Big Sky Search and Rescue

Our Members


tr> Wilderness First Responder; Rigging for Rescue; Heli Short-Haul; Avy I

Mike Arneson

Mike Arneson Year you joined BSSAR: 2011

Year you moved to Big Sky: 2001 part-time and full-time in 2011.

Why you joined BSSAR: It's all about helping people when they REALLY, REALLY need assistance. If not us, then who?

What special talents you bring to the team: None whatsoever apart from being a hardworking team player with the desire to improve my skill sets.

What you do for work: "Substantially" retired. Volunteer ski patroller at Big Sky resort and an Eagle Mount Adaptive Skiing volunteer.

Family and pets: Wife (Sue); two daughers (Kelsey & Kari).

Your certifications: EMT; Wilderness First Responder; AAA - Avalanche Level 1.

Jeremy Blyth

Jeremy Blyth Year you joined BSSAR: 2016

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Mark Bradford

Mark Bradford Year you joined BSSAR: 2006

Year you moved to Big Sky: 2002

Why you joined BSSAR: To help out the community and have fun in the backcountry.

What special talents you bring to the team: I bring strong motor skills to the team with years of snowmobiling, four wheeling, and dirt bike activities.

What you do for work: Golf Course Superintendent and Road Maintenance for The Club at Spanish Peaks

Family and pets: Wife Melissa, daughter Hadley and no pets just my toys.

Your certifications: Wilderness First Responder

Kevin Budd

Kevin Budd Year you joined BSSAR: 2005

Year you moved to Big Sky: 1997

Why you joined BSSAR: I like knowing that someone is willing to come and find me or save my butt if an accident should occur in the backcountry. Sometimes your partner can only do so much. I think a good way to give a little to Big Sky is to be part of the team that gets to perform those skills.

What special talents you bring to the team: EMT, beginning helicopter training.

What you do for work: Carpenter

Family and pets: My wife, Heather and our weird cat Murphy

Your certifications: EMT

Greg Clark

Greg Clark Year you joined BSSAR: 2011

Year you moved to Big Sky: 2002

Why you joined BSSAR: To help those that visit and live in our area.

What special talents you bring to the team: Being the biggest Oregon Duck fan on BSSAR and probably Montana.

What you do for work: Big Sky Fire Department

Family and pets: The four loves of my life, my daughters Braxtin and Lachlan, son Kadel and their wonderful mommy Jolene. Our dogs and first born Blu and our cat Thelma.

Your certifications: Paramedic

Steve DiTullio

Steve DiTullio Year you joined BSSAR: 2005

Year you moved to Big Sky: 2001

Why you joined BSSAR: I first joined BSSAR to contribute to the community and help out in an area I felt I could be of some use. I also felt that with the amount of time my family, friends and I spend in the backcountry this organization would bring me to a new level of backcountry awareness and safety.

What special talents you bring to the team: Knowledge of the Gallatin Canyon and Hebgen Lake areas along with horseback experience; hunting; ATV's; and skiing. Good all around grunt.

What you do for work: Hammond Property Management managing high-end properties in Big Sky.

Family and pets: Wife Amy; daughter Drew; sons Anthony and Dominic; pets include dogs; cats; horses and chickens.

Your certifications: Wilderness First Responder

Andy Dreisbach

Andy Dreisbach Year you joined BSSAR: 2009

Year you moved to Big Sky: 2004

Why you joined BSSAR: There is no greater satisfaction than being able to help someone in their greatest time of need.

What special talents you bring to the team: A lot of our recreational pursuits cross over to the calls we get so to have that segue into rescue is a natural fit.

What you do for work: I own a construction company, Cornerstone Management Services.

Family and pets: Four children (Killian 14; Hannah 9; Charlee Sue 7; Tor 2). A beautiful wife Joanie. Two dogs (Shea a Newfoundland and Tucker a Golden Retriever).

Your certifications: Whitewater Rescue Institute; Wilderness First Responder; EMT; Alpine Ice and Rock Climbing Team; Alpine Ski Hasty Team; and Hasty Heli Team.

Chris Ebeling

Chris Ebeling Year you joined BSSAR: 2012

Year you moved to Big Sky: 2012

Why you joined BSSAR: I joined because it was an opportunity to use my skills in the mountains to help my community. BSSAR uses a very diverse set of skills and includes people from such different backgrounds, it's always an educational challange.

What special talents you bring to the team: I bring the human powered side to SAR. Backcountry skiing and alpine climbing primarily.

What you do for work: I am a Pro Ski Patroller at Big Sky resort in the winter and a photographer in the summer.

