Open Sky Wilderness Therapy is widely recognized for its unwavering dedication to the safety and well-being of students. Open Sky prioritizes maintaining the highest standards of safety in the program by following industry best practices and utilizing state-of-the-art equipment. The focus on safety at Open Sky is evident through the following key measures:
Open Sky invests in the training and development of field guides who play a crucial role in providing support, structure, and leadership to students. Field guides undergo an intensive orientation and training program upon joining Open Sky. The training covers wilderness safety, runaway prevention, self-harm prevention, de-escalation techniques, emotional safety, first aid and CPR, medication administration, weather-related challenges, communication systems, and medical emergency response. Ongoing training is also provided by Open Sky's leadership, clinical, and medical teams, ensuring that guides receive continuous education in areas such as risk management, therapeutic skills, communication protocols, safety equipment usage, emergency response, and first aid.
Open Sky recognizes the importance of effective communication in maintaining safety. Advanced communication technology is utilized to establish reliable and efficient communication between field operations and support personnel. Field guides are required to check in twice daily using handheld radios, satellite phones, or cell phones. These regular check-ins enable continuous monitoring and prompt response to any needs or emergencies. Specific response sequences are in place for non-scheduled calls, with priority given to medical or clinical issues.
Open Sky has full-time support personnel available 24/7 to provide assistance for any emergent need. These professionals monitor radio and phone communications to promptly support field teams as needed, including medical assistance, managing inclement weather, supply delivery, or logistics assistance. Operations and field leadership team members carry cell phones to provide immediate support when required. Open Sky has also established strong relationships with local search and rescue teams and sheriff's departments to ensure quick emergency response capabilities.
Open Sky has a highly skilled medical team consisting of Wilderness First Responders (WFRs), Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), a psychiatrist, and a Medical Director. The medical team is available around the clock to provide necessary medical assistance. Field guides can consult with the medical team over the phone for minor injuries or student illnesses. If further medical support is required, arrangements are made for additional care or in-person treatment. Field guides leading student teams at Open Sky are nationally certified WFRs or EMTs, equipped with the training to assess and manage various health conditions. Open Sky