School skiers' air ambulance dramas

AN IPSWICH school's ski trip to the Austrian Tyrol had more than its fair share of drama after two students were airlifted to hospital for tests from the slopes.

AN IPSWICH school's ski trip to the Austrian Tyrol had more than its fair share of drama after two students were airlifted to hospital for tests from the slopes.

The half-term trip to the slopes, near Innsbruck, is a regular February activity for pupils from St Albans High School.

However, this year's dramas left youngsters with a trip they will long remember.

One student was taken to hospital after suffering a panic attack on the slopes. The instructor decided to call the air ambulance. She was checked over and found to be fine and then allowed to rejoin her schoolmates for the rest of the holiday.

On another occasion a student fell awkwardly and there were fears of a back injury. A doctor who was on the slopes said the student should be checked over immediately in hospital in case of damage to the spine.

Again the air ambulance was called but after a full check-up at hospital no injury was found and again the holiday continued.

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Two students did suffer twisted knees while skiing, but the school said this is not unusual among parties of school students who are trying the sport for the first time.

School headteacher Dennis McGarry said: “There were a couple of incidents, but overall they were not major. The trip went ahead as planned and the students enjoyed themselves.”

All the students were back at school this week, none were in plaster or braces.

Mr McGarry said: “If there had been any major problems the school would have been told about them during the week. There were no problems like that.”

In the Alps air ambulances are used as a matter of course to take people to hospital because roads are not safe for normal vehicles drive fast to hospital.

And tourists on ski trips are covered by insurance which pays for them to be taken fast to hospital if there are any fears of serious injury or illness.

N The Austrian Tyrol is in the Alps and is the centre of the country's important ski tourism industry.

n Innsbruck is the capital of the Tyrol.

N Innsbruck was the host city for the 1976 Winter Olympics.

N This year the snow in the Austrian Tyrol has been less plentiful than normal because it is not as cold as usual.

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