This new seminar was developed with the need for more vigorous education, medical knowledge, and rescue techniques in austere mountain environments. Silverton EMS (Silverton San Juan County Ambulance Association), San Juan County Search and Rescue, Silverton Avalanche School, The Mountain Medicine Institute, LLC and University of New Mexico, School of Emergency Medicine, Diploma in Mountain Medicine Program have teamed up to provide state of the art medical education, the latest in mountain medicine, alpine rescue and high end avalanche awareness and education in one seminar.

Mountain Medicine Institute, LLC started in 2014 with a goal to combine mountain medicine with avalanche safety skills. This company was started to act as a foundation to provide mountain medicine education in combination with other mountain rescue/safety training paradigms. The goal is to provide high end, outcome-based wilderness medicine education with a hands on field component while combining skills in avalanche awareness, snow safety, mountain travel, and other general mountain travel and expedition skills. The courses are developed in the spirit of experiential education with future goals to provide mountain medicine education in other paradigms of rescue and safety (ie swift water rescue and technical rock rescue), but in the meantime will utilize human volunteers for training exercises. Please see outline for proposed course that is attached.

Silverton, Colorado is a very remote, mountainous environment that is experiencing a significant increase in high acuity/EMS calls especially in the remote backcountry and wilderness in our county. This has created a need to combine EMS and SAR in order for these patients to receive appropriate care and rescue. Over the last three years both of these agencies have merged their resources to meet this challenge.

Silverton EMS has been in service since 1972. It started out as an all-volunteer EMT-Basic service that evolved into an Intermediate Service. Since 2013, Silverton is an Advanced Life Support service that works in some of the most remote and rugged terrain in the lower 48 states. San Juan County has the highest mean elevation of any county in the United States. The county also has the most avalanche terrain in the U.S. and most avalanche chutes along a major highway. Silverton and San Juan County are very much like a national park in that there is year round tourism and backcountry experiences leading to some unique logistical and patient care challenges. Their EMS/SAR system meets and exceeds the definition of austere environments.

San Juan County Search and Rescue has been in existence since the early `70s. It was the first SAR team to get organized and technically trained to handle high altitude, climbing, avalanche rescues in addition to the normal rescue situations. In October of 2016 San Juan County SAR was voted in as a member of the International Comission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR) which will allow it to stay on the forefront of mountain rescue and mountain medicine standards. Silverton Avalanche School is a division of San Juan County Search and Rescue.

The Silverton Avalanche School, located in Silverton, Colorado is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to avalanche safety education, and an American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) course provider. Courses are taught by nationally recognized members of the American Avalanche Association (A3), AIARE, and the Canadian Avalanche Association. Their instructors include CAIC staff, snow scientists, and a host of mountain rescue specialists. they adhere to the AAA’s Guidelines for Avalanche Course Curriculum. Many of the instructors present new methods at the International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW) and are active in researching the fundamentals of avalanche processes.  SAS and SJC SAR are the same non-profit organization. SAS joined the International Comission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR) in 2016. 

The University of New Mexico International Mountain Medicine Center is one of the premier programs for mountain emergency medicine and rescue in the world. Our faculty consists of mountain rescue paramedics, emergency medicine physicians, and mountain guides. We focus our teachings on internationally accepted and evidence based concepts, and strive to contribute to the general knowledge base of our field through research, education, and our own mountain rescue practice in New Mexico. Our internationally recognized courses equip health professionals with the knowledge and skills to adapt their medical practices to the mountains. Students leave ready to become technical and medical leaders for rescue teams around the globe.

American Medical Association Accreditation Statement

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of the Wilderness Medical Society and The Mountain Medicine Institute LLC. The Wilderness Medical Society is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) designates this educational activity for a maximum number of 16 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM.  Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Paramedics and EMT’s recieve Continuing Education credits approved through the State of Colorado and the State of New Mexico.

