Avalanche death of BYU student results in dispatch policy changes

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  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    March 21, 2014 12:32 p.m.

    I must say I am surprised to read some of the comments in this article. Even though they are correct, it seems like they are opening themselves up to a lawsuit.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    March 21, 2014 12:26 p.m.


    Have you ever been to Tibble Fork? The turn off is several miles up American Fork Canyon and then it is another couple of miles to Tibble Fork from there. There is a Lone Peak fire station not far from the mouth of the canyon but it is a small and winding road up that canyon and especially in the Tibble Fork side canyon. Considering she had already been buried for at minimum several minutes before a person got far enough down the canyon to make a call, and then the amount of time it would take the fire crew to get to her after that I highly doubt the outcome of this would have been any different. I can't see how it would have been any quicker than 20 minutes, and frankly I think it would be more like half an hour, best case scenario to reach her. In otherwords if her friends didn't find her within a very few minutes she is dead, it doesn't matter what dispatch does.

    She wasn't going to get saved by a rescue crew no matter what. It was nothing more than a recovery for them.

  • Bruce A. Frank San Jose, CA
    March 21, 2014 10:59 a.m.

    Rather than an emergency call box, which at best would be minutes away, with cell phones so ubiquitous, how about a peak top cell tower that covers the depth of the canyon?

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    March 21, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    30 years in emergency response...

  • PhoenixAZ phoenix, AZ
    March 21, 2014 7:59 a.m.

    Everybody's an expert.

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    March 21, 2014 12:19 a.m.

    Since the policy was clearly in place, and since the dispatcher(s) did not follow it, at least one person should lose their job over this.

    Even though the system required dispatch to "manually" send medical assistance, that should have taken only a few seconds to process.

    It's very unfortunate this death occurred, and it would be even more tragic if the the employment status quo stays the same due to bureaucratic slight of hand or because someone in the system doesn't want a buddy to pay the consequences for their terrible mishandling of this emergency.

    IF the individuals in this situation had done everything they should have, and the young woman died, anyway, then that's another matter.

    Dispatcher(s) notifying medical crews without dispatching them or not making it clear a race against time was occurring cannot be justified.

    Thank goodness the battalion chief responded when he did.