have been issues with the private helicopter operator that could result in "no" for the latter, too (the situation is less clear to me on that issue).
  • 2 0
 They Could have driven him to the hospital in 40 mins.
  • 3 0
 @jrouellet:

I can guarantee you, he would have been in the ER in 60 minutes if this had happened in Leogang. And i mean from the minute someone called in the accident, without prior assessment.
It took the heli about 10 minutes to reach us in Saalbach. Another 20-30 or so to lift in the doctor, stabilize the patient, carry them to the heli landing spot by winch, put him down again and then load him into the heli.
The whole thing was done in about 45 minutes with staggering efficiency.
It can definitely be done much much faster than what was showcased in Qebec. Especially with a heli on standby.
And we´re talking about a (albeit really really badly) injured foot here.
  • 5 0
 @R-M-R: spot on - ultimately it was the race organizer's responsibility to ask these questions beforehand and work out the possible scenarios for an event that is HIGHLY likely to produce serious but "non-life-threatening" injuries in inconvenient locations.

It was the race organizer's choice to rely on the heli evac procedures already in place, along with any local regulations that go along with them. If local procedures require you to get a doc up the mountain (30 min) to assess threat to life (30 min), then call in a private service located far from the resort (50 min), that's not even on standby at the helipad (50 min), then the race organizer should be making other heli arrangements. Seems like this was mostly forseeable, which is really disappointing. People on-site with Brook did their jobs, but the people behind the scenes apparently did not.

TBH, it just sounds like the race organizers were cheap/lazy in relying on existing procedures, and the fault pretty much lies with them. It can't have been much effort to give the private heli company a copy of the schedule and time slots when calls might be expected (practice, quali, race, etc). Would have been nice if the UCI understood Quebec's arcane heli procedures and stepped in beforehand but it's not really their job to understand how all the local laws might affect race operations. However if UCI fails to raise the bar after this fiasco then we can freak out at them. Their response here is.... not that inspiring. But then again I don't expect them to throw MSA under the bus publicly.
  • 3 0
 @Loki87: In your case, I assume that you were riding/skiing with your buddies and an helicopter was on standby near enough.

From the moment of the crash, your buddies called for rescue/help then it took "10 minutes (for the heli I guess) to reach (you) in Saalbach. Another 20-30 or so to lift in the doctor, stabilize the patient, carry them to the heli landing spot by winch, put him down again and then load him into the heli. The whole thing was done in about 45 minutes".

All of your experience correlate with Brook's accident in MSA : 5 mins for first responders, 30mins for doc to hike up, then another 30mins for him to get stabilized, evaluated and ready to be evacuated. Where it went wrong, and that was my point earlier, is that it took almost 2 hours (50mins prep + 50mins flight) for the heli to show up at MSA after the medics decided on an air evacuation. If it would've been possible to use an ambulance in Brook's case, all of that would have been taken care of in about 1h30 from the moment of his crash to his arrival at the hospital.

Again, my point was that Velirium (which organized the event, Not UCI or MSA which is the ski hill corporation), should'nt have have relied on the turn around time of the air evacuation (which must have been "sold" to them as way less of 1h40) instead of having them on site.
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R: That's fair. I guess my point being that a spinal injury is about as severe as it gets before being life threatening and given they knew the other options were going to be significant delays, you'd think an adjustment would be made. And without all of the proper scans available at the scene, there was definitely an opportunity for this being way worse than initial thought.
  • 1 0
 @jrouellet:
Yeah, i got that.
I was just making the point that there was a lot of stuff going on even before the heli was called.
In my case, i called in and literally told them to send a heli. Without many questions they complied and the heli was in the air (as i was told) while i was still on the phone telling them about the situation.
If, as you correctly stated, they have had a heli on standby they should have just called in the heli immediately once it became clear Brook was seriously injured. The fact they had a doctor hike up there first to assess the situation is pretty damn embarassing for an official event of international magnitude, if a regular guy like me in a bikepark can literally tell the phone operator to send the damn heli.
So, where i disagree with the timeline is anything that happened before the doctor´s assessment and call for a helicopter, because that´s basically almost another hour of delay that could have been avoided if proper response protocols had been implemented, which should have been the case given the rather obvious shortcomings in local emergency response procedures.
You stated that at other locations this wouldn´t have been dealt with any faster and that´s where my point is. In my case, it was dealt with one whole hour faster, because noone but me needed to assess the situation first in order to authorize a helicopter evac.
As first responders were on location within 5 minutes, their evalutation of the situation should have been enough to authorize helicopter dispatch, if actual emergency protocols were in place to circumvent the faulty local legislation.
So honestly i am of the opinion that this whole thing couldn´t have been handled any worse and that´s not even considering the f*ckups by the med evac company.
  • 1 0
 @Loki87: exactly. If bullshit local procedures require a doctor's assessment in order to decide which heli operation gets the call, then Velirium needed to sack up and find the funds to either (1) station doctors all up and down the course to quickly make the threat-to-life assessment or (2) have a heli on standby specifically for the event, circumventing the whole threat-to-life assessment process. Given the completely dodgy response of the "standby" heli operation, seems like the right choice would have been #2.

That's not to put any blame on the first responders, docs, etc - I'm sure they all did their jobs the best they could. This was a management/logistical failure 100%.
  • 2 0
 @jrouellet: in fact, AirMedic is a *TAXI* service, not an SAR service. They have deals with few airports across the province, which is fairly huge. They are not authorized to high-line or winch someone (only the coast guard & army can do that in Quebec). They do offer emergency transfer with medical staff, but they have limited ressources.

That being said, 50min prep for 50flight time is ridiculous, but the blame cannot be put on them exclusively. Most likely, they were not aware there was an event that might require their services and were called at the last minute. The issue lies with the organisation lack of preparation to evacuate a serious injury. The services in winter are easier on snow, but the mountain itself is not really equiped to handle major evac with a quad. And specially where the accident happened. I would definitely NOT be immobilized and towed behind a quad on those access trails!
  • 1 3
 Why is an acknowledgement of failures needed? The timeline is what EXACTLY what was asked for and provided. Are you that dense? It explained the circumstances of the WHOLE situation. Read the article again: The venue is responsible for the care of riders in cases like this. I criticize the UCI all day, every day about a lot of things, but this isn't on them. You're one of those that love the insincere apologies in the media from rich people because it somehow makes you feel better hahaha. Can't wait for your response, it will make me laugh just like the rest of the social justice warrior pinkbike comments hahahaha.
  • 5 0
 @CaliCol: From the UCI rule book for DH medical requirements:

"The organiser must submit an evacuation and medical plan to UCI prior to world championships, world cup and continental championships. The organisers medical coordinator must meet the technical delegate if applicable or the president of the commissaires’ panel before the first training."

Clearly states an evacuation plan is needed, and that it must be signed off before first training by the UCI representatives at the event. This clearly shows that UCI signed off on something that was not adequate. They were still the last signature signing off everything as OK, which it turned out not to be.

So if an air lift is not possible, what is the alternative... that is the first question that should have been asked when reviewing the plan. Apparently no one asked this as because if someone had then they would have had a plan in place before Brook crashed and would have known exactly what they were doing. Not dithering around on the side of the hill.

UCI can say that it is the organisers fault, but their own rules indicate that they sign off on it, therefore they are the organisation holding the can at the end of the day, just as much, if not more than the company that was the organiser of the World Champs.

The waffle in the press release is just backside covering before the poop hits the fan.
  • 2 5
 @handynzl: AGAIN, GENIUS, blame the venue, not the UCI. They OBVIOUSLY submitted a false or embellished plan. Again, Pinkbike commenters are AMAZING and you all never fail to provide endless entertainment. You must be a historian to have the will to look all that up. Let me ask you this: My days in the Army I had subordinates that presented to me a plan for whatever it is we were doing and I had to sign off on it, and do you think I called every respective unit or organization involved in that operation to prove what my subordinate was telling me was true? NO! It's called being a PROFESSIONAL and when you submit a required plan of action you are responsible for providing you ensure that it is legit because the higher command (or in this case, governing body) doesnt have the time or resources to contact everyone involved to make sure what is state dis legit. I know that if I submitted an operations order that was falsified I would have been held accountable for every injury or death that happened. No different here. Mont St Anne submits a report stating how they are meeting the requirements then that's on them.
  • 2 0
 @sentiersboreals: Merci pour l'info, c'est exactement ce que je pensais. sauf que je ne voulais pas rien affirmer sans avoir les vrais informations! Au bout du compte, on dit tous sensiblement la même chose: l'organisation n'aurait pas dû se fier uniquement sur le temps de réponse habituel d'Airmedic, mais bien de les avoir sur place en standby prêts à intervenir considérant l'ampleur de l’événement.
  • 1 0
 @CaliCol: DICK!!!
  • 1 1
 @I’m a dick because I’m right? Or because Imani American and the article is about Brooke?
  • 95 4
 Xavier Bigard you are a god damned liar.

It was far longer than 30 minutes to get him sedatives, we know this from multiple sources present and Brook is not a liar.

You need to respond to the mental decision to put that man on a quad and the individuals who attempted to do so should not have employment any longer.

Talking to the team managers, everyone knew that the UCI would push off blame onto the organizers, who would in turn say this is how it is. But it should not be considered acceptable by anyone. Consider this: in world cup winter sports, an evacuation delay of 45 minutes led to multiple people losing their jobs.

Xavier Bigard you need to resign.
  • 16 0
 I second that
  • 1 1
 You need to look at the language used. After 30 mins everything was on scene. From that point on Brook then started getting x, y, z... So... the inference is that it took the doctor 30 minutes having arrived to give pain relief. It isn't a great statement I'll agree!
  • 2 0
 @BeardlessMarinRider: It does not take 30 minutes to administer a sedative. The math does not add up. Again, I know Brook isn't a liar.
  • 14 0
 I'd trust any of those kiwi boys and peaty 100 times more than any uci twat... rest up and come back stronger brook.
  • 1 1
 @Rudy2455: I'm not disagreeing with what Brook and other there say happened, I'm just saying that the statement is very carefully worded such that it is very misleading. I wasn't there so have no idea if the doctor did fanny around for 30 mins getting some pain relief in but that is the insinuation of the wording- just pointing out how the statement is worded.

It is a whole sorry affair where everything that could have gone wrong did and Brook is the poor guy at the end of it.
  • 9 0
 Couldn’t agree more. Isn’t it funny how we live in a world where people lose their jobs left and right over things they’ve said, yet, when you totally f*** up what you’re actually supposed to be doing at your job, nothing happens.
  • 1 0
 @Rudy2455: right... It would take 10 mins max for the doc to get a decent diagnosis, but he did have multiple injuries and with back problems it is always delayed as they have to stabilize the patient. Not saying what happened was right, but I've been there and helped others.
  • 63 2
 This is BS....if you're gonna hold such an event and you know the legislation is as described, you get a private heli on-site to be on stand-by. I cannot conceive, that in the land where the UCI is based, you get heli rescue almost anywhere and more UNreachable places in 30min or less for anyone.
  • 9 0
 Agree! Perfect example is Lenzerheide where REGA (Switzerland's Medical Air Rescue, a private company) is basically on standby! The lifted a rider (i think it was Needles?) a couple of years ago out of the wood section with a long line and it didn't take hours.
  • 5 0
 @intensebear: REGA is actually a foundation. Wink
  • 7 1
 @intensebear: REAG is actually 100% funded by donors. They do amazing work but they are not part of the Swiss Ambulance/Emergency service, even though they help out all the time. I am a REGA member myself.
  • 7 0
 @intensebear: @yeti85:

What don't you understand about : "Important to note that only military helicopters are able to carry out air lifting rescue operations."