Symposium Faculty:

Charles W Mains, MD, FACS Attended Duke Medical School and completed surgical residency at the University of Colorado Medical Center. He is board certified in surgery and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Mains is the trauma medical director at St Anthony’s Hospital, an American College of Surgeons verified Level I trauma center, and is the director of trauma for the Centura Health Trauma System which includes 15 Centura trauma centers and 8 other affiliated hospitals throughout Colorado and Kansas. He chairs the Mile High Regional Trauma and Emergency Medicine Advisory Council as well as the trauma center Designation Review Committee for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. He is the author of numerous publications involving both basic science and clinical research, and often serves as an invited speaker on a wide variety of trauma topics. Activities include rock and ice climbing, skiing, fly fishing and biking.

Jay Mathers, DO, Conference Planning Committee Member John ‘Jay’ Mathers, DO graduated from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, he earned his BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  He attended the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1990 and graduated in 1994 with degrees in Geography, International Relations, Environmental Conservation and Biology.  While at CU-Boulder, Jay taught climbing and mountaineering courses for the University of Colorado Outdoor Program. After graduating from CU-Boulder he went on to work for the Colorado Outward Bound School teaching mountaineering/technical climbing courses and working as a ski patrolman for the Telluride Ski Patrol.  In 1999, he worked his first VIP patrol with the Denali National Park Service at the 14200’ camp doing mountain rescue work for the park. After this he participated in two more patrols, one in 2000, and then in 2005 as a 4th year medical student. He has a fairly extensive mountaineering and climbing career in North and South America including; 4 summits of Denali–one via the Cassin Ridge, one ski descent from the summit and a ski traverse of Denali.  He has ascents in the Cordillera Blanca in Peru and has climbed in multiple places in North America with a few first ascents of rock climbing routes in Colorado and Utah. Dr. Mathers graduated from medical school in 2006; he then trained in Family Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and practices rural emergency medicine and hospitalist medicine. He is board certified in Family Medicine and is a fellow candidate in Wilderness Medicine.   He currently works in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Animas Surgical Hospital in Durango, CO.

Kimmet Holland NRP AIARE II, Conference Planning Committee Member Kimmet has an extensive 35 year EMS/Rescue/fire background. He started his EMS, Fire and SAR careers in the Albuquerque area in 1982. His experience includes volunteering with Bernalillo County Fire Dept. and Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Council. He worked at Albuquerque Ambulance paramedic, field supervisor and left in 1998 as an operations supervisor. During this time he also worked part-time as a flight paramedic and for the Town of Bernalillo EMS. Kimmet started his fire career in 1998 with Santa Fe County Fire Department as he worked his way up the ranks from paramedic/FF, Lieutenant, and retired in 2012 after 8 years as Assistant Chief of Operations and Training. During this time he was the Chair of Santa Fe Community College EMS program’s advisory committee and the director of Santa Fe County Fire Department’s Academy.  Kimmet also worked part-time as a ski patroller for Santa Fe Ski Area. Currently he is the Director of Silverton’s EMS, Member of San Juan County Mountain Rescue and is on the Board of Directors for Silverton Avalanche School. Some of his certified skills include: high/low angle rescue, swift water rescue, confined space and trench rescue and avalanche rescue. Hobbies include skiing, climbing, mountain/road biking, backpacking and rafting….to name a few.

Doug Godomski, NRP Doug has been in EMS for over 35 years in wilderness, urban and critical care/flight settings. He was a charter member of Socorro SAR and a former NM SAR Mission Coordinator. At the University of New Mexico EMS Academy he is a full-time lecturer and lead instructor for their online paramedic program. In addition to his paramedic program duties, Doug is involved in developing distance education solutions and coordinating continuing education. He’s the Educational Technology Committee Co-Chair for the National Association of EMS Educators. Doug holds a Bachelor’s Degree in EMS and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Learning and Instructional Technology.

Jason Williams BS, NRP, DiMM, Conference Planning Committee Member As Director of the International Mountain Medicine Center at the University of New Mexico, I oversee all Austere, Wilderness, and Mountain Medicine programs. I am the founder/director of UNM’s Diploma in Mountain Medicine program and co-direct the Wilderness Medicine Rotation for fourth year medical students and residents. I grew up in the world of EMS and SAR and have practiced my love of mountain rescue for over 15 years. Most recently I formed a specialized mountain rescue group through the UNM EMS Consortium called the Reach and Treat team. When I’m not at the university, I collaborate with Beverly Mountain Guides and have been an integral component to notable expeditions including a National Geographic documented excursion of the crystal caves in Mexico. I have rock climbed all over the world but know that nothing beats being perched on a granite cliff face in the Sandia Mountains with my life-long climbing partner/wife.

