(AP) — State health officials in Nevada have authorized a ski resort to provide its own advanced medical care for emergencies on the mountain.
The Nevada Department of Health Emergency Medical Services Division recently approved the advanced life support care at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe located between Reno and Lake Tahoe.
It is the first time an entity that's not a fire department or medical transport service has received such a designation, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported earlier this month.
"It is an impressive step for the ski patrol at Mt. Rose in patient care and the industry applauds them for their efforts," said Michael Reitzell, president of the California Ski Industry Association. "To my knowledge, it is the only ski area to receive an actual permit to conduct (Advanced Life Support) on the mountain."
Other ski areas, Reitzell said, provide advanced life support via clinics at base areas or through emergency medical transport services.
Before the permit, patrollers at Mt. Rose provided such care through cooperative service agreements with North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District in Incline Village and REMSA in Reno.
With the designation, the resort's ski patrol is allowed to direct and oversee medical practices such as advanced cardiac care, pain management, advanced airway and respiratory support, glucose testing and diabetic emergency care.
"It is not always just broken legs and things like that, it is an array of medical things we see," said Charlie Tabano, a paramedic and emergency medical service manager for Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe ski patrol.
With its own advance life support permit, the resort has full control over the hiring process for advanced care providers. The ski patrol also can hire from a larger applicant pool.
"That is the main goal, to expand our staff so we can provide enough paramedics to cover the mountain," said Charlie Tabano, a paramedic and emergency medical service manager for Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe ski patrol.