I would like to respond to the letter from Dr. Hill published in the Aug. 31 edition of the Lakes District News. The injury Dr. Hill referred to in his letter did not occur during the Big Pig Mountain Biking Festival. The accident occurred the previous day, and was a trail builder testing a new trail. I would like to speak to Dr. Hill’s other comments regarding confirmation that adequate medical staff would be available during the Big Pig event. One of the event organizers did speak at length with the head nurse of the hospital and a full schedule was provided. This discussion confirmed that indeed adequate coverage was scheduled during race events. Burns Lake Mountain Biking Association (BLMBA) conducts very thorough safety and emergency planning prior to and during the Big Pig events that goes far beyond what we are required to do by insurance and land use. Emergency access routes, three level three first aid personnel and five BLMBA members have wilderness first aid. Spotters on course, first aid kits, stretchers and an emergency transportation vehicle were on site. The ambulance station was informed prior to the event as well as the hospital staff. In the four years of hosting the Big Pig Bike Mountain Biking Festival our emergency plan has only been tested once. Last year, a 15 year old male suffered a radial fracture of his ankle. A testament to our response plan is that the young man’s parents returned to the races that afternoon to thank the BLMBA for taking such good care of their son. I’m proud of the entire group of members, volunteers, and everyone involved to make the 2011 Big Pig Festival a success.
Kevin Derksen BLMBA president, Burns Lake