Jim Donovan, Emergency Manager,  EMT-B, Conference Planning Committee Member Jim is an avid mountain rescue specialist.  He serves as the Emergency Manager for San Juan County and is a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician based out of Silverton Colorado. He serves as the Captain for the San Juan County Search and Rescue Team and works on the local ambulance service. Jim is trained in high angle rescue and works on rock and ice mediums. He has extensive wilderness rescue experience, ranging from jungles to mountains. In the winter months he directs the Silverton Avalanche School, the historic and premier avalanche training program based in the heart of San Juan Mountains. He is an avid backcountry skier and enjoys climbing the mountains throughout the year.  Jim has professional certifications in avalanche and rope access work. He represents SAS at ICAR.

Leo Lloyd RN, NRP, Conference Planning Committee Member Leo is currently the EMS Training Captain with Durango Fire & Rescue in Durango, Colorado. Much of Leo’s pre-hospital medical experience (over 30 years) has involved both ground ambulance paramedic responsibilities in the Durango area and 9 years as a critical care flight nurse / paramedic with the Air Care Medical Flight Program based in Farmington, New Mexico. Leo has been an active member of the La Plata County Search and Rescue in Durango since 1985. He is also an instructor with Rigging for Rescue based in Ouray, Colorado. In addition to being an active climber (rock and ice), ultra runner, and backcountry skier, Leo is also a husband (wife Susie) and father of three boys.

Stoney Molina NR-P, FF-I, AIARE-II, Conference Planning Committee Member Stoney grew up in a small agricultural and mining community in western Colorado and spent most of his young life reading and playing soccer. He began his career in outdoor recreation and education at Colorado Mesa University’s (CMU) Outdoor Program in 2009. Since then, he has traveled domestically and internationally to ski, climb, bike, boat, scuba dive, and induce cultural disorientation.  He has worked professionally for Adventure Bound River Expeditions (Grand Junction, CO), and Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. (Ashford, WA). He has studied wilderness and prehospital medicine through CMU, the National Outdoor Leadership School,  Professional EMS Education (Grand Junction, CO), and completed his firefighter and rescue certifications through San Juan College (Farmington, NM), Durango Fire Rescue (Durango, CO), and Rigging for Rescue (Ouray, CO). When he’s not working he enjoys eating food, hunting, and hanging out with his chocolate lab, Clark.

Trevor Mayschak BS, NRP, DiMM After completing my Bachelors of Science in EMS and the Diploma in Mountain Medicine program at UNM, I then went on to intern with Grand Canyon National Park as a Paramedic. During my stay there, I provided ALS services on the ambulance, down the trail, and on the helicopter. After completing my internship, I moved back to Albuquerque to work for the various wilderness medicine and mountain rescue courses here at UNM. During my time as a lecturer, I have provided education for the National Park Service at Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon, Yosemite, and Carlsbad in addition to the various search & rescue teams throughout the State of New Mexico. I have taught and presented original research on topics related to technical rope rescue at the 7th World Congress on Mountain and Wilderness Medicine as well as the International Technical Rescue Symposium. Outside of work, I spend most of my time in the amazing outdoors of the Southwest.

David Hughes, MD Dr. Hughes is an emergency physician who came to work at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango, CO in 2004 after completing EM residency in Grand Rapids, MI.  Soon after arrival, he began providing medical direction to Upper San Juan ambulance in Pagosa Springs, CO where he found great satisfaction working with medics.  Since then, he has affiliated with several other agencies and is currently the medical director of Silverton ambulance / San Juan County SAR, Durango Fire & Rescue, Flight for Life- Durango base, Purgatory Ski Patrol.  He also acts as EMS liaison for Mercy Regional Medical Center.  The vast amount of high mountain wilderness adjacent to red rock desert is primarily what drew him to Durango and he enjoys any activity that involves exploration of his amazing backyard.

