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Big Sky Ski Patrollers Must be EMT Certified By Bob Wilbanks, NSCN

Big Sky Resort has one of the largest Ski Patrol organizations in the United States with 105 professional ski patrollers and 140 volunteer ski patrollers. Training is key and prior to every winter season Big Sky Resort Ski Patrol hosts the Big Sky Medical Refresher. What sets Big Sky Resort’s training apart is all Big Sky Resort patrollers must have an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) license, whereas, most ski areas only require an Outdoor Emergency Care Certification. The refresher training is a 24-hour program over three days designed by the National Education Standards of the original EMT course.

The training started November 15 with almost 300 people in attendance, including Big Sky Fire Department, Summit Air Ambulance, Gallatin Gateway Fire Department, American Medical Response, Bozeman Health Group, and other local medical, EMS, and fire agencies. “Although the Big Sky Medical Refresher is focused on our ski patrollers, it is also a multi-agency effort that shares experience and builds relationships,” remarked Steve Emerson, of the Big Sky Resort Ski Patrol who said, “It’s so important for such a large organization to get our members together to bring everyone up to speed on our standard of care. “The medical refreshers we conduct are required training for our members, but also count as continuing education to go toward their license renewal.”

The practical skill stations have training on backboard mobilization, medical patient assessment, CPR, and more.

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