Ski Patroller & Mountain Patrol @ JMHR, TSCAR Volunteer, and Full-time Fire/EMT with Jackson Hole Fire/EMS
Steve serves our community as a Ski Patroller, TSCAR Volunteer, and full-time Fire/EMT with the Jackson Hole Fire/EMS. Initially, Steve came to Jackson to ski and work construction, but ended up staying for the community.
“I love the small town feel and how close knit this community is. I love driving anywhere in town and being able to wave to someone I know or see friends in the grocery store.”
After a few years of working construction, Steve pivoted to explore the world of prehospital care.
“It was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to pursue prehospital care. I knew it wasn’t a financially rewarding business, but after a few years of ski bumming and knowing how to be broke, I figured I might as well be broke and try to put myself through EMT school. Plus, driving a fire truck is pretty sweet.”
Steve started his journey into prehospital care through ski patrolling, working at Snow King for three years, five years full-time at JMHR, and then three years ago, went full-time at Jackson Hole Fire/EMT and part-time at JMHR.
Steve also volunteers with Teton County Search and Rescue, joining in 2021 as a part of the most recent recruiting class. He was prompted by a superior at Fire/EMS to apply and was pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming response he received to join the team.
“It’s the reward in helping someone who is sick and far from help keeps me going. I work with a great group of people, which coupled with my competence in the backcountry, helps us to get people out of the backcountry when they’re in trouble."
Steve moved into one of the new Affordable homes on King Street a year and a half ago. Outside of adapting to the different pace of life which comes with moving from Wilson into town, Steve finds joy in the perks of being a short bike ride to the People’s Market and other community events nearby. It’s also critical to him to be a block and a half away from the fire station, if needed, and only a short distance to the SAR hanger, as every minute counts for the person who is in need of responding volunteer’s help.
“The biggest thing that I’ve experienced after securing a home from the CHT is the stability and security of knowing this is where I am and where I will be until I choose otherwise. The amount of compound stress that has been relieved, and continues to be relieved over time, knowing that I don’t have to move is surprisingly a lot – and that’s coming from a guy who doesn’t stress about a lot of things.”
A lot of ski patrollers Steve works with can’t afford to live in Teton County, which means that a lot live in Alpine, Victor, and Driggs. While this doesn't seem like a big deal, it’s on those frequent, heavy snow nights that closes the Pass or the Canyon, that means that Ski Patrol is running at a deficit when working to open the mountain.
“Since I live in town, I can still make it to work, I can still get out there to run the control routes, and we can get the mountain open. We’re doing it shorthanded, so it’s not happening fast. It’s only because I live in town that I can consistently be there to help open the mountain, no matter the weather.”