This is limited by the quebec legislation. In a life threatening situation the military heli would have been called.

The main issue to me is :
- the time it took for a doctor to come to the scene : 30 minutes. For instance in Irish motorbike road racings there are doctors on motorbikes whose job is to be at the scene of the crash as quickly as possible. We should have medics able to ride a DH bike or a dedicated motorbike with necessary equipment on a DH world course or access paths and reach to the scene of the crash in only a handful of minutes. See the lectures from late John Hinds (RIP), the flying doctor, about first emergency response at the scene of motorbike crashes:
smacc.net.au/2015/10/more-cases-from-the-races

- the time it took to get a private heli on site. This one should definitely be addressed by hiring a private heli. It wouldn't really change anything in a life threatening situation.
  • 1 0
 @Brklss: Good for you! Smile
  • 2 1
 @Mathullah: That's true, my bad, sorry. However, it shows that Lenzerheide plans well and is concerned about the riders safety, therefore they have a heli within close reach should something happen.
  • 1 0
 @Brklss: They will bill you or hit your medical insurance though if you're not a "patron". We always encourage newcomers to our group to join as it's only 30CHFs a year.
  • 1 0
 @intensebear: IIRC the Swiss Air Force do the more complicated SAR operations though
  • 58 4
 I feel the UCI does need to review its safety protocols in light of what happened (I think a heli on standby is a reasonable precaution for an event like that), but how comes they are getting so much hate while the event organisers, who were directly responsible for the situation, declined to even comment and are still dodging most of the hate?

Also, how hard do you people expect the UCI to be on the event organisers in public? We don't know what is being said in private, but do you really expect people would want to hold World Cups if the UCI publicly crucifies them when something goes wrong?
  • 13 1
 Agree with this 100%. It's actually a very good strategy for the organizers to keep quiet and let UCI become the target of all the hate and vitriol.
  • 6 1
 Valid point that we don't want the UCI crucifying organizers publicly and we do not know what was said in private, but on the other hand 'this was all the organizers responsibility' is not far from a public crucifixion.

The UCI deserves our contempt for pushing off the responsibility and this statement leaves a lot of questions unanswered which I find unacceptable.

Why did the UCI tell us they delivered sedatives to Brook within 30 minutes when people on site have claimed 60 minutes? Why was there an argument over whether or not Brook should be evacuated via quad? And why on earth were fellow racers the individuals making the medical call not to let him down via quad?

As I stated previously, in winter sports a similar situation led to resignations and this was caused by an evacuation delay of 45 minutes. If the UCI does not receive pressure from the athletes, teams, organizations and us the bike communities they will not take responsibility and we will not see adequate change.
  • 4 0
 @mattwragg I don’t think anyone wants or expects the UCI to crucify the event coordinators, far from it. What we expect is for the UCI to rap on the desk and say “the buck stops here.”
  • 2 0
 @mattwragg Pretty accurate.
The tone in the UCI statement is however irritating, at least, and i think a great chunk of commenter's rage lies there
  • 4 0
 I think the teams actually bear some responsibility here too. Back in my days of running subcontracting teams in the construction industry it was very much my responsibility to check that the health and safety procedures were adequate to protect my staff on the sites that we worked on. Teams should be checking that their employees (the riders) are going to be safe at their workplaces (the events). and shouldn't be letting riders ride if the safety protocols are inadequate.

If the riders don't feel adequately protected by their teams, the event organisers or the UCI then some sort of riders' union (along the lines of the Grand Prix Drivers Association) might be needed, if there isn't one already. This might be especially important for the privateers.
  • 10 0
 They’re getting hate because their fault or it thus was an in humane, defensive response. All they had to say at some point was something like: “while event organizers bear official responsibility for emergency response, we are deeply concerned whenever UCI participants are injured, especially under challenging circumstances like Brooke’s. While we obviously can’t remove all risk from racing, we are going to work with event organizers, riders, teams, and emergency personnel to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again. All the best to Brooke and the other injured riders on the mend. Without the racers, there is no UCI.”

Is that too hard?
  • 2 0
 @Woody25: There is an union already (CPA, cyclistes professionnels associés) and some national/continental unions (UNCP in France, ACCPI in Italy, ACP in Spain, ACPP in Portugal, ANAPRC for North America) but so far mostly populated with pro road cyclists.

DH and MTB pro cyclists in general should apply for membership and get someone represented for their respective disciplines. Road riders managed to get some bad weather protocols tules applied among other things, women are fighting for more representation and equal prizes. DH riders should be able to benefit by pushing for measures towards safety.
  • 1 0
 *sorry, fat fingers. Their fault or not this was an inhumane, defensive response...
  • 2 0
 My question is this. . If the UCI says it's up to the event organizers to make sure these things are in place, doesn't the UCI have someone who's job it is to make sure all requirements are met?
  • 3 0
 Pointing to a clause in their rule book doesn't absolve them from responsibility. Responsibility goes all the way up the chain, from whistle blower (the real whistle, and real blowers, not the Julian Assange types) on course, to the President of the UCI...each has their responsibilities and each can be held culpable.

The UCI will gladly take all the plaudits of having a great World Champs or a fantastic World Cup event, but ducks behind a passage in a rule book to say, "oh, it's not us at fault, but them...". If you have that rule, you should also have someone policing it to ensure that you are happy with their (the organisers) response to it.

If you want the plaudits, you also have to accept the negatives. And that is why they are (and quite rightly) in the firing line. The UCI Commissaries are supposed to check these sort of things, are they not? It is their name on the billboard, not Verilium (of whom I did not even know until the comments in this article); ergo and by perception, they are the organiser in the face of the public. If they don't want to seen as this, then they need to take their name off the headline.

It is their own systems that have let them down as they (the UCI) seem to not have had a system in place to check safety systems are to a high enough standard. And if they do, then their own system is lacking as well. Seems no matter which way you look at it, there is fault on their behalf.

Hate for UCI in this respect is fully warranted.

The organiser is ducking the fire at this point simply because no-one really knows who they are. But both organisations are equally culpable here.

But equally, Matt, what if NOTHING is being said in private? UCI hiding behind a clause, and the organiser hiding behind "it wasn't life threatening...". No need to even talk to each other if you're both taking that approach as they are trying to say they are the victim of circumstance. Each organisation are equally gutless.
  • 3 0
 @handynzl: agree totally. @mattwragg This is the equiv of Formula 1's FIA not being responsible for safety standards at F1 tracks around the world and leave that for the event organisers in different locations to implement however they see fit. If its a UCI event, then UCI own the standards and given DH is a risky gig, they own safety lock stock'n'barrel.
  • 37 0
 The fact that 'discussions were had on the best way to evacuate Brook' and 'they were fighting over what should be done about me' demonstrates they had no plan or procedure in place for getting someone off an incline at any stage during the course. It seems apparent that at no point before the event did the med-response teams walk the track and say to themselves 'okay, someone goes down here what do we do?'.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail...
  • 1 0
 I would be interested to know what the roles of the people carrying the stretcher are.
  • 1 0
 Great points. All around it seems like a massive failure of the event organizers to account for VERY foreseeable scenarios.
  • 1 0
 @richard01: I think one of them does the ice-cream stand
  • 26 0
 As a mountaineer from a country like Switzerland, where there are many mountains and an organized alpine rescue, I can only shake my head. With us every hiker with a sprained ankle is rescued faster from inaccessible terrain and the costs for the rescue are covered by the accident insurance...
  • 7 1
 totally agree , even in the winter deep in the moutain it will not take 5h...... Shame on the UCI and this stupid doctor that can t even admit that they have f**ked up
  • 3 4
 you are only rescued fast with a sprained ankle if nobody is dying at the same time somewhere else or if you have a membership card at Air Glacier.
  • 1 0
 @opignonlibre: It doesn't need a membership at all.... unless you have acted grossly negligent and any insurance refuses to cover.
  • 1 0
 @Mathullah: I believe not for the Rega but for Air Glacier yes. The membership card also covers the cost of it which can be really high and may makes you wonder if you couldn't have reach the bottom by calling friends if you aren't well covered.
  • 22 0
 It took almost an hour for the private helicopter crew to get to pad before take-off. It's unacceptable that medical response isn't ready, waiting, on standby for an event where injuries are an expected ocurrence. And the UCI response contradicts Brook's own report on his care and the delayed pain management he recieved. This is a globally televised, world cup level sporting event. There should be absolutely no cost cutting or poor planning. Spinal injuries need immediate care to stop the risk of further damage. A helicopter should have been getting ready to fly as soon as he told the response team of his symptoms. Rant over.
  • 4 0
 That's what i noticed too. Either Brook was a little beside hinself,which would be plausible given the circumstances or the doctor is lying through his teeth. I would love to hear testimony from the other guys at the scene like Peaty and Blenky. Pinkbike, here's your chance! Get us those infos guys!
  • 1 0
 @Loki87: Agreed, get in touch with Peaty & Blenki PB!!!
  • 5 0
 Northstar EWS round had a Helicopter on standby sitting at the base of the track, apparently a World Cup event doesn't warrant the same safety measures. Seems absolutely laughable the mismanagement of it all if it want so serious. It had better be the wake up call the UCI and Organisers need to get their act together for future races. Wild thought, maybe helicopter on standby at the track is a good idea, or maybe that's a little bit too forward thinking
  • 19 0
 This is the most ridiculous thing I've read on Pinkbike...and there are crazy amounts of ridiculous things to be read on Pinkbike...I'm seriously in rage right now.

