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Snowbowl's volunteer ski patrol gears up for expansion

Posted at 2:30 PM, Dec 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-04 16:30:19-05

The volunteer ski patrol at Montana Snowbowl runs around 60 deep and has been preparing for the mountains expansion for about three years according to their director.

With a new season at Snowbowl just about here -- and with the new lift and expansion of the mountain -- their volunteer ski patrol has been looking for ways to help keep people safe. So, they turned to three sponsors to get some new pieces of equipment to do just that.

"Very generous of Community Medical Center, Providence Saint Patrick Hospital and NorthWestern Energy. [They] all made substantial contributions toward our effort to purchase two new AED’s for the patrol," Snowbowl Ski Patrol Director Joe Lustik said.

An Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) helps someone experiencing cardiac arrhythmias and helps steady the heart's normal beat. Having an AED at the point of crisis gives a victim better odds of surviving the emergency.

"Having the resources to provide the best care at the point of care as a first responder is so much better for the entire chain of care for each patient," Lustik said about the importance of response time.

"So if we can get an AED to a cardiac arrest and support that with CPR as we hand that off to advanced life support that patient has a much better prospect of surviving and thriving,” he added.

Snowbowl’s ski patrol wanted the AEDs not just for the mountain, but also other events they provide emergency services to like trail running and mountain biking events.

"We wanted to have more resources both on and off the mountain to support the volunteer patrol. And not having any AEDs was a real void in our resources. So, that's what motivated us to pursue this." Lustik added.

Snowbowl already had an AED in their lodge but the ski patrol having their own means it can travel to the point of cardiac episode.