Hello Fellow Patrollers,
With the ever-changing world and situation with the COVID-19 virus, here are some recommendations and suggestions for Bike Patrollers and Bike Hosts while on the trails based on my own experience so far. In addition to the general recommendations of remaining 6-10 feet from other individuals at all times, it’s also recommended to NOT ride in any sort of formation, to allow 50 feet or more between riders on the trail, or even on the road. Of course, check with land managers and municipalities as local rules and regulations are evolving constantly regarding COVID-19. Some parks and trails may close with short notice.
As far as additional personal safety precautions, this is the responsibility individual Patroller and may be heavily influenced by state or local protocol. Each of us is unique and has a different situation and perspective on this. Depending on how prepared you are and the injury you encounter, it may be best to keep your distance and call 911 or a local emergency phone number. I know I significantly modified my pack before my ride yesterday to carry more personal protective gear. As you can see in the picture below, I added a homemade face mask which I had in my pocket, along with a pair of gloves so I can quickly access them for a general conversation, someone needing directions, etc. In my pack, I added our NSP National Mountain Bike Patrol (NMBP) wind shirt for a level of protection for my upper body, a N95 face mask that I happened to have from my workshop, a small bottle of antibacterial hand wash, a pair of clear safety glasses, a skull cap and a 3M face shield that I also had in my workshop. Yes, this all fit into my existing pack. Yes, it weighs a little more. But I feel I am as prepared as I can be. Naturally, if you do offer any medical assistance, treat all patients as if they are carrying the virus. After you are finished, secure all PPE for proper disposal, do not enter your home or even your vehicle with any PPE, clothing or gear that may have been exposed. Shower with hot water and soap as soon as possible. Disinfect gear with soap and water.
I am sure most of you do not have or cannot currently get professional face shields. You can find many options for creating a homemade one online, which is better than not having one at all. (NOTE: NSP does not officially endorse any of these homemade options.)
As usual, scene safety is paramount, provide care to your level of certification, and represent the Patrol with the utmost level of professionalism. The trails are as busy as ever, and our role as NSP Bike Patrollers remains “Assist, Educate and Inform”.
See the official message from Charles Allen, NSP Medical Advisor below, along with links to the Center For Disease Control (CDC).
Happy Trails, stay safe and ride on,
Wade Hartmann, NSP Bike Patrol
Direction and resources from NSP’s National Medical Advisor, Charles O. Allen, DO, FACOEP:
NSP would like patrollers to refer to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website link provided below for the most trusted, up to date information. This link will take you to the NHTSA’s website titled “Preparedness”. You will find a COVID-19 link under Resources with a “Situation Summary” & “Interim Guidance for EMS Systems and 911 PSAPs for COVID-19 in the US”. These links are dynamic and updated daily. We refer you to these resources for any planning and questions you have with your patrol and ski area.
- Learn more about the disease from the CDC here.
- For EMS specific information, click here to go to the NHTSA’s website here.
- To learn more about what NSP is doing, visit our COVID-19 information page here.
Please discuss these with your local medical advisor and area management for consideration in your local protocols.