Family and pets: Family is on the West Coast and no dog....yet.

Your certifications: EMT; AAI Avalanche Level II

Julian Gerardi

Julian Gerardi Year you joined BSSAR: 2012

Year you moved to Big Sky: 2012

Why you joined BSSAR: I have been a member of the Alpine, Hasty and Heli teams for Gallative Valley SAR since 2008 so when I moved to Big Sky I wanted to join the local team here as well.

What special talents you bring to the team: I'm familar with a lot of the backcountry surrounding Big Sky. I'm very active and participate in just about every possible sport MT has to offer. I especially enjoy skiing, snowmobiling, whitewater, climbing, pedal and dirt biking.

What you do for work: Project Manager for Highline Partners.

Family and pets: My adorable German Shorthair Pointer Tika.

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Ed Hake

Ed Hake Year you joined BSSAR: 1992. Myself and 6 others formed BSSAR and got us a vote at the county level as part of the Gallatin County SAR.

Year you moved to Big Sky: I was raised in the Gallatin Canyon. Big Sky wasn't here.

Why you joined BSSAR: With the increase of backcountry use, it became apparent that we couldn't wait for the valley SAR to get here since paging was non-existent. We decided we needed quicker responses and better backcountry medical care for our patients. So, BSSAR was formed.

What special talents you bring to the team: Knowledge of the area (outside of the ski resorts). Horseback experience, backcountry snowmobiling, ATV, whitewater kayaker.

I feel I bring a sense of continuity to this organization. I have been on the board and a past president since 1992 and seen just how far this group has come over the years and hope to see how far we can go in the future. Plus, I have unbelievable skills as a negotiator with the sheriff….ha,ha,ha.

What you do for work: I have owned and operated Canyon Adventures since 1990. I owned Covered Wagon Outfitters from 1981 to 2002.

Family and pets: Wife Kathy, kids April and Eddie, grandkids Cameron and Dane. 1 cat and 3 dogs.

Your certifications: Wilderness First Responder, Rescue 3 Whitewater, Avalanche I Certification

Devin Heinle

Devin Heinle Year you joined BSSAR: 2016

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Phil Hess

Phil Hess Year you joined BSSAR: 2015

Year you moved to Big Sky: 2015

Why you joined BSSAR: To offer my time and skills to community members and visitors in need, in a way that combines my professional and recreational interests.

What special talents you bring to the team: Understanding of the full spectrum of medical care from the field through the Emergency Department.

What you do for work: Medical Director and Staff Physician at Big Sky Medical Center.

Family and pets: 2 adult daughters, old dog Chipper.

Your certifications: WFR, ATLS, ACLS, PALS

Ryan Kulesza

Ryan Kulesza Year you joined BSSAR: 2005

Year you moved to Big Sky: 1998

Why you joined BSSAR: Being in Big Sky since 1998 I have come to love the area and spend more time in the Mountains than most dream about, I am very fortunate. As a result all the knowledge from medical training to crisis management that the Big Sky Search and Rescue program gives me is HUGE and I enjoy helping.

What special talents you bring to the team: Knowledge of the area and experience ATVing, horseback riding, skiing, hiking, hunting, pack trips, camping and so on.

What you do for work: I own Ladd, Kulesza and Company which is a real estate brokerage, consulting and development company.

Family and pets: Unmarried, couple horses, dog , cat, couple plants, 4 wheeler

Your certifications: Wilderness First Responder, Outdoor Emergency Care, and National Ski Patrol Endorsements

Derek Lennon

Derek Lennon Year you joined BSSAR: 2013

Year you moved to Big Sky: 2011

Why you joined BSSAR: If I need help in the backcountry, I hope someone will come for me. I'm keen to learn and want to help.

What special talents you bring to the team: I'm an outdoor enthusiast who loves spending time in the backcountry both professionally and recreationally.

What you do for work: Ski Instructor at Big Sky Resort and Lead Guide at Ski Arpa, Chile.

Family and pets: My wife Mia and my dog River.

Your certifications: EMT; Wilderness First Responder, Outdoor Emergency Care, Canadian Avalanche Association Level i; American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education (AIA) Level II; AMGA Ski Guide Course

PJ Martin

PJ Martin Year you joined BSSAR: 2016

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Your certifications: EMT

Tom Moran

Tom Moran Year you joined BSSAR: 2014

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Your certifications: EMT

Rich Piercy

Rich Piercy Year you joined BSSAR: 2005

Year you moved to Big Sky: Full-time in 2006

Why you joined BSSAR: I joined because being retired I finally had some time to do volunteer work and I love the environment in which we work.

