This page contains basic help information for the HeliCat Incident Recording & Exchange (HIRE), which is hosted at HIRE is a collaboration between HeliCat Canada and the SFU Avalanche Research Program (SARP).

Objective of HIRE

The main objectives of the HIRE system are:

  • To allow operations to track incidents and associated injuries in an efficient way.
  • To raise the situation awareness around incidents in the mechanized skiing community by facilitating theĀ  confidential sharing of select incident information.
  • To collect exposure information (e.g., guest ski days, guide days) in an efficient way.
  • To build the foundation for evidence-based incident prevention initiatives in the future.

Functionality of HIRE

Viewing incident records

The dashboard of the HIRE system provides an overview of your recorded incidents in the current season. The dashboard is the default screen of the application. Click on the Exclamation icon in the menu bar on the left side of the screen to reach the dashboard from other parts of the application.

The dashboard includes the following elements and functionalities:

  • Summary counts of incidents, incidents with injuries and incidents with fatalities at the top of the dashboard
  • An overview table with key information on incidents
  • Various filter options to limit what incidents are shown in the overview table. The Text Search field allows you to search the text in a limited number of fields (title, narratives, patient injury details).
  • Click on the different headers to sort the table according to a particular column.
  • Click on an incident to see the incident narrative in a pop-up window.
  • Click on the Edit button in the pop-up window to find more detailed information about the incident.
HIRE - Dashboard with list of incident records.

Recording incidents and associated injuries

Follow these steps to record an incident:

  • To create a new incident record:
    • Click on the Plus Sign icon in the menu bar on the left side of the screen.
    • Entre the identifying information for the incident (informative title without personal identifiers, date and time) and select the appropriate incident type (click here for definitions) in the initial pop-up window. Note that you cannot change the title and type of the incident after is has been created.
  • To edit an existing incident record:
    • Click on the incident in the overview table on the dashboard.
    • Click on the Edit button in the pop-up window.
  • Enter the relevant information into the different section of the incident form.
    • Location details: Information about where the incident happened.
    • Incident details: Detailed narratives of the incident.
    • Condition details: General information on weather and other relevant conditions.
    • Patient details: Injury overview and links to detailed patient records
    • Incident type specific details: Other relevant information that is incident type specific.
    • Attachments: Links to relevant files (e.g., photos, reports)
    • Sharing: Specifying privacy level of incident record and shared incident narrative.
    • Notes: Free text field for miscellaneous, unstructured notes about incident (e.g., how entered what, notes for follow up)
  • Set the correct status of the incident (In Progress, Waiting for Info, Complete) in the header of the incident form.
  • Click the Save button in the top right to save the incident record.
  • Click the Print button in the top right to print the incident record.
HIRE - Incident record form (location details)
HIRE - Printing of incident record

Sharing incident information with community

To increase the the awareness around incidents within the mechanized skiing industry in Canada, HIRE allows the the sharing of a limited number of data fields among all subscribers of HIRE. The shared fields include:

  • Title of incident
  • Date of incident
  • Type of incident
  • Summary of injuries and fatalities (from injury overview in patient details section)
  • Shared incident description (from sharing section)

Please do not use any names in the title or the shared incident description to guarantee the privacy of the people involved. The information stored in all other fields and attachments remains private to the submitting operation even when the incident record is marked as shared.

To share an incident record with the HIRE community, complete the following steps:

  • Click on the incident you want to share in the overview table in the dashboard.
  • Click on the Edit button in the pop-up window.
  • Click on the Sharing label to open the sharing section of the incident form.
  • Set the Sharing Status to ‘Shared’. The default for this field is ‘Private’.
  • Enter a meaningful narrative into the Shared Incident Description field avoiding any personal information about any patients.
  • Click the Save button in the top right corner to save the updated information.

To make an incident record completely private again, follow the same steps, but set the Sharing Status to ‘Private’.

Viewing incident information that other operations have shared with community

Incidents that have been shared by other operations can be viewed in the dashboard of the application. To view these records, click on the Private/Community toggle button above the overview table. To view the shared incident description of an incident, click on it in the overview table. This opens the incident description in a pop-up window.

HIRE - Incident record - Sharing detail section
HIRE - Dashboard with incident records shared by community.