The weird "life-threadening-rule" aside, there are so many crazy shortcomings in this short interview - I can't f***ing believe it.
1. Is it so hard to at least say "SORRY" or acknowledge failures once?! --> Xavier Retard would be a suitable name.
2. If the local regulations do not allow fast acting in such a situation, then you cannot hold such an event there.
(50 minutes to get the call for the heli out and another 50 minutes for the crew to get to the helicopter?!?! wtf) If the respons team already suspects that a spinal injury occured, what other options besides a helictoper do you have in a mountainous area? How can this be a 50 minute decision-making process?!
3. Why can't you get one of those private helicopter operators staying at the side? Maybe even one that can actually do an airlifting rescue?
4. At an event of this size, importance, coverage etc. 30 minutes for the first doctor to arrive?! If you know a (dangerous) part of the track is hard to reach, then you better have a full medical team waiting close by! And not somewhere down in the valley.
5. Severe injuries, not matter what type, can get life-threatening at almost any time. How can you tell, with an on-site assessment in the woods, that "the victim" was "not in danger"?
  • 23 1
 Classic UCI, "not my fault, bruh!"
  • 10 1
 I think many people overestimate role of UCI on the races, they provide support and make sure event follows their rules how event runs is however 100% on organizer, in this case it seems the whole evacuation has been operated by medical staff (who called heli 50mins after the crash), and then according to the weird regulation it arrived an eternity later which just sucks. I'm not really big UCI suporter but that whole situation was not their fault at all...
  • 4 1
 @winko: It was UCI who chose the location, they could know the rules of heli rescuen in area, they knew it is aa pretty remote area and other things around, it is called planning and organisation.
  • 7 1
 @winko: They own the world cup, they set the rules and they should enforce them. Either the rules are not adequate or they were not adequately followed, which should have been checked and prevented by UCI.
  • 2 1
 @cernoch: Here are rules from uci website, it clearly states how many medics are required and where they need to be placed, an evacuation plan must also exist and has to be presented to UCI staff, but it does not require a helicoper on site... We all agree there should be one and hope they would add this rule in future but in this case they are really not to be blamed for poorly executed operation
  • 2 0
 @winko: he could have said that, but didn't, they instead decided to say "sorry, not sorry" in a wall of carefully worded text. They are just covering their asses as usual. Nobody likes them and that is one of the reasons for it. They are on the events to take their cut of the money and be responsible to no one. They have the rules and the organizers have to follow it. The organizers cheated claiming that they have helicopter on stand by? UCI should have sued them. But as you said, they don't have that kind of clause, UCI screwed up (or made a big oversight in nicer words), but they don't want to admit anything. Of course they won't admit anything to the public/plebs. Who do they think we are?
  • 3 0
 @winko: "The organiser must submit an evacuation and medical plan to UCI prior to world championships, world cup and continental championships. The organisers medical coordinator must meet the technical delegate if applicable or the president of the commissaires’ panel before the first training."

Clearly states an evacuation plan needed, and that it must be signed off before first training by the UCI representatives at the event. This clearly shows that UCI signed off on something that was not adequate, therefore they cannot say, sorry, not sorry, as sorry, but they were the last signature...
  • 19 0
 The beauty of bureaucracy - blame each other so then no one is accountable. MSA and UCI have both failed in this situation.
  • 7 2
 UCI regulations are clear on this, and I quote:

"The organizer remains exclusively responsible for the safety at his event."

Btw, at which point did MSA blame the UCI (since you mentioned "blame each other")?
  • 4 0
 @Verbl-Kint: Bloody joke really, UCI are the governing body, they make the rules. They can blame the organisers all they want, but when they approve the venue and rules etc, then the blame rests with them. Not to excuse the MSA organisers either, equally their responsibility
  • 2 0
 @bjmtb: Correct. You can not in this day and age just excuse yourself with that statement. They should have their own risk assessments, their own check lists, and the organiser goes and....wait for it.....organises it! That is how a governing body / organiser relationship should be. UCI is as much in the gun here as the organiser unless they can categorically show that they had a risk assessment and management plan that said the organiser needs to have a suitable form of medical evacuation for all possible accidents.
  • 14 0
 Either way, it's unacceptable that UCI, the resort & the race organizers didn't have a viable evacuation method ready & waiting at the mountain (or at least at the launch pad) for the duration of the entire event. TBH, it sounds like they didn't really even have a plan for when (not if) something like this happened.

I hope this serves as a wakeup call to UCI & any other organizers that these type of things should be planned for well before the event. Just because Brook is apparently doing well, it doesn't mean that things couldn't have been WAY WAY worse if a few variables went even slightly differently.
  • 13 1
 First responders there in 4 mins - not great, not terrible
Doctor there in 30 mins - where the **** was he/she? Why was the doctor not stationed on or, at least, at the foot of the hill with access to uplift and/or a vehicle of some kind?
No extraction - fair enough i suppose as its local law, sucks if you're the patient of course.
Private airlift - jesus wept, cannot fathom why there wasn't a local crew on standby at the biggest race of the downhill calendar
  • 8 1
 30mins isn’t bad. There was probably one doctor for the whole course stationed somewhere on the hill in an utv.

0mins, call comes in and 1st responders start heading to scene

4mins, 1st responders on scene and starting their primary assessment

6mins, 1st responders notify dispatch of info and ask for doctor.

7mins, doctor gets call while he is on a shoulder disco at top of track.

10mins He finishes up, grabs his gear and leaves scene.

12mins, doctor hikes back to UTV

14mins, doctor is in UTV with gear ready to go.

25mins, doctor has been battling with crowds of spectators in his UTV heading down to accident site, he gets as far as he can in UTV

30mins, doctor has walked 5 mins into the course and found patient and called himself 10-7.

*no idea if this is what happened, just pointing out that 30mins is a possibility.
  • 17 5
 What most of you do not understand is that this happened in Quebec. Where corruption runs deep within the veins of the entire province. The infrastructure to get anything done on time does not exist and I wish I was exaggerating. Entire thing is a political nightmare and all the onsite doctor had to say was, this COULD be a life threatening situation to activate Military evacuation. . Speedy recovery Brook.
  • 1 1
 Lots of easy claims in your comments and not so much to back it up.

And I can only imagine the situation that the doctor said that it COULD be life-threatening (knowing that it's not true) to get a quicker evac. Meanwhile someone really is dying somewhere else and the Heli isn't available. Most likely a prison worthy situation for the doctor. I'm sure you're aware of doctors' professional code?
  • 1 4
 @t1000: As far as I can calculate it, only other heli evacuation situation that could happen at that given hour would be on that same mountain. As a matter of fact Brook's was not the only spinal injury on that track that day.
The management and the onsite doctors failed the participants TWICE.
.
Im sure Quebec Search and Rescue Volunteer organization could also step in with their own chopper.
The one in North Vancouver gets used daily by hikers and mountainbikers.
I only see a bunch of political roadbloack in this evac. operation.
But, what do i know...
  • 1 3
 @t1000: also, you dont go to prison for that in Canada. Especially Quebec Canada
  • 1 0
 @denomerdano: Lots of things could and should have been better.
But a doctor lying to emergency services to get quicker evacuation isn't one of them. This IS a criminal act according to the code of ethics of physicians in Canada, possibly punishable by imprisonment.
By the way, the criminal code is under federal authority. So ''especially Quebec Canada'' doesn't mean anything, it's the same in any province. Are you sure you have any idea of what you are talking about?
  • 2 1
 @t1000: you actually need evidence of political corruption in your province? are you joking because there are many examples.

Also the code of ethics isn't the Criminal Code of Canada. I agree that a medical practitioner shouldn't lie however.

In Ontario Orng staffs full time pilots on location 24/7. its about time your province took some of those equalization payments and do the same. This is clearly an unacceptable result especially for this type of global participation event. A pilot should have been available 24/7 and not one hour away and a nonchalant attitude towards risk mitigation from a medivac company is unacceptable.
  • 1 0
 @atrokz: No I don't, evidence has been produced by knowledgeable people already. I'm not going to be the Quebec defender here as I too have my fair share of criticism, but let's not exaggerate either. Anyway I don't see why people would bring this up, we are talking about an event management that failed to provide appropriate emergency services.

And negligence to any professional code (doctors, engineers, lawyer, etc) by a member really is subject to a criminal prosecution. That is the point of a professional code, so members are liable of their actions.
  • 13 0
 In general terms, the arrangements put in place by the Titanic complied with UCI Regulations, taking into account local legislation.
  • 1 0
 Ha!
  • 12 1
 If the potential for such delay was undersrood prior to the race weekend, then perhaps the local authority does not offer the level of service required to meet riders expectations, and this being the case, the UCI ought to have tighter regulations.
  • 5 0
 This is, so far, the most sober assessment of the situation in the comments section. The UCI isn't directly responsible for emergency medical care in a World Cup, that much is true, but what happened to Brook should be a lesson for World Cup organizers going forward. And the UCI should ensure this lesson is learned and the unfortunate event not repeated.
  • 10 0
 Even in small bikeparks like Spicak (Czech Republic) or Geisskopf (Germany), helicopters are there quickly if something serious. Not even life threatening. My wife crashed badly in Leogang (Austria) and helicopter was there within 10 minutes.
  • 1 0
 At Geisskopf, the heli often just comes to stop by and say hi.
  • 9 1
 I don't understand why many of you still focus your outrage on the UCI. Like they handle everything? You don't have to be a UCI fan, but atleast you can objectively asses the given information.

What blows my mind, is that in 2019 in -what I think of as- a modern Western country (Canada), local legislation & infrastructure leads to such a poor service to the people.

In this case Brook is the victim and because of it happend in a WC, we all know about it. But surely there must have been lots of 'victims' before him.

If I ever go MTB'ing in Quebecq (not gonna happen), I 'll remind myself not to crash. And if I do, it beter be life treatening.
  • 9 22
flag Golden-G (Sep 11, 2019 at 2:05) (Below Threshold)
 Socialist health care. It may be ‘free’ but it isn’t very good.
  • 6 1
 @Golden-G:
I bet all the European country's beg to differ. Even here in Belgium (no mountains) we have choppers. In the Alps (French, Swiss, Italy) you'll find very very capable mountainrescue (probably the best in the world).

I call it LACK of 'socialist health care'. I also don't understand what the problem is with the word 'socialist'. In north americ you use it as a synonym for communist or some sort?
  • 7 3
 @JWP: people from North america often try to use words they don't understand. As simple as that.
  • 5 1
 @JWP: your comment about socialism sounds about right. Here in America people are too stupid and uneducated to understand there’s a difference between the two.
  • 2 19
flag Golden-G (Sep 11, 2019 at 2:46) (Below Threshold)
 @JWP: you are too socialist to understand.
  • 1 0
 @Golden-G: Um, I'd consider New Zealand to have "socialist health care" (or, more appropriately, socialised health care), and the responses are generally far better than the case here. I know this because my partner is an emergency department doctor who has to deal with such things.
  • 2 4
 @TheSlayer99: as long as you're made aware that 'socialist health care' is paid with a nearly 50% tax rate (much higher when you include 22%V.A.T. on all products and other indirect taxation). Not to mention that health care is not limited to airlifting a world class athlete from a remote mountain location. Let's keep politics and ignorant assessment of others' ignorance out of this. It's more about organizational standards, as someone wrote earlier, one helicopter should have been on stand by with the pilot at the bottom or top of the mountain.
  • 4 0
 @serviceguy: "remote mountain location" it barely peaks at 800m, and it's less than 20mi away from Quebec City.