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What you do for work: Volunteer ski patroller at Big Sky; volunteer Big Sky Fire Department.

Family and pets: Wife Leslie and dog.

Your certifications: EMT, Wilderness EMT

Justin Rau

Justin Rau Year you joined BSSAR: 2016

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Steve Schumacher

Steve Schumacher Year you joined BSSAR: 2014

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Your certifications: EMT

Nancy Sheil

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Your certifications: WMT-B, Wilderness EMT

Jeff Trulen

Jeff Trulen Year you joined BSSAR: 2006

Year you moved to Big Sky: 1998

Why you joined BSSAR: I like the outdoors and love to help people that are having a bad day.

What special talents you bring to the team: My prefferd choice of transportation is motorized therefore, I bring a motor head mentality that allows me to get to hard to reach places fast. I also found out I have a knack for getting my snowmobile out of tough situations. I also dirtbike; hike; mtn.bike; wake board; ski; snowboard; snowmobile; play softball; hang out with my boys and collect designer handbags.

What you do for work: I am currently a project manager for Big Sky Build. We build huge homes in the mountains!

Family and pets: Wife and two crazy twin boys, bikes, skis and snowmobiles.

Your certifications: Wilderness First Responder; AIA Level II (snowmobile); Polaris mechanic; Tele-skier; split-boarder; college graduate and father.

Seth Turner

Seth Turner Year you joined BSSAR: 2012

Year you moved to Big Sky: I moved to Big Sky in the winter of 1996 to work for the ski resort and continued each winter until moving here full-time in 2004

Why you joined BSSAR: I joined to BSSAR because I wanted to be able to offer some assitance in emergency situations and be a part of something that helps out our community. I know that if I were lost or injured in the backcountry I would want someone to look for me, so what a GREAT way to earn some Karma points!!

What special talents you bring to the team: Besidesjust being an overall outdoor enthusiast, I have almost 20 years of whitewater kayaking and raft guiding experience along with the same in backcountry skiing. I love to dirtbike, climb and mountain bike too!

What you do for work: For 9 years I have owned and operated Black Tie Ski Rentals in Big Sky. I also work full-time at Geyser Whitewater Expeditions as a safety kayaker, raft guide and kayak instructor.

Family and pets: My wife Lacey and I have two very happy Labs - Murphy and Otter.

Your certifications: Wilderness First Responder; Swift Water Rescue Technician I; US and Canadian Avalanche Level 1; ACA Certified White Water Kayak Instructor III.

Heather Walker

Heather Walker Year you joined BSSAR: 2012

Year you moved to Big Sky: 2010

Why you joined BSSAR: I love the outdoors and know that sometimes things just go wrong so, I want to be there for those that need help.

What special talents you bring to the team: I have a high level of fitness; lots of life experiences in the outdoors which gives me a calm and methodical approach to problem solving. I'm a great team player and take orders well. Love to bike (mt & road); hike; Kayak; ski; hunt and do anything that challenges me and makes me sweat.

What you do for work: Volunteer with the Big Sky Fire Department and Big Sky Ski Patrol.

Family and pets: Married since 1981 to Don. We have two overly active German Shorhair Pointers Shea and Wilson.

Your certifications: EMT; Wilderness First Responder; Avalanche Level 1

Ryan Welch

Ryan Welch Year you joined BSSAR: 2014

Year you moved to Big Sky: 1997

Why you joined BSSAR: I joined to learn new skills which in turn could benefit the community and my family. It's also a good excuse to hang around a great team of people and toys!

What special talents you bring to the team: I'm a good team player with a decent understanding of the recreational activities the Big Sky area offers.

What you do for work: I work for Hammond Property Management.

Family and pets: Married to my wife Joanne, two kids Heidi and Canon. One dog Weezie and one horse Shakedown.

Your certifications: Wilderness First Responder.

Jeff Wexall

Jeff Wexall Year you joined BSSAR: 2013

Year you moved to Big Sky: 1995

Why you joined BSSAR: To give back to the community of Big Sky, because it has helped me so much.

What special talents you bring to the team: I try to be a team players and I can do all of the seasonal mountain sports, except horseback riding....I'm terrible at it.

What you do for work: I am a custom homebuilder and run my own company called "Innovative Woodworks".

Family and pets: My wife Elana and 2 cats - Paws and Woodchip.

Your certifications: Wilderness First Responder; AIA Avy II

Rob Wood

Rob Wood Year you joined BSSAR: 2016

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Your certifications: EMT

Mason Young

Mason Young Year you joined BSSAR: 2014

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Your certifications: Wilderness First Responder
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