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Saint Alphonsus Ski and Trauma Conference to Offer More Courses Than Ever
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Sunday, October 29, 2023
 

STORY BY KAREN BOSSICK

PHOTO BY MARK SNIDER

More than 600 people, including 400 first responders from 10 states, are expected to attend the three-day Saint Alphonsus Ski & Trauma Conference being held Wednesday through Friday, Nov. 1-3, at Sun Valley Resort.

Attendees will take part in hands-on simulations featuring the best, new practices in caring for those with life-threatening scenarios in the field, such workshops as how to create splints and stretchers from what you might have in your backpack.

They also will hear from speakers like Dr. Tom Marshburn, a former NASA astronaut and flight surgeon who will share about his experience in space and on Earth to inspire attendees to rededicate themselves to improving their skills, teamwork and the understanding of the vital role they play in saving lives.

“As the region’s leading trauma center, Saint Alphonsus is dedicated to supporting these agencies, whether they are staffed by volunteers or paid professionals,” said Dr. Parker Fillmore, Trauma Medical Director at Saint Alphonsus. “First responders are the first line of rescue and therefore a critical piece of any trauma program. Our team that cares for injured patients in the hospital can’t do their jobs without the initial work of those who must make critical decisions in the field, to stabilize and transport patients in a timely manner to our trauma center.”

This year’s conference will feature the largest number of hands-on instructional courses since Saint Alphonsus launched the Ski & Mountain Trauma Conference in 2006. It will cover such topics as stabilizing a patient for transport, backcountry management of hypothermia and frostbite, trauma management, avalanche rescue, delivering babies in emergencies and wilderness wound management. The Idaho National Guard will offer helicopter rescue demonstrations and instruction about how to prepare patients to be airlifted from the backcountry.

Wood River Fire Chief Ron Bateman said the conference offers invaluable help to first responders like his who rescued an injured hunter from a steep canyon in Deer Creek Friday evening.

“We’re super fortunate to have it in our backyard,” he said. “It’s easy for us to send members to the conference because of its proximity, and we certainly take advantage of that.”

Making attendance affordable is key, said Fillmore, and a growing number of supporters helps reduce registration fees and make scholarships available for smaller agencies and organizations.

One such agency is the Fremont County EMS, which is sending 15 paid and volunteer staffers to the conference.

“It’s the most applicable to what we deal with and what we see in rural Idaho,” said Director Bert Mecham.


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