It's a hill located in proximity to a city of half a million inhabitants. It's not a remote mountain location
  • 1 0
 @serviceguy: You already know that tax is generally higher in countreis with social systems,but you should also be aware that significant part of this money is used for retirement fund and smaller part for healthcare (got my salary yesterday, 6.36% went for health insurance, 15.5% for retirement fund, 21.5% income tax). So yeah this generally does not include helicopter transport (it does here but we are really an exception) and it covers 100% (or close to that) of treatment and rehab...
  • 1 0
 Absolutely agree. I blame the venue. Venue wants to host? Provide adequate common-sense services and add the extra needs outlined by UCI. Venue blows it this badly? Pull that venue off the future calendar.
  • 1 0
 @winko: Damn, son! You get taxed a total of 43.36%? Shiver me timbers.... NZ has a socialised health system (NOT socialist....any public service is socialised i.e. police, primary education, secondary education, roading networks etc), but our tax tops out at 33% but only if you're earning over a certain amount, and only on the dollars earned over that amount...everything else is lower rated...i.e. you could only pay 14% tax here on your income and still receive healthcare, police, roads, and a superannuation when retired.
  • 1 0
 @tripleultrasuperboostplusplus: I think part of the problem here is that the UCI doesn't outline the need for medical evacuation. Therefore, blame lies on both parties. The UCI for not having the checks, and the venue for not thinking of this stuff either.
  • 2 0
 @handynzl: Thats about normal tax in Europe, in some countries its even higher... It depends on income as well and my salary is above average so there it that... Yeah its not low number, but from what I've heard the NZ is probably more efficient at spending tax money so I hope one day we might get on your level. Does that tax you pay also include retirement fund?
  • 1 0
 @winko: Yes, we call it national super annuation. It is pegged to the median income and inflation at a ratio of about 60 or 70%. You can also opt in to another savings system where you can save an additional 2 to 5% of your weekly paycheck. Govt matches a very small percentage and the company you work for has to match another few % as well. But that isn't a tax that the government spends... Or at least that's what they say! You can draw down on the savings fund to help put a deposit on a house, or begin drawing out from 60yo.
  • 7 0
 I have been witness to 3 separate incident in mountain biking that have required heli's. Each time the heli has been there within an hour WITHOUT a doctor needed to authorise the use of a heli.

Last time (about 4 months ago) they actually flew a specialist out in a second heli, obviously the condition was life threatening but still the resources are there, its just how they're organised or not organised in this case.
  • 7 0
 Guys, it's not the regional race between friends in some remote mountain.
It is the World Cup, the highest example of professionalism for both the drivers and the organizers. If you create a track for such an event don't you worry about creating places where you can evacuate someone who, given the high level of competition, will get seriously hurt if it falls?
  • 7 0
 Note even a World Cup, World Champs where there is, in my opinion, a greater risk with riders coming from all over the world to race for their federations. How many of these World Champs racers haven't ever ridden something as chunky and nasty as MSA? Just looked at the Dialed episodes and hear Jordi talk about how much clapped out and abused equipment they see and try to salvage for World Champs. I recognize that we're talking about Brook but what if the rider was a relative unknown from a developing country? How would the narrative change?

My guess is that the likelihood of injury at World Champs is greater than World Cups and a more aggressive evac contingency plan may need to be in place.
  • 1 0
 @OriginalDonk: you're right ... i wrote World Cup thinking of World Champs, just a mistype Smile
I agree with you!
  • 9 0
 My take away from this is it makes me reconsider riding in Quebec - if this is how they evac pros, god knows how a lowly amateur would be dealt with.
  • 8 0
 MANY sports motor or otherwise have Heli's on site ready to go. Surely the UCI have enough funds an organisational skills to sort that?
  • 2 0
 Alpine skiing, at least the World Cup downhill venues seem to always have a heli physically on site at the bottom of the course. They always have one at Lake Louise in Alberta and I see them on TV at the Euro venues as well.
  • 11 2
 For 100th time, UCI does not organize races, they organize series and coordinate it. This also means their representatives are on site making sure race is being run by the rules. Races are 100% in the doman of local organizers. In this case UCI can only impose rule that a heli must be present on site, and then the local organizer would have to do so. According to @gramboh it sound like FIS might have this rule, which makes total sense because dh skiing is just bonkers
  • 1 0
 @gramboh: maybe that's the reason they have them on site now:

www.nytimes.com/2008/03/04/sports/04iht-alpine4.10693330.html
  • 3 0
 @gramboh: There is A LOT more money involved in a downhill world cup for skiing. Plus the FIS probably mandates it, which the UCI clearly does not. The cost of having a Helicopter on standby for a UCI DH/XC world cup would probably be so cost prohibitive that most organizers would stop hosting events.
  • 1 0
 @gramboh: There is also the factor that DH skiing is far older as a professional sport and has had more terribe injuries than you can count. The level of preparation that you see at ski events today is the result of brutal and (literally) bloody lessons leant over many decades.
  • 6 0
 It might not have been life threatening, but a spinal column injury is pretty serious. Getting to a proper medical facility quickly could be the difference between being paralyzed or not. He could have had internal bleeding that wasn't immediately apparent. They could have carried him up or down the mountain on a stretcher quicker than it took for the heli to arrive. In short, they were not properly prepared to respond to the situation.
  • 10 1
 What exactly is the point in the UCI......................
  • 11 1
 Money money money money money
  • 1 0
 1- money 2- money 3- money 4- more money 5- prestige
  • 6 1
 Basically they’re playing the blame game and putting it on local bureaucratic BS because they’re too cheap to pay for a helicopter to be on-site (like at EWS Northstar). At least pay to have a helicopter on-call for high consequence racing.
  • 2 0
 Look, I don't know that much about MTB races but I did help run a local MX track for 3 years and we could NEVER even start practice without an ambulance on site. I am talking local, 100 riders was a big turn out. On a World Cup level there should be a helicopter on site staffed and ready, no exceptions ! I am sure they can find a way to pay for it .
  • 5 0
 "Only do enough so you can create the illusion of due diligence, then blame someone else. Also, hide behind your legal team, they are your best friend. Why prepare for this stuff and plan for worst case scenario when you can absolve yourself? What are my shares looking like?" - UCI board member.
  • 10 0
 Sue them Brooky.
  • 2 0
 There's probably some 'enter / use at own risk' indemnity policy or liability form the guys had to sign.
  • 2 0
 @Jacquers: at least in EU those kind of thing you sign have no effective value if the law said the opposite. I know very well this. If he want,he has the right to do whatever. If there is a faulty thing he can sue the UCI,MST...
  • 1 0
 @Jacquers: Not in a sponsored professional sports event there won't be.
  • 6 0
 In Italy if you have a trauma with a fall from an height higher than 1 meter, helicopter brings you to the hospital in few minutes. And not only if you're racing world cup.
  • 3 2
 And there's good coffee and pizza and you get this 1 metre fall or not so up your game nada
  • 2 0
 That's good to know, but does that apply to the south as well?
  • 1 0
 @Brklss: each region organizes its own health system...
  • 5 0
 I think a good case is made here to stop having races at MSA. Obviously this deplorable situation has been standard practice the last 20 or so years of World Cups. Damn lucky their uselessness hasn't killed someone.
  • 4 0
 I think we can all agree that at this time that Brook should be able to deal with his own health and recovery than have to think about this.

So as someone who was there with him I would like to make sure everyone knows the correct facts, as I don’t believe the ones published by the UCI doctor to be correct.

I arrived on site a little bit after the crash and was with him until the doctor arrived, I believe this to be a bit longer than 30mins, and also that doctor did not arrive with sedatives, these had to be brought up the mountain by someone else.

I myself was appalled by the fact prior to this the medics on site before the doctor considered to drive him down the mountain on a quad bike trailer, down a super rough 4wd track, and they actually began doing this, until the riders present requested them to stop.

Also apparently when they called the helicopter company they were told it will be 1hr40 if we had of known this then the group that was there would have carried him off the mountain ourselves.

I hope that no one ever has to go through such a situation again and wish Brook nothing but the best in his recovery.
  • 2 0
 @wynmasters Wyn, you and the other athletes have every right to demand better prepared venues and more support from the UCI. The riders should know (and the overwhelming response here makes it clear) that the fan base has your back. No one watches DH for the carnage, we watch to see the limits pushed to the most preposterous limits (Mr. Hart's performance last weekend for instance). The sport is about athleticism and pushing limits, but it is not a blood sport. Courses can be extremely challenging and have all the gnarl that makes the world cup awesome BUT race organizers MUST take the responsibility that comes with hosting a world cup level race. There is no excuse not to have adequate measures to protect riders from unsafe conditions, handle any crash or injury, and have their shit together.

If I heard a race was cancelled because the riders safety concerns were not addressed I would be 100% behind the riders, even if I had to watch a eMTB race instead of a DH race! (okay I would probably just go for a ride and not watch that crap)
  • 1 0
 @wynmasters Thanks for being there for Brook, Wyn!
  • 5 1
 I would expect the heli crew to be always close to the heli, not almost an hour. Also I would expect better planning from UCI. You guys basically said if it went worse, it could be fatal
  • 3 0
 That's the main problem. Everybody expect things. But things should be written and mandatory before the event take place. And then when it becomes economically difficult we have to accept that some events may disappear because of that.
  • 3 0
 @opignonlibre: well UCI also expects the athletes to follow their rules, so of course athletes are expecting something back, safety for example. But yeah you are right
  • 3 0
 @bok-CZ: yes but the rules are written somewhere and anybody can read them. The fact is that no rules mandates a heli to be in place and riders can be aware of it.

Which is the reason they should update the rules to mandate as well as a mean for a doctor to be on site of the crash much quicker so that everything is clear to everybody : the riders, the organizers, the uci, the public.
  • 1 0
 @opignonlibre: totally agreed
  • 3 0
 But that heli crew are for non-life threatening situations (i.e. not time sensitive) and it was a stat holiday weekend in Canada - the crew were on stand-by at home would be my guess. The military would have been there in minutes but they only come for life threatening. They should have had a dedicated helicopter for the event, instead of relying on the regular provincial emergency services. I don't think you can blame the helicopter crew.

Given the extended wait, I do wonder what the objections to using the quad/stokes basket are? If you are a regular joe at the park and you crash, you will be getting a stokes and not a helicopter.
  • 1 0
 @andyd33: Given the timeframe, they could have carried him of the mountain on foot, got him into an ambulance and it would still have been much faster.
  • 5 1
 I think WC riders should go on strike until something is put in place to stop this ever happening again!! Not as if the UCI ,bike industry or red bull are poor men of the sports world.
  • 4 0
 Events like that need an on-site heli. And if the operators in Canada can't do winch/longline rescues, Air Zermatt does courses. Even Nepal-based operators can do that nowadays...
  • 3 0
 It's crazy, at the the end of August I was in Les Orres, France. The same WE there was a regional DH race. A big crash occurs but not as bad as this one but an helicopter was on site very quickly (maybe half an hour top..). It was just a regional DH race, not a world champ.
  • 3 0
 So why don't the UCI make it a rule that a helicopter has to be available at all times that riders are practising/racing? Almost every other sport that is dangerous does this! In motorsport in the UK for any major series you have to have a detailed plan showing helicopter landing areas, access routes to that area and which hospitals are ready to receive patients. You also have to have a backup plan using roads, ambulances etc for if the conditions mean the helicopter cannot fly. Some circuits that regularly host big championships even have on-site A&E suites (Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Donnington)! Others share a converted bus that travels around, I think it's run by St John's.