Entering seasonal exposure numbers

The HIRE system also allows participating operations to record their seasonal exposure information. This information is required by HeliCat Canada and it is critical for meaningful risk analyses. Complete the following steps at the end of each season:

  • Click on the Chart icon in the menu bar on the left side of the screen.
  • This gets you to a screen that provides an overview of your past seasonal exposure information. These include
    • Guest Skier Days: Seasonal total number of days of skiing of paying and non-paying guests.
    • Guide Days: Seasonal total number of days of skiing of individuals in leadership positions (guides, tail guides, apprentice guides)
    • Pilot Days: Seasonal total number of pilot flying days
    • Staff Days: Seasonal total number of staff days at the lodge, hotel or base facility.
  • To edit an existing record, click on the row and change the information in the pop-up window.
  • To add a new record, click on the Add button on the right.
  • To download the information in a user-friendly CSV file (can be opened in Excel), click on the Download Exposure button and choose the type of exposure information you want to download.
HIRE - Seasonal exposure screen

Managing user accounts

Since the incident information stored in the HIRE system is sensitive, it is critical to tightly control access to the system. To create, edit or delete user accounts, click on the People icon in the menu bar on the left side of the screen. This functionality is only accessible to users with administrative privileges (opadmin, hccadmin, admin).

  • To add a new user, click on the Add User button on the right.
  • To edit a user, click on the blue Edit icon in its row on the right.
  • To create or reset the password for a user, click on the green Lock icon in its row on the right.
    Please use cryptic passwords that include letters, numbers and special characters. The security of the entire system depends on it!
    Note that individual users cannot change their password on their own.
  • To delete a user, click on the red Trash Can icon on the right.

The default role for users is ‘user’. Only users that need to manage user accounts should be given the ‘opadmin” role.

HIRE - User management

Important definitions

The critical definition provided in this section include:


In the context of HIRE, an incident is defined as an unintended event that either resulted or had the potential to result in injuries, death and/or substantial damage of property. HIRE supports the recording of incidents that involve guests, guides, pilots/drivers and staff.

Incident types

When creating a new incident record, the user needs to specify an incident type. This is used to create the appropriate forms and include the relevant custom fields. The following types of incidents are available:

  • Skiing – avalanche: Any incidents involving avalanches.
  • Skiing – crevasse: Any incident involving crevasses.
  • Skiing – snow immersion: Incidents involving non-avalanche related snow immersion. This includes both tree well and other deep snow immersion incidents.
  • Skiing – general: Any other incidents that occurred during skiing, but do not fall into the above categories. Examples include simple skiing injuries from falls or collisions.
  • Hiking/mountaineering – general: Any incident related to summer hiking and mountaineering activities.
  • Mountain biking – general: Any incident related to mountain biking activities.
  • Helicopter: Any incident involving helicopters, regardless whether they are in the air or on the ground.
  • Snowcat: Any incident involving snowcats.
  • Snowmobile: Any incident involving snowmobiles.
  • Motor vehicle: Any incident involving a motor vehicle not covered by any other category (e.g., regular car, truck, van).
  • Lodge / Hotel / Base facility: Any incident that occurs at a lodge, hotel or base facility (e.g., accident slips and fall, kitchen accidents)
  • Medical condition & Illness: Any incident related to a medical condition or illness that is not necessarily related to the recreational activity (e.g., cardiac arrest, strokes, anaphylactic shock)
  • Other: Any incident that does not fit into any of the above categories.

Injury severity

HIRE provides a wide range of field to allow users to describe the nature and severity of injuries in great detail. However, to provide a quick overview of the injuries associated with an incident, HIRE users are asked to summarize the injury severities in the Injury Overview table on the Patient Details tab of the incident form. The definition of the three categories are:

  • Fatal: Injuries that led to the passing of a person.
  • Major injury: Completely torn tendons (e.g., Achilles tendon) or ligaments (e.g., anterior cruciate ligament), substantial
    fractures (e.g., limb, ankle, jaw, spine), major dislocations (e.g., hip, shoulder) or involvements that required resuscitation (e.g., avalanche burial, non-avalanche related snow immersion).
  • Minor injury: Bruises, minor fractures (e.g., finger, toe), sprains or lacerations.


If you are experiencing issues with the system, contact Pascal Haegeli at