QRS - Quick Response Services
by: David W. Hayes
EPA Region Interagency Liaison

Several alpine ski patrols in the Eastern PA Region have successfully met all the requirements and are recognized as Quick Response Services [QRS] by the Pennsylvania Department of Health [DOH]; Division of Emergency Medical Services Systems. Each patrol is thereby "considered an integral part of the emergency medical service system in the Commonwealth".
QRS Seal of ExcellenceEach Patrol received a Certificate of Recognition and reflective Seals acknowledging their accomplishment. Other Pennsylvania patrols are currently pursuing recognition.

QRS recognition is a statewide program sponsored by the DOH as a voluntary recognition program. It is coordinated through local Emergency Health Service Councils and the Commonwealth's Division of Emergency Medical Services Systems located in Harrisburg, PA. All ski patrols in Pennsylvania are eligible to apply for the recognition.

QRS recognition provides Pennsylvania patrols a number of advantages:

  1. Access to Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund [EMSOF]. This fund provides financial resources to apply towards the purchase of emergency medical equipment, radios, and other items that are typically used in providing emergency services.
    (For instance: In the latest publication by Emergency Health Services Federation's "Dispatch" magazine, it was reported that Whitetail Resort Patrol QRS [SW Section] was awarded $2,321.00 of 97-98 EMSOF funds. One of the expenses included was an AED for the patrol.)
  2. EMS frequency authorization and radio communications links to: 911 Dispatch Centers, Emergency Departments, BLS/ALS Services, and other emergency services in the region.
  3. Increased exposure to EMS community that improves rapport, understanding, and recognition of NSP abilities, training, and quality care.
  4. Recognition of NSP standards of care by a governmental agency.
  5. Enhanced quantification of the quality of care during potential litigation situations.
  6. Support of NSP goal for increased interagency interaction.


To date, no pertinent negatives have been identified with pursuing QRS recognition that would adversely effect the National Ski Patrol, local patrols, patrollers, or the EMS community.

Just in case...a contingency plan is available in the event conditions arise that would indicate an inconsistency with National Ski Patrol policies and/or regulations; or, if the Department or local Councils would dictate policies inconsistent with the views of the National Ski Patrol. In the event of such occurrences, reversal of the current achievements are easily accomplished and a full retreat from any association with the Commonwealth and EMS organizations can be implemented.

In addition to the QRS project, the EPA Region, has successfully lobbied for recognition of the NSP-OEC training curriculum by the DOH. The NSP-OEC curriculum has been accepted as "substantially" equivalent to Pennsylvania's First Responder Training.

Furthermore, the National Ski Patrol has been accepted as a member of the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council [PEHSC]. PEHSC is the advisory council to the PA Dept. of Health. David Hayes, EPA Region Interagency Liaison, and Steve Schopfer, WAPP Eastern Section Chief, are the primary and alternate NSP representatives on this council.

Eastern PA Region

National Ski Patrol - Eastern Division -
All Rights Reserved

Eastern PA EMS Council

PA Ski Patrol




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