As for the cost, the UCI should pay and they can split the bill between their DH and XC departments. If they can do this for events like the road tours then why should DH and XC be treated worse when the risk of injury is arguably greater? If the political will is here solutions can be found.
  • 1 1
 You should read the article before commenting, right at the bottom:

However, they did also say they were "open to considering an update of distances and duration for helicopter rescue operations," which will hopefully be a fruitful avenue of investigation for improving managing a situation like this in the future.
  • 1 0
 @opignonlibre: It's more than a little frustrating that they didn't include that in their original statement, as that's basically all anyone wanted to hear. But yes, hopefully we can expect a higher standard for future races.

I think the anger with UCI seems pretty misplaced for the most part, as it was the MSA organizers who opted to use the shitty local heli procedures, and to not provide ingress/egress areas for injured riders and heli landing points along a dangerous track. But having said all that I found their response here to be wholly unimpressive.
  • 3 0
 4/5h of rescue time is absurd there is no debating that. People on here already mentioned that the statement accounts for c.3h to the point of arrival of the heli but then the statement does not account for the actual time spent in transport (the 50mins was an estimate), actual evacuation time, then the transfer times by ambulance etc. etc.

But can we spare a thought on this:

"In no way did the evacuation time aggravate the victim’s injuries or condition." ?!?
How is this a statement form a qualified professional - Medical Director?!?

While time did not "aggravate the victim’s injuries or condition" spending 4/5h on a hill certainly increases the risk for anyone's life regardless of how well trained/qualified the doctors on site are because... [read on]

"...the victim’s life was not in danger and that he was being monitored and his pain managed by a qualified doctor."
Monitoring vitals after a crash as bad as Brook's does nothing against the possibility of internal damage/bleeding etc. that can place his life at risk... Dr...

"In general terms, the arrangements put in place by the organisers complied with..." the UCI's need for a chance to hide behind the paperwork instead of taking responsibility for their own lack of preparation and competence!!!

The only "victim" in this case are the athletes who will understandably be "aggravated" by the prospect of having to place their trust and possibly lives in the hands of the UCI!
  • 11 8
 There's few things that have not really been considered in all the commentary.

#1 This is Quebec. It's a beautiful place to ride, but never have I met people so arrogant or unmotivated/lazy. Some of the local staff onsite proved that yet again this year. Their contempt for anyone who doesn't speak french is pretty vile. Not all Quebecois are this way, but a considerable proportion. It angers me.
#2 The place where Brook, and a number of others crashed is pretty gnarly to get up to. Being a little over half way down the mountain it's a good hike in and not far from the gondola, making for piss poor HLS sites with all the cables and hillside. Doctor was onsite, at the bottom of the hill, with access via quad/atv, not sure what took 30 minutes to get them there. The helo circled for quite a bit trying to find a spot to land, I watched it from the gondola.

That being said, I've medevac'd enough guys out of inhospitable places to know that it is not impossible to 'man-pack' a guy out of an area like that, just bloody hard work, and likely beyond the abilities or motivations of a bunch of lazy, arrogant local volunteers with a contempt for anything not french. So why not use the mountain rescue team or fire department? Quebec is a beautiful place, with some amazing riding, but don't ever get hurt there, because you will see a side of it that is impossible to like.

Points to take away:
1. Find better staff/volunteers who are more motivated and less contemptible.
2. Have a pre-incident plan, with outlined HLS and evac points.
3. Where the F*** is your mountain rescue team, and why are they not on standby for incidents like this?
4. While the UCI are merely enablers, and they offload the responsibility for everything else onto the organizers, perhaps they would support/insist upon a specialist mountain rescue team at each event for incidents like this.

Someone somewhere f*cked up and overlooked a sufficient pre-incident plan. A simple apology would go a long way to making things right, but between the arrogance of the largely French UCI, and the incompetence of the local staff (putting him on a quad??) an apology is unlikely to be forthcoming. With the amount of people onsite, there would have been sufficient physical support to get Brook safely and comfortably down that mountain to an awaiting ambulance, and I would have been more than willing to muck in, why did they not call the local fire dept for medical assist? So many questions.

Pre-incident planning should be a bigger priority than what is clearly was at this event. Heal up quickly Bulldog.
  • 4 0
 Agree with you on some points, but disagree on others. But we agree on the most important points.

I think that at least the helicopter should be stand-by and ready to lift in a few minutes during the event and not have to wait on the staff to come in. I also think that MSA should make a statement of some sort, gives a really bad image of Quebec right now. We know our emergency system can suck, totally agree this should have been sorted out before the event.

I'm sorry of what you think of us... I assure you that what you think most of us are, it is the contrary, it is just that bad personality tends to show more... or maybe Quebec City is worst for that kind of attitude. Wink But I also agree that when you volunteer, you should take that job seriously and put your heart to it.
  • 1 2
 @okidou: Not all Quebecois, but a small percentage have a bad attitude and severe ignorance and cause a bad image for the rest. New Brunswick is the same..
Some of the volunteers were just appalling in their attitude towards visitors, it saddens me to see them representing their beautiful province that way.
  • 3 0
 ¨but a small percentage have a bad attitude and severe ignorance and cause a bad image for the rest."

@ta4645: You can say the same about every single area in the world, probably including yours. Actually the kind of post you published earlier full of "french hate" is an example of that: bad attitude and ignorance (as if québecois and french were the same people and had the same culture).
  • 1 0
 @ta4645: That's totally true and know offense taken Wink
  • 1 1
 @ta4645 You know what angers me? Ignorant people on the internet making such gratuitous comments about a people. Wow.
  • 1 1
 @mm2020: You know what angers me? Arrogance, ignorance and petty people who cannot see fit to treat other people with respect and dignity based solely on the language they speak. There is no good reason for it, and I heard plenty of others making those same comments that weekend too.
  • 1 1
 @ta4645: You sound like a prick to me, but what do I know, eh.
  • 1 0
 @mm2020: haha, must've hit a nerve eh. Perhaps you're one of those people who make Quebec a friggin nightmare for the rest of Canada. ???? lol.
  • 5 0
 Like in F1, the rider need to refuse to race unless there is adequate medical / safety system in place..
  • 3 1
 Here is the timeline without the UCI's waffling on and excuses. Three hours and 10 minutes of bullshit.

30 minutes for Doctor to reach the scene.
20 minutes for Doctor to call for a chopper.
50 minutes for crew to reach chopper.
50 minutes for chopper to get to the scene.
40 minutes for chopper to find somewhere to land.

Reports are 4-5 hours from accident to evac, so there is extra time missing. Note how UCI does not state the time Brook was actually evacuated. The last time is "when the chopper landed". I am inclined to believe there is a further hour or more of stuffing around.
  • 2 0
 You can't move around a spinal injured patient quickly if that is your question. And this is some uncompressible time unless you lift it from the top, which as explained could not be done by law without a military heli.
  • 1 1
 @opignonlibre: I didn't really ask a question. A proper plan would include suitable landing spots for non-military craft. Brook could be moved carefully to as close to the landing spot as possible, while the chopper was on the way. With the missing time not addressed, I suspect they had no idea what they were doing and only after the chopper landed did they then proceed to move Brook, further delaying his uplift.
  • 1 0
 @BigAlfonz: you are right it looks like the evacuation was an afterthought and not a well prepared job.
  • 2 1
 @BigAlfonz: That's my question though - why did they not move him? and if they were going to move him (which it sounds like they had to anyway when the helicopter couldnt land right by them) why not just take him all the way to an access road and into an ambulance? (which is the procedure your average park goer would get?).
  • 1 0
 @andyd33: Brook said in his interview they initially tried to move him (I assume to the adjacent ski run for access) and he declined, appropriately. The access road at MSA is a quarter way around the mountain, too far to do laterally and through rocky terrain. Not feasible. Carrying him out to the ski run after being stabilized was likely the only option.
  • 2 0
 Well that was about as unsympathetic as it gets. Surely if an injury could potentially affect the quality of a person's life then that should be deemed as needing urgent hospital attention. Lessons need to be learnt, not just for the UCI and organisers at MSA but all event organisers and until processes and or drills can be proven as fit for purpose events at these venues shouldn't be held. I appreciate this is a dangerous sport, often held in remote locations but the governing body and the organisers have a duty of care, not just to riders but everyone attending the event.
  • 2 0
 After Brooks crash they had a uci/team meeting as Teams where not happy with time taken etc, (rightly so) so they quickly put things in place
"and the event organizers will be paying to have a helicopter pilot available at the heli base off-site."

I am very surprised that UCI or event organizer did not say in the statement about anything about the above , as in "yes it was longer than we of liked, but we learned from it and have put X and Y in place"

Hopefully other events organizer's can learn from this, but I have a feeling if UCI don't help with costs like this to safe guard riders health etc, that not many organizer's will step forward as I am sure having a Helicopter and crew on stand by is going to cost a bit!

Full paragraph
"As a result of this event, for tomorrow’s race, the emergency response team is reviewing all the places that a helicopter can land, debriefing first responders on how to secure the scene for the helicopter to land, and the event organizers will be paying to have a helicopter pilot available at the heli base off-site. The response time for a non-life-threatening injury should be reduced to 50 minutes. For a life-threatening situation, it was explained that the army will be on site with their helicopter within 20 minutes."

From
www.pinkbike.com/news/brook-macdonald-sustains-spinal-injury-in-training-crash-mont-sainte-anne-dh-world-champs-2019.html?trk=rss
  • 2 0
 There are basically two layers of blame possible, all related to the long time it took for the Heli evac. UCI needs to have clear rules for organizers that strictly enforce an helicopter and pilot to be stationned at the base of the mountain during the whole event. The organizers should also present UCI with an evac. plan with possible landing sites assuming the weather is normal. Even with such lax requirements from UCI, organizers should have made a emergency plan adressing these types of situation. It's hard to say who is more at fault here, but the UCI distancing themselves so much from the blame surely feels shitty af.
  • 2 0
 Injuries where time to intervention influences outcomes would be a better dividing line than "life threatening".

Potential spinal cord injuries with loss of motor function and sensation should be put in the most rapid response category, as should injuries with compromised vascular supply (e.g. no blood flow to leg). Time to intervention may matter in these cases, as opposed to a simple fracture.

I think "life threatening" is the wrong dividing line for the allocation of appropriate resources.

Thoughts and prayers to Brook.

"Bulldog and the Pups" is one of my kid's favorite videos.

www.sombriocartel.com/en-US/files/bulldog-and-pups

I hope he makes a full recovery.
  • 2 0
 Good lord remind me never to sign up for a UCI race if this is their response to an accident like this. Their written 'response' seems even more irresponsible than their medical treatment of Brook. No way would i feel safe racing if this is their attitude
  • 2 0
 First off, FUUUUUCK you UCI. Simply saying, we messed up, were working to do much better would have been fine. Don't try and pass the buck. Secondly I know Heli's are expensive and all but the UCI has deep enough pockets. As soon as you hear that a rider is down with a back injury get the pilot on the line and fire the bird up. Worst case scenario the chopper isn't needed but you don't look like a complete shit bag. It's not like this even happens every race, so jumping the gun a bit and over responding wouldn't be a bad thing.
  • 2 0
 I realise it’s no excuse and if you can’t afford it don’t put your hand up to host it- but maybe the event organisers couldn’t afford to have a Heli on standby? These events are exactly big money makers for the local organisers and do in fact cost money to host.

