Snowmass history: Off-road equipment

A woman in a rescue basket in 1982. The image accompanied a story in the Dec. 23, 1982 edition of The Aspen Times.
Flint Smith/Courtesy of Aspen Historical Society |

“Snowmass ambulances given off-road rescue equipment,” The Aspen Times reported Dec. 23, 1982. “In memory of former Snowmass Rescue member Jeff Kest, the Snowmass ambulance service recently received a $600 gift that was used to buy equipment for off-road rescues. Ropes, pulley, helmets and a rack of equipment to complement such rescues were purchased with the money, which came from the Jeff Kest Memorial Fund at the Pitkin County Bank and Trust. After installing the equipment in the Snowmass fire station’s two ambulances, members of the ambulance service underwent a special training session that emergency medical technician and rescue instructor Flint Smith taught. Smith said that because (of the previous lack of) the off-road equipment, they were the only ones from El Jebel to Aspen who had not had such training. … Snowmass Rescue Chief Debbie Hutchinson said that the new equipment and rescue skills would be used both in Snowmass area rescues as well as in aiding Aspen, Basalt and Mountain Rescue. The training included instruction in rock climbing, knot tying, primary medical stabilization and evacuation of victims via a litter. … The Jeff Kest Memorial Fund was established two and a half years ago in memory of Kest, who died in a plane crash that killed nine Aspen area residents between Aspen and Crested Butte. Kest was active in establishing an ambulance service for Snowmass and in helping upgrade the ambulance at Aspen Valley Hospital, where he also worked as an EMT.”

According to the caption with the image accompanying the article, “Rescues might not be as easy as the above ‘victim’ might indicate — but Snowmass ambulance crews are ready.”


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