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St. Alphonsus ski and mountain trauma conference helps first responders in Sun Valley

Posted: 4:44 PM, Nov 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-08 18:44:31-05

SUN VALLEY, Idaho — The 14th annual St. Alphonsus ski and mountain trauma conference was back in Sun Valley this week to help first responders prepare for difficult rescues.

First responders, military personnel, ski patrollers and people interested in learning how to save lives in the back country came from all over the country for this conference.

The training features both seminar style learning, but also hands-on training that forces people to work as a team in order to help a patient in a number of different scenarios.

"It is critical, it is the difference between life and death," said St. Alphonsus trauma medical director Stephen Gale. "Being unprepared for some of these really peculiar scenarios can really fail to help the person who is injured, but could also put the rescuer at risk."

Mountain rescues and injuries in the wilderness create all sorts of problems for rescuers because of all of the variables that comes when an accident happens far away from civilization.

It's also training that helps local rescuers here in Idaho hone their skills in order to feel more comfortable in some tough situations.

"When it hits the fan you revert back to your training and being able to learn from pediatric surgeons for me is my favorite part of the conference," said Jimmy Bowman of the Sun Valley fire department. "It gives us more techniques in our quiver."

The ski and mountain trauma conference ends on Saturday, for more on the training participants go through check out the video.