I was the DH track coordinator for our Aussie National Champs a few years ago and it cost our local club tens of thousands to put on the event in the end. We had to pay the Aussie version of the UCI (MTBA) to be able to host the event.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Brooke and Claire for speedy recoveries and I hope this is a stark reality check that ensures safer event structures and procedures in the future.
  • 2 0
 We all know uci has prick roadie lawyers writing their statement to avoid any wrong doing. Also throwing event organizers under the bus. Hopefully this sheds light on future organizers current and new to put forth new guidelines with uci from happening again.
  • 2 0
 It seems a little odd that it would take a life flight team an hour to get to the helicopter launch sight.

UCI events should be sponsored by Enve Composites. Both are happy to place blame on others.

Enve stated in Mike Levy's Enve test article "our wheels are expensive because we use King hubs which are made in house in the USA" and ignored the fact that their rims cost twice what a King hub set does and accounts for most of the cost of the wheels.
UCI... Well guys, it's an unfortunate event but we stabilized his spine and then twiddled our thumbs while we waited for the guys we are going to blame to show up. Check out our rules; they even say it's not our job to be responsible for rider safety..
Furthermore, UCI's statement of "only military helicopters are able to carry out air lifting rescue operations. In all other cases, evacuation is carried out by a private operator" is not true. Sure the only time that the military can interfere or assist is in life threatening situations, but any private helicopter response team can complete an extraction. Even here in the USA our emergency response crew are run by private contractors. Sure the police and fire department can arrive and assist in stabilizing but when you get loaded up in an AMR ambulance that's a private contracted company. In fact Life Flight in America is operated as a non-profit private entity.
UCI is shifting the blame and it's not entirely on them but they certainly aren't willing to accept any responsibility.
  • 6 3
 Four hours is a joke, 30 mins for pain relief is also a joke! A rescue pilot that struggles with windy conditions should look for another job.
  • 7 1
 There's no mention of it being a rescue helicopter, just one that can be used to transport patients. Mountain tops also aren't to be f**ked with even if it was tbf
  • 2 0
 @scottishmark: yeah that was my first thought,no rescue heli,just a transport one...Even in bad weather you must have a B plan . Knowing that X weather conditions means and what is possible to do. Bad weather like that is not an excuse. This people have no plan and very bad organization.
  • 3 0
 @homerjm: absolutely, and plan B generally isn't difficult - a squad of people and a stretcher can get to a better spot and do no harm. Mountain rescue here (and all over the world) routinely have to extract casualties by other means due to bad weather
  • 2 0
 Such event should have a heli on sight, just in case. Organizing a BMX/4X race years ago we were asked to have an ambulance there for all the duration of the event, sadly or fortunatelly was not useless.
  • 1 0
 So if you have a chopper and live in Canada - gather your medic mates or veterans, undercut the useless competition, draw up contracts for local hospitals and the organisers to sign, take your bikes, fly to MSA, spend the week, save a life, improve the reputation not your useless system and go home happy.
  • 3 0
 Sounds like there was absolutely no emergency plan and they ran around in circles not knowing wtf to do. Whoever was in charge of the emergency procedures should be fired
  • 4 0
 Dear Xavier what a load of BS!! Get your shit together, and take some responsibility FFS!
  • 1 0
 Very BAD for the UCI. This is all shit. If you have a plan A,B,C and all the assets to develop that plan,what is the problem? No rescue team,no plan, so 5h waiting in the forest with a broken back is fine in an elite MTB event...
We all saw in Andorra a very bad crash few years ago an it took only minutes for the rescue team to be in the place and working. With all the money they spend,they could grab a professional rescue team and let them to plan any emergency.
  • 2 1
 Too many glaring inadequacies to mention, the UCI are kidding themselves if they think they can justify this response, and it is totally unacceptable to try to do so. This half baked 'not our fault' response is incredibly arrogant and shows a complete lack of understanding of the issues the incident highlighted.
  • 1 0
 It’s was a terrible result for all parties involved. The best hope now is that going forward extra precautions and contingencies will be put in place. These are world class events and the all the support and medical services should be as well. Hell, everything high school football game I’ve ever played in or watch for years after had an ambulance present for the entire game. Not apples to apples but help was there.
  • 1 0
 The whole response to this accident sticks of a "suck it and see" management attitude. If it ain't happened before, then don't think it will or can. The fact that the private heli crew wasn't on standby says this whole accident scenario wasn't even thought of, let alone planned for. Heal up soon Brook and I hope this unfortunate accident kicks the necessary organizers a*ses not to not cut this kind of medical emergency planning from future events.
  • 1 0
 I admit, I only read a couple lines of the UCI response. This is WORLD CUP. In my mind it is no different than an Alpine World Cup. As a result of an accident at Kitzbuel a number of years ago, much has improved. Learn the lesson UCI and organizers. You need to be present, on the ground able to act swiftly and accurately. Air on the ground waiting to be called into action. Even at grassroots level ski races there is an EAP written in place and ready to execute. UCI, stop the politics, get real and support the individual, not the corporation.
  • 1 0
 Okay so I may be looking at this too simply, but if the last leg of the journey had to be completed by Ambulance (Road) due to a closed helipad, why didn't the whole transfer take place this way? Surely the helicopter operatives or those in the control room would have known the pad was closed and advised on the timescales and updated procedure for getting him there??? It's 40 minutes by road to Quebec and probably much quicker in the back of a screaming ambulance.
  • 1 0
 Not sure if they had this, but the Dr could easily have a portable ultrasound, they are pretty common now.
  • 1 0
 What I don't understand:
How can anybody on the mountain rule out a life-threatening condition after a crash like that?
Yes, there might not have been obvious life-threatening injuries but I doubt that they did an ultrasound-exam to rule out internal bleeding and to my knowledge internal bleeding is a serious risk... How can anybody determine that he is not going to bleed to death internally while still on the mountain...
  • 1 0
 Im as unimpressed by all of this. If we were to look beyond this to lessons learnt there are too many obvious ones to list but some responsibility has to be borne by more than the UCI....but they do have responsibility here. The UCI chose the location, they cannot absolve themselves of responsibility for making sure its safe. If they set the rules, they can set minimum standards for safety and evac as well so their response is shameful, they barely imply there are lessons to be learnt for them. As a minimum MSA needs to be banned for running another event until it can prove it meets the minimum requirements.
MSA needs to see this as a wakeup call. It needs to cut in heli landing zones and clear these of FOD daily during the racing. They should have individuals on the hill trained in heli marshalling and who understand how to mark out surface wind strength for pilots to assess. The need to practice their response periodically and religiously before an event and they need to be advocating to the authorities to change the rules of military heli response for the weekend based on the risk involved. If military evac isnt possible MSA should pay for the requisite event insurance to ensure a helicopter is on standby. They need all marshalls to be better trained in patient handling and evacuation.
Teams need to come together (as happened in F1) and insist on minimum standards and they need to be prepared to refuse to race, putting riders first.
The list goes on and on, but top of the pile sits UCI with the most ability to influence all of these layers through their regulation of the event. It would be easy to do. I will be interested to watch to see if they do this.
  • 1 0
 Maybe do like they do at certain high level motor racing event and have a helicopter ready on site just in case? Expensive: yes but it's surely better than some poor sod hearing you won't walk again pal but thanks for making everyone involved more cash.
  • 1 0
 I appreciate the cander and the minutes given by Mr Bigard. Given the parameters of the situation sounds like they did work asap, BUT it is errant, appalling and straight up irresponsible to not have very real emergency equipment at any and all professional cycling events!! The money that surrounds it and the immense danger the athletes put themselves in make it only the obvious and humane responsibility. Spinal injuries happen all the time on these mtns, having a helicopter on site is not an unrealistic request. I sincerely hope the powers put them in place for the future. For the love of Pete, the Tour De France has 8 choppers flying continuously for 21 DAYS! .....
Good luck and good healing, Brook! We can’t wait to see you flying like a bulldog soon!!
  • 1 0
 This absolutely sucks for Brook, and I wish he would have been out the mountain right away. I also wish that the UCI being who they are, would have a cutting edge protocol capable of addressing these situation faster than anyone else....

That being said, from a medical standpoint the timeline that they are presenting seems “adequate”. Emergency medicine operates using standards that may sound outrageous for the regular citizen. The main premise being, “is the patient at risk of dying?”, if the patient is stable and without life threatening injuries, the priority then switches to making sure that the extraction is the safest for both the patient and the crew.

It absolutely sucks for Brooke, and PR wise it absolutely sucks for the UCI...
  • 2 0
 UCI doesn't care about athlete safety and is too concerned about the increase in their insurance premiums to just say "SORRY". I'll be devoting all of my limited viewing time to EWS races next season.
  • 1 0
 I thinks someone in charge of the rescue could have made the "life threatening" call to get him out as fast as possible and be ready to face the consequences... It's the UCI World Champs, not some ordinary race! As fun as it can be to bash Quebec, the MSA or the UCI, the issue doesn't appear to be with them, but with the blind obedience to process and rules in out of the ordinary situations!

Quebec is indeed very technocratic... Somehow there is a law that prevent the winch equiped army helicopter to intervene in non life threatening injuries AND there are people to abide by that even in those circumstances!

That is as facinating as it's concerning.
  • 1 0
 I would like to leave yet another comment simply saying : fail to prepare, then prepare to fail !

It's a god'damn downhill race where riders go at insane speeds - get the frigging Heli on site ready to evacuate ANY crash like that - no waiting to check only if life threatening bullshit waiting and then we'll sorta decide..........- EVACUATE STAT !
  • 1 0
 If I'm Brook I'm looking to see what legal action can be taken. Would hate to have to do that as an athlete but if you wanna see change in how an event organizer such as the MSA handles shit like this start burning holes in their wallets.
  • 1 0
 So let me get this straight: you organize a mountain bike downhill race on a mountain and can't evac a injured rider out because "the place where the accident occurred was very difficult to reach"?! Seems to me they should be access points at all parts of the track for emergency services for just this very thing. Taking 5 freaking hours to get Brook down was incompetent, dangerous, and negligent. Maybe the UCI is only used to treating a few broken collarbones and road rash?


