North Carolina Fire Chief Dies Following Skiing Accident at Wintergreen
NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A fire chief from North Carolina has died following a skiing accident over the weekend at Wintergreen Resort in Nelson County.
The town of Atlantic Beach, North Carolina announced on its Facebook page around 5 p.m. on Monday, March 11, that 47-year-old Adam Snyder had succumbed to the injuries he sustained on Saturday.
Few details about the accident have been released: It occurred shortly after noon on the lower portion of Sunrise, one of Wintergreen’s “more difficult” slopes, and Snyder was the only person involved.
"We did have an incident on Saturday with Mr. Snyder. You know, thoughts and prayers go out to the family for this. There's not much more we can talk about at the moment right now just out of respect for the family," said Zachary Marlowe, director of ski operations.
Wintergreen Fire & Rescue Chief Curtis Sheets said crews were unable to request a helicopter due to weather conditions. As a result, Snyder was transported via ambulance to Augusta Health.
"Of course our thoughts and prayers are with Chief Snyder, his family, and all of our brother and sister firefighters touched by his obvious leadership in the entire Coastal-Carolina region," Sheets said in a statement.
Snyder, a United States Marine Corps veteran, was later taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center for treatment.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Snyder and his family.
Funeral arrangements are being made as of Monday evening, and the services will be held in Morehead City, North Carolina.
03/10/2019 Statement from Wintergreen Fire & Rescue:
The Internet is buzzing with news, postings, and commentary about Chief Adam Snyder of Atlantic Beach NC being critically injured at Wintergreen on Saturday March 9, 2019. Many have asked why our department hasn't commented. There are two reasons; first, the emotions for us are still raw, and second, as the responding agency there are privacy concerns.
Of course our thoughts and prayers are with Chief Snyder, his family, and all of our brother and sister firefighters touched by his obvious leadership in the entire Coastal-Carolina region.
I feel I would be missing an opportunity if all I did was issue a statement which is similar to everyone else's. Our perspective is different, and it's my goal to provide as much information as I can to hopefully help those trying to process this event.
Please bear with me, I promise there's a point at the end.
Wintergreen Resort is a four-season resort located within the first-due area of Wintergreen Fire & Rescue. The primary first-responders for on-snow accidents are the Wintergreen Ski Patrol members, a separate non-profit organization. I've had the pleasure of interacting with multiple Ski Patrol organizations for over 25 years. I know the Wintergreen Ski Patrol to be among some of the very best in the industry. Typical weekend staffing for them can include Career Paramedics, Flight Nurse Paramedics, and even Physicians. If they determine a patient needs Advanced Life-Support Transport our agency is notified and our ambulance is at their door frequently before the snow-mobile arrives. On clear days, severe patients receive a 10-minute helicopter ride to the University of Virginia, a Level-1 trauma center. Sadly, Saturday wasn't a clear day.
Typical ski-weekend staffing for our mountain station includes one firefighter/paramedic assigned to an ambulance, one firefighter/paramedic assigned to a fire engine, one shift-captain, a volunteer ambulance driver, and our chief of EMS Operations. (Par 5)
For Chief Snyder, Ski Patrol activated the system immediately from the snow and routed our ambulance to a service access road which trimmed minutes off of his typical transport to Ski Patrol. The primary paramedic, the shift captain, and the EMS Operations Chief all rode in the rear of the ambulance while the ambulance driver navigated our mountain roads as quickly as possible, understanding the work being done in the back. With 4 of our Par 5 committed to one call, a transfer of personnel from our second station occurred and a recall of off-duty staff was issued. This is not normal. We threw everything we had at Chief Snyder.
So what's my point, especially since I promised one. We train everyone in our industry to "remember the basics." There are a few basics which every person in fire/rescue knows to be fundamental, although we may not overtly discuss them. First, sometimes terrible things happen to wonderful people. Second, as hard as we try and no matter how much we train, sometimes we simply can't control the variables. And third, at the end of every shift we simply must accept that some things aren't for us to question.
We honestly don't know what happened to Chief Snyder. We certainly don't know why. All we can do is continue to lift the chief, his family, and our peers up in thought and prayer. While our staff struggles to deal with this, we know our burden is nothing compared to anyone who knew Chief Snyder personally.
Curtis Sheets, Chief
Wintergreen Fire & Rescue
03/10/2019 Statement from the Town of Atlantic Beach, NC:
The Town of Atlantic Beach sadly acknowledges that on Saturday March 9th Fire/EMS chief Adam Snyder was critically injured in a snow skiing accident while on a weekend trip with family members at Wintergreen Resort in Virginia. He was immediately transported to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, VA where he remains in critical condition. Family members along with members of the Atlantic Beach Fire Department are now by his side.
Snyder, 47, is a twenty year member of the Atlantic Beach Fire Department and has served the past fifteen years serving chief. He is a United States Marine Corps veteran where he served as a Rescue Swimmer. During his fire-fighting career he has become renowned in Eastern North Carolina by his numerous personal first responder involvements and lifesaving actions.
The Town of Atlantic Beach desires to thank the members of the Charlottesville Fire Department for their kindness shown in reaching out to the Snyder family. We would also like to extend thanks to Chief Jamie Fulk and the Morehead City Fire Dept., the Carteret County Fire Marshal's Office and all surrounding county Fire Fighting/EMS agencies for their continued support to the ABFD. Mayor Trace Cooper, the Town Council and the ABFD members request you hold our chief and the Snyder family in your prayers.