Jenna White MD, DiMM I practice emergency medicine in the UNM hospital system, am faculty in both the EMS and Wilderness Medicine fellowships at UNM, and am an instructor in the UNM EMS Academy. After finishing residency at the University of Michigan, I completed a 2-year EMS fellowship at UNM, with a focus on rural EMS, wilderness medicine, and prehospital care in austere environments. During my fellowship, I completed the UNM Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM) program. I now co-direct the Austere and Mountain Medicine programs at the EMS Academy, and serve the New Mexico Search and Rescue community as medical director for both Cibola Search & Rescue and the UNM Reach & Treat Team. I provide EMS medical direction for Cochiti Fire & EMS and Sandoval County Fire Department. I instruct UNM residents on point-of-care ultrasound, and also teach a prehospital ultrasound course for EMS providers.

Chelsea White MD, NRP I completed my EMS Fellowship at the University of New Mexico, and my Emergency Medicine Residency at University of Michigan. I became involved in EMS in high school in Orange County, Virginia, and am still a Nationally Registered Paramedic. I currently serve as EMS Medical Director for the Bernalillo County Fire Department, Acoma Pueblo Fire Department, Pueblo of Laguna Fire and Rescue Program, and the To’Hajiilee Field Office of Navajo Nation EMS. I serve on the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Medical Control Board as well as the New Mexico State EMS Medical Direction Committee and the New Mexico State EMS Licensing Commission.

Aaron Reilly DO, DiMM I was born in Louisiana, went to college at Louisiana College, then to medical school at Kansas City University of Med and Biosciences. After medical school, I completed a transitional internship at Balboa Naval Hospital and spent four years as a flight surgeon before doing my residency in emergency medicine in Philadelphia. I then went on to complete a fellowship in Wilderness Medicine and the Diploma in Mountain Medicine at the University of New Mexico, where I am currently on faculty. My special interests are in race medicine, search and rescue, and medical education in the austere environment, as well as social media and its role in medical education.

Tim Henley BS, NRP, DiMM  Tim has been working professionally in the austere setting since 1998 when he began leading wilderness courses for Outward Bound. Tim has worked for Project Adventure, Philmont Scout Ranch, worked in residential treatment (taking kids climbing and skiing), and has guided clients climbing in the Sandias. Tim has been actively involved in the Austere and Mountain Medicine Program since graduating from UNM in 2015. He practices medicine in New Mexico with the Santa Fe Ski Area pro-patrol, UNM Reach and Treat Team, and as a member of local area event EMS companies. Tim grew up in the greater Boston area as has been making up time for that in various mountain settings, backpacking, canoeing, skiing, climbing, biking, hunting, fishing, and now in mountain rescue. Tim teaches WFR and WFA courses while also instructing paramedics, nurses and physicians as they complete their Diplomas in Mountain Medicine.  Tim’s interests include heuristics in decision-making and psychological and behavioral issues. 

Greg Childress, NRP After several years in the cubicle world of instructional design Greg ventured out into his emergency services career in 2001. Starting out as a firefighter-EMT with Osceola County Fire & Rescue in the metro-Orlando, FL area he spent 8 years working in a high volume, low-income district. Although the work experience was extremely valuable and rewarding, living in the Orlando area was becoming increasingly less appealing as the population swelled substantially during that time. Yearning to get back to the small-town living he grew up in, Greg loaded the wagon and headed west for Durango in 2009 and began working as a firefighter-paramedic for Durango Fire & Rescue. In 2015 Greg was given the opportunity to take over the position of Volunteer Coordinator for DFR where he currently supports a division of 72 amazing community members serving as volunteers in a variety of capacities. During his time in Durango he also served as DFR’s Community Education Coordinator and Silverton San Juan Ambulance Association’s Training Coordinator.

Manuel Genswein  Manuel is a native of the Swiss Alps who lives in Meilen and has done snow-safety work in 29 countries. Using an electronic engineering background, he has also developed rescue products and techniques that have been applied around the world. He invented the Easy Searcher avalanche beacon training device used at many ski resorts around the world. He also developed the V-shaped conveyor-belt shoveling approach and the optimized search strategy for multiple burials.