But now, what is the mountain bike community going to do about this? Because if the organizers don't give a crap about safety, then it's time for a boycott and/or strike.
  • 1 0
 With neurological injuries, time is function. That timeline is not acceptable. Given the nature of the sport and its associated injuries, an evacuation protocol needs to be in place that allows for more emergent evacuation in the event of neurologic compromise.
  • 1 0
 What I find astounding (besides the UCI issues, of course) is the Army policy of "life-threatening" injury. In all my wilderness medicine training, the most severe cases we talk about are "life OR limb" injuries - spinal injuries definitely fall under that. I find it very surprising that Brook's case was somehow deemed not severe enough to not warrant immediate evacuation. Seems like some criticism is also due on that policy.
  • 1 0
 It's not the army, it's the Quebec province legislation...
  • 1 0
 UCi just admit to have screew up, not valuating all the difficulties in danger situation to evacuate victims, they wish to say that Brook , with a spinal injury, was good to stay like 4 hours laying in the woods because "hey we gave him morphine".
You have to ashame deepl, most for the latter phrase in which you drop any responsabilities because the rider injury came from an accident.
You mr Xavier, could be a medical director, but you are not a good person.
Shame on all of you UCI and MSA, the only words you were to say were " Sorry we f*ckd up, never evaluate all the difficulties in medical emergency extraction at a site of many years word level competition of a life-treatening sport. We are just a*sholes, sorry Brook and sorry everyone."
  • 1 0
 Holy crap I’m glad we have free healthcare here. I snapped my tin/fib and they both came through my shin. Not life threatening, but the place I crashed was in an old fished quarry where the soil was high in arsenic.

I was riding with mates in the middle of the forest 10 miles from the nearest town, 40 miles from the nearest major hospital. Not at an organised race, just a casual ride.

I had a local first responder next to me within 30 minutes, and a helicopter landed within another 10. Testimony to this speed is the fact that I didn’t feel any pain until the helicopter took off by which time they were starting to IV me the good stuff.

Out helicopters in the UK are charities and not paid for centrally like our NHS but they all work together effectively to create a relatively efficient response system.

Within 4 hours I’d had the wounds cleaned, and the bones reset (and vomited on a nurse :-/ ).

Pretty scary to think I’d have been waiting for 4 hours at an organised race just to get evac’ed. Thank goodness for the NHS and free healthcare.
  • 1 0
 Not forgetting the Coast Guard helicopters for the "harder" jobs (including those inland).

If you bike on the Surrey Hills then the Ambulance helicopter is a regular visitor to Box Hill...
  • 2 1
 Lack of organization around critical infrastructure is not uncommon for Quebec. Add to that onerous bureaucracy (only military can do emergency evac), etc. Hopefully UCI and MSA organizers look at this retrospectively and put in place better procedures for next year. Rider safety should be a top priority.
  • 1 0
 Basically that statement was a recount of what happened from their side with out apologizing, I.e. admitting fault and opening themselves up for a potential lawsuit from anyone involved. This was well scripted by the legal team. That much is obvious. You cant expect any more at this point.

That being said... I really hope that internally the UCI is asking alot questions internally and working to resolve this problem. If you are going to leave it up to the race promoters to handle the medical services, the UCI should perform a very detailed safety audit prior to the racers/teams arriving. This audit would include medical evacuation methods on this hill, pathways for transport, etc. Staffing and equipment on the hill and at the staging area, evacuation from the venue via roads and airlift as well as touching base with the local hospitals to ensure they are set up to handle a various array of injuries. Maybe they already have something like this in place.. if so.. it was poorly executed.

From the sounds of it, the delay here was due to a lack of planning and weather. One of which can be fixed.
  • 1 0
 Here's wishing Brook a speedy and solid recovery.

Here's also hoping that greater emphasis and responsibility is placed on "event organizers" for having these types of contingencies covered before the first athlete drops in for a practice run, let alone racing.
  • 1 0
 This seems puzzling to me.

UCI: "From that point on, the victim’s spinal column was perfectly stabilised, his vital signs and blood oxygen levels monitored, and morphine administered. The doctor at the scene decided to request an airlift, at which point discussions began on the best way to evacuate Brook."

'AT WHICH POINT DISCUSSIONS BEGAN' on an evac plan??? Shouldn't every section of track have a dialed in evac strategy, before the race?? Lame.
  • 1 0
 So much crap, where is the rest of the timeline, did you give up counting once the Helo landed???? How long did the rest of the evac actually take?

More to the point why was there no alternative evac plans already in place?

I worked world cups in 2006/7/8 And distinctly remember that Champery had a Helo on site for the entire weekend, it was parked almost next to the pits, in fact i think there is footage on a Sprung?? video of a rider getting winched for evac in the middle of practice, we are talking minutes from accident to evacuation, not hours. I also recall there was low cloud at Valnord in 2007 and because the Helo couldn't fly, practice (or maybe qualies) was postponed until it was safe to fly again. I've been up and down MSA a few times, alpine/euro pilots evac from WAY more inaccessable places on a regular basis. Even if this is not possible, a spine board and stretcher could have had Brook of that mountain in 30 mins or at most an hour. Then it is a short drive to the nearest hospital. This all should be in a pre-race plan. We are talking World level sport here, not a sunday kick-about in the park

This was over 10 years ago???? have we regressed in rider safety? It is an utter disgrace, and as for the none-life threatening aspect, go sit a UCI commisaire on a mountain with a broken spine and see how long he's prepared to sit it out for. UCI/MSA whoever is actually at fault, you should be ashamed.

Team managers should be joining forces and laying the law down on where they will/wont race.
  • 2 0
 At Rampage they have a heli on site for the event. When I had my crash I was in the air in 20 mins and in the CT machine in Las Vegas within an hour. Hell in 5 hours I was back in Virgin in time for the After Party!!
  • 1 0
 All this was is a disclaimer against the organizer and injured persons.

UCI should not have any right to be exempt from responsibility; nor, the organizing of assistance for evacuation protocol.

This is what corporations do to screw anyone under them, in order to benefit themselves only and not having to pay anything for failure to follow through.

Where i live, the hospital has a helicopter ready for an evacuation as such.
  • 1 0
 Why couldn't they just pay for the private helicopter to be on site for the hours of activity from the day practice started until the last rider crossed the finish line? The 50minutes it took the crew to get to the heli and the 50 minutes of flight there would have been removed. And the crew would have been able to assess the conditions that day even before the accident.

Am I wrong to think the private helicopter could be hired for the entirety of the event?
  • 1 0
 If the UCI blatantly states they have no responsibility at all for medical services other than the occasional check to see if the bare minimum they require is met then why do they have a medical director? It sure isn’t to do public relations statements which you clearly suck at.
  • 1 0
 „The first doctor was on the scene within 30 minutes with all the necessary heart monitoring equipment and sedatives.“

I was part of a DH orga team back in 94-98 for only national races. It was without saying and clear rules, to have full equipped doctors at the race. And to get to the place can’t take 30 min! This is unbelievable, to state that all went correct.
  • 1 0
 I personally assisted a guy who got airlifted from Whistler Bike Park and it took an hour and a half from the time he crashed to the time he was airborne. That was just a regular day at the park. No event going on... Non life threatening injuries. No Spinal Cord Injuries.
  • 2 1
 I would like to mention that I’m a resident of Montreal, Quebec and when I heard this I was frustrated and furious against the f*cking MSA mountain crew that are not organised at all. I sent then a furious mail and message the minute I was aware of this event. MSA mountain is a f*cking disaster for the UCI pros but worst for the people that ride on weekends. I have been all around north America riding in places remote and I felt safer there than any time riding MSA. This f*cking mountain doesn’t deserve the publicity it gets, and Brook should sue them and the UCI for a poor organisation. The UCI should go back to Bromont or another mountain where there is a real mountain crew. IN MSA you hardly see nobody when you ride and if you crash your going to die on the f*cking mountain because there is no f*cking medical crew because no one rides DH on this f*cking expensive mountain that could be the equivalent of Whistler but the crappy administrators cant make something worth of this amazing mountain, yes this mountain is f*cking amazing, the people administrating it are a bunch of f*cking losers worth shit!

f*ck MSA and f*ck the UCI and their political answer that are worth shit!

The Bulldog must bite some heads off! Speedy recovery DH brother!
  • 1 0
 One of my buddies fractured there vertebrae on a ride with myself and one other person. Location was remote, a evacuation trial had to be brush out as well as a helicopter landing site. We managed to coordinate this in BC only took us three hours for him to be in a hospital. Full recovery.
  • 1 0
 Event organiser has to complete in-depth injury recovery pre race and that’s not a issue for uci, if they feel it was correct that needs addressing by the event not the uci as early reports highlight the heli situation if it’s not danger to life and each country has different protocols how and why a medical heli is used. Bit crap but that’s reality
  • 1 0
 "even if it was impossible to ever get a heli there, Brook should never have been on the hill for longer than an hour, much less five, just to wait for a helicopter. Per google maps, its a 30 minute drive from St. Anne to Quebec City, seems like a no brainer to have ground transport ready with such difficult heli legislation."

I remember when I was a kid playing rec soccer league, what I now call "amoeba ball" when all the kids just run around the ball in a group , where you were either "blue" team or "red" team. There was always a rescue team on site...for 30 middleschoolers...playing amoeba ball.
  • 1 0
 "It should be pointed out that the place where the accident occurred was very difficult to reach."
Well you know that in advance, don't you?

"... and the difficulties posed by trees and cables in accessing the area, the helicopter eventually landed"
Those trees and cables have been there before as well, isn't it?

"arrangements put in place by the organisers complied with UCI Regulations,"
Should that not read "UCI Regulations will need to be revised in order to ensure organisers have a solid plan in place for an (emergency) evacuation at each section of the track, to be executed in the unfortunate case of an accident"

Self-reflection has never been the UCIs (or any of these sanctioning bodies) strongest points...
  • 1 0
 I am working in emergency service and I attended the UCI DHWC in Leogang this year. There were 2 crashes of riders that needed air transportation. the Heli was on scene in Max. 15 minutes. the problem in Canada is that there is no air rescue that is always available and in the near of every scene. its very sad that the UCI is not holding a Heli for the race on scene. When a rider goes down hard there is literally no other possibility to get him of the scene in an adequate amount of time an pain
  • 1 0
 First off I have never seen so many comments on a PB article before...even the 26 VS 29 debate didn't get this many. Also, I am glad that brooke will be OK and although he has a long road ahead at least he still has a road. I hope that they were able to make him as comfortable as possible with pain meds while he waited. I've had several very strong painkillers for different injuries. When I broke my collorbone I was given Demerol and once it hit I wouldn't have cared if my hair was on fire. With that being said I just don't understand why they didn't have a better plan for a WORLD event. These were racers at the very top level of their sport riding very dangerous terrain. They should have thought for worst case scenario and planned for it. Suppose it was a life threatening injury that was time critical...Brooke would have been dead and no race is worth that. So there should have been a helicopter on standby at or close to the mountain at the ready. They should have also taken into consideration where a crash is likely to happen and thought about evacuation procedures. They should have thought about a planned route to take. There also should have been a back up plan in place. Maybe have some sort of vehicle placed at certain spots on the mountain to take an injured person down safely. Why wasn't there some kind of 4x4 placed on a fire road as close to the course as possible. I'm not saying anything the other 10,000 comments haven't said. I was surprised there wasn't better preparation on the mountain for an event of this type. It isn't too hard to plan a head for situations like this. After a rider crashes isn't a time to be discussing plans on how to get him out of there. If one good thing comes out of this that will be good, Maybe next year there will be better preparations. Maybe because of Brookes accident the UCI will make requirements for better medical emergencies. Maybe require a certain amount of emergency doctors on the mountain for an event of this magnitude. And Brooke, if you are reading this I vote for it to be called the Macdonald rule! So maybe this will shine a light on the problems of emergencies on the mountain.
  • 5 1
 Sounds.... so.... Trump-ish.
  • 3 0
 In a time when you can’t take a sh*t without a risk assessment, this is just unacceptable.
  • 4 1
 Boycott UCI races. IXS or Crankworkx to develop alternative racing series. Vote with your feet riders and spectators.
  • 1 0
 Wonder what his response would be if his back was broken and he was lay out for 5hrs before arriving at hospital. Pain and fear must be off the chart for Brook. Can't imagine not feeling your legs properly after a crash.
  • 2 0
 Why on earth is the helicopter stationed 50 minutes away and the crew another 50 minutes away from that?! Clearly unacceptable!
  • 1 0
 The helicopter then flew Brook to Quebec City Airport (the hospital’s heliport having been closed for maintenance work).

So the hospital didn’t have a back up plan for when the helipad was closed for maintenance?
  • 4 0
 I would imagine using the airport is the backup plan
  • 1 0
 I have an idea, next year when they go to put on this race people just don’t go. No one signs up for the race. f*ck em! They wanna screw around and not take the race seriously then riders don't need to go risk their life.
  • 7 7
 Dudes.... Grow up! We play in an extreme sport with extreme conditions. If you think helicopters should be on standby or rescue teams should be faster at races you are freaking crazy. So just stop doing extreme shit or pay to have your own helicopter and rescue teams on standby. If organizers are going to be held responsible or blamed for stuff like this they will stop organizing events or possibly charge insane entry fees. We all sign up with the same goal in mind, have fun, win races and try not to get hurt. Shit happens and sometimes we get hurt, we love Brook and wish him a fast, full recover. Get well Brook!
  • 1 1
 @LuckyFoes Are you for real?? This wasn’t a bunch of riders having a play in the woods of a weekend. It was the World Championships. The very pinnacle of mountain biking. Vast sums of money changed hands in order for this race to take place. Organisers should be 100% accountable for not having correct safety plans in order. I don’t know about MSA but 11,000 people go to a Fort William World Cup on race day alone. That’s £550,000.00 having ambulances or helicopter on stand by is a tiny drop in that ocean. Rider safety is important, or would you rather return to something akin to Motorcycle Grand Prix racing of the 50’s? It wasn’t a complete weekend unless somebody died. Is that the kind of entertainment you want? Riders shouldn’t have to “pay for their own helicopters” That’s why a governing body sanctions races. I suggest you do a chunk of growing up, or at least grown up thinking before you type another response.
  • 1 0
 @Cord1: ????????Its the worlds!!
  • 1 0
 @Baseball67: yes, it is? Have I missed your point?
  • 2 0
 xavier.bigard@uci.ch

Perhaps after Mr. Bigard's tender and heartfelt correspondence to the mountain bike community we should respond?
  • 2 0
 As a lawyer, I recognize this statement as 100% crafted with litigation in mind.

Everyone who's reading this as a customer satisfaction document is missing its intention.
  • 1 0
 Doesnt really cut it does it... We get a way quicker medic and helicopter response at our local club races for injuries less substantial. This isn't good enough for such a large scale event..
  • 1 0
 Proves what we all already know, the UCI don't give a f@#k about mountain bikers! These guys deserve better and are risking a lot for very little(financially). The first priority should be the riders well being!!!
  • 1 1
 Inexcusable. Proper protocols were not in place. Gross incompetence on both the UCI and RCR Mont St Anne. The UCI and RCR should be sued for causing undue and prolonged suffering to Brook.
  • 1 0
 I can just imagine Brook lying in his hospital bed thinking, what a pack of fucking wankers. Heal up Bulldog, your determination and progress is inspiring to follow.
  • 2 0
 With internal bleeding being a thing,how the hell did anyone know this wasn't a life threatening crash?
  • 1 2
 Pretty much like all parents do with their kids after a little while (that's how you spot parents having only one small kid). If he is crying and making a lot of noise, looks like he is ok and will survive.
  • 1 0
 5h and no word of excuse. Well done UCI. In the Alps people get taken out by Helis within 30min due to broken fingers or hands ...
  • 1 0
 So basically if you hurt yourself in the shitty french bit of canada on the weekend you might at well just say cee uci next Tuesday...... not good enough they deserve better.
  • 2 0
 UCI..open your deep pockets and have a private helicopter on site..no excuse..you f*cked upFrown
  • 1 1
 Next year (assuming it is still on the calendar) i predict $100 scenic heli rides for spectators during downtime to pay for itself Smile

And a new addition to the photographer shot list: helicopter landing zone + Heli + pilot.
  • 2 0
 And you know what... that could be a good idea. Just need a good plan so they do not forget to have fuel for it... Razz
  • 3 0
 Red bull has a chopper...
  • 1 0
 UCI doing UCI shit. What were we expecting?

I hope this man's child never gets hurt in a similar way.

Every bad situation must lead to an improvement. Period.
  • 1 1
 The first doctor was on scene in 30 MINUTES!?!?!?! I saw a doctor arrive on a Gixxer 600 in the Isle of Mann TT in a tenth the time. What if you find a doctor who can ride a DH bike?
  • 1 0
 What a sad organization - I hope this young man does not sustain permanent nerve damage from the time he spent on the side of the mountain.
  • 1 0
 So why do they not contract a private company at every damn site to have a medical helicopter on standby. Seems to work at Rampage...
  • 1 0
 At the end of the day the accident happened at the World Championships in one of the worlds most wealthy countries. 5 hours on the hill is just unacceptable
  • 2 0
 Backprotection should be mandatory for all MTB races. That would maybe have avoided this entire situation
  • 1 0
 Brook was wearing back protection because that is mandated at MSA. Back protection does not make you a battle tank and able to take all and every hit. I think you need to reassess the actual effectiveness of back protection, because it is nowhere near what you think it is.

So, no, this "entire situation" would not have been "avoided".

To think a little piece of plastic will stop a broken bone...lol....
  • 2 0
 So psyched UCI is now involved with EWS 3
  • 1 0
 I’ve said it before I’ll say it again, the UCI is ruining the sport, change my mind
  • 2 0
 Whistler should step up and put in a bid for a WC race instead of MSA.
  • 1 0
 Xavier Bigard is a jackass! Typical BS excuses tryi g to cover his ass. No apology, then F off Xavier!
  • 1 0
 get well soon Brook, these people deserve going to hell, fuck corporate responses, these are bad people.
  • 1 0
 Very interesting that the only heli options are military or private. Does STARS air ambulance not operate in Quebec?
  • 1 0
 This is the largest piece of bullshit ass-covering I have seen in a long while. Brutal.

Heal up Brook \,,/
  • 1 0
 Want to know the real story? Find the on-hill doctor. I bet that dude was livid.
  • 2 0
 So the UCI basically said “he didn’t die so it’s alright.” Wtf
  • 1 0
 keep fighting Brook. in our thoughts every day and of course on every ride.
  • 1 0
 That's awful the UCI should have a much better response team at every race. good luck with recovery Brook.
  • 1 0
 WTF was that? IMO Teams should refuse to race until UCI can provide timely evacuation, and perhaps a riders union.
  • 2 0
 United Confederation of Incompetence
  • 1 0
 Seriously! He could have had serious internal bleeding! And that is more than qualified as "life-threatening situations"....
  • 4 3
 Pink bike commenters never cease to amaze or entertain. Social justice warriors at their worst.
  • 1 0
 Easier to blame others when your ass is on fire. Sad, really sad.
  • 7 6
 Canadians refusing to say sorry??? Oh, right, this was in Quebec.
  • 3 3
 Tu connais bien les québécois pour dire ca toi??? Je crois bien que c'est la 1ere fois de ma vie que j'entend dire ca entk...
  • 3 0
 Lot of people here seems to have problem with us, I am sorry about that.
  • 2 0
 For the uninformed, it's a quirk of some anglophone Canadians to say Sorry often. Not many do it, same as not many say eh. But the stigma remains. The Québécois are obviously completely different - they do not do this at all, and especially not when speaking French.

However, the UCI Medical Director should have said "sorry" for sure, and "we've learned and will do better next time", but he won't because it implies culpability and therefore responsibility.
  • 1 0
 Fuck the UCI and fuck their lawyers two times.
  • 1 0
 f*ck it. I just hope he'll be 100% healthy again.
  • 1 0
 #Bullshit!!!! The sooner he would have got to the hospital the better!!!!
  • 1 0
 Guess UCI doesn't follow HIPAA
  • 1 0
 Fuking joke!!!!! No helicopter at the finish 24h NO RACE!!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 United Cunts Incorporated
  • 2 1
 Heli on site, period!
  • 5 1
 Gets complicated/ cost prohibitive if you want a rescue helicopter that can carry supline patient ,operate in mountains have a winch and crew for the good part of a week

Airbus H145 helicopters, Cost Can$12,500,000.
Random guess operating Cost per min $60 plus crew ?? $4000/hr
Fly back to base each night
Unfortunately/ fortunately mtb isn’t F1
Get well soon Brook
  • 1 0
 Sure, but let's also accept that some event may not afford to take place anymore, including some EWS events. How about regional racing ?
  • 2 0
 Going forward I would expect they will get a supply agreement with a rescue helicopter.
And a evacuation plan for each area of the track along with transportation plan to get the Dr to the patient for each part of the track

Sounds like a good use of an ebike
A mtb first aid supplies company could even sponsor it.

@opignonlibre:
  • 3 0
 @gcrider: red bull has a chopper...
  • 2 1
 @mattg95: RB also cuts costs to max - I ruptured my Achilles at foxhunt, waitedover 30+ to have med coming to me, which was told by the radio to leave me there because it was only "a sprained ankle," learned there was only 7 medics on scene and I wasn't even sent to an hospital - good times !
  • 2 0
 @gcrider: only our SAR and Mil choppers do actual airlift. the private companies are air ambulances essentially. its different from province to province.
  • 2 0
 @gcrider: Most hills with decent downhill tracks will be very steep to walk up let alone cycle
  • 2 0
 I was more thinking riding to an access point. Then on foot. @korev:
  • 2 0
 @gcrider: you should work for the UCI
  • 1 0
 Get SAR Mil helicopter onsite with military recruitment personnel as they are having major difficulties currently. No additional cost to race , uci or country(except fuel) as military staff would already be getting paid.
  • 1 0
 @gcrider: you mean like a recruitment booth alongside having the trained professionals to operate the helicopter I would hope..... that said, our military/sar is woefully under funded and having a helicopter stationed there might be a challenge. Also the area isnt very big and a CH149 needs a large area plus armed military personnel to protect the helicopter would be bad optics around a bunch of drunk fans (we drink/party as fans at these races). maybe even just allowing the military to operate offsite would work vs using the private company to ensure quicker medivac. 2c
  • 4 5
 French people don’t admit they’re wrong what’s the surprise?
  • 1 4
 My final comment is: nobody seemed to care until the article came out.

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