Travis McGrath RN BSN CFRN, Conference Planning Committee Member I am a flight nurse and Durango base manager for Flight For Life Colorado at Mercy Regional Medical Center.  I have been in the medical profession for 20 years ranging from a ski patrol position to my currently held profession.  My outdoor experience is fairly broad to include outdoor education, guiding and most recently adventuring with my 2 young children.

Scott Sholes  NRP Scott is the EMS Chief at the Durango Fire Protection District. His 38 year career in EMS has included ground and air ambulance, backcountry rescue, and building and maintaining Durango’s EMS system. His current service also includes President of the Emergency Medical Services Association of Colorado, Chair of the Southwest Regional Emergency Medical and Trauma Advisory Council, Chair of the La Plata County EMS Council, and President of Heart Safe La Plata. Scott’s passion for the mountains assures he will still find time for rock and ice climbing, backcountry skiing, and backpacking in the San Juans. 

Doug Gadomski, NRP  Doug has been in EMS for over 35 years in wilderness, urban and critical care/flight settings. He was a charter member of Socorro SAR and a former NM SAR Mission Coordinator. At the University of New Mexico EMS Academy he is a full-time lecturer and lead instructor for their online paramedic program. In addition to his paramedic program duties, Doug is involved in developing distance education solutions and coordinating continuing education. He’s the Educational Technology Committee Co-Chair for the National Association of EMS Educators. Doug holds a Bachelor’s Degree in EMS and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Learning and Instructional Technology.

Chris Van Tilburg, MD I grew up adventuring all over the world. After visiting several dozen countries and living for a year in Europe, I earned a BS in Science Communications from University of Portland. After another year of traveling around the world, I attended University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. I trained in family medicine and worked in emergency and urgent care medicine for 15 years. I specialize in wilderness, occupational, emergency, and travel medicine. I’m a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine of the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) and hold a Certificate of Travel Health from International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM).I have a clinical practice at Providence Occupational and Travel Medicine in Hood River, Oregon. I work as a medical expert witness, author, public speaker, and editor.

I work as a medical legal consultant in primary care and outdoor medicine, specifically family practice, rural emergency medicine, urgent care, midlevel providers, and pre-hospital care. I also consult frequently in hypothermia, heat stroke, avalanche injury, deep snow and tree well submersion asphyxiation, cruise ship medicine, and other topics.

I frequently give keynote talks to medical and general audiences, most notably Anatomy of a Search: Lessons from Mountain Rescue and Mountain Rescue Doctor: Balancing Passion and Profession. I frequently talk on deep snow and tree well submersion and avalanche safety. 

Darryl Macias, MD I am currently a Professor of Austere and Wilderness Medicine Programs and Fellowship. My education consists of: Undergraduate: Loma Linda University, Medication School: MD-UCLA, and Residency: Emergency Medicine Residency-UNM. I grew up in the Los Angeles area. After finishing college, I worked as a clinical laboratory scientist and a part-time rock-climbing instructor, and was also an itinerant traveler. After residency, I was able to figure out how to combine emergency medicine with wilderness medicine and have become involved in international EM development.

My teaching interests include: Wilderness, austere and international emergency medicine, improvised medicine, survival; exercise physiology; trauma, cardiovascular disorders, airway and sedation, metabolic disorders. My research interests include: High altitude physiology and accumulation with heat shock protein expression, suspension stress, ergogenic aids in outdoor sport, international EM development.

Jacob Jensen, DO Dr. Jensen was raised in Alaska and has always enjoyed the outdoors. He attended medical school at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences and then completed an Emergency Medicine residency in Peoria, IL. He is nearing completion of a fellowship in Wilderness, Austere, and International Medicine at the University of New Mexico. He enjoys many outdoor activities and shares his love for the outdoors with his wife and four children. In addition to wilderness medicine, he has a strong interest in international medicine and teaching others. These interests have led him to work as a clinician in Haiti, as a physician for a multi-day ultra marathon in northern Chile, and as an instructor in Nepal where he taught wilderness/mountain medicine to over 100 local Sherpa that work as mountain/trekking guides in the Himalayas. He hopes to be able to continue to work locally and internationally throughout his career teaching wilderness and mountain medicine to others.

Sponsors of Silverton Mountain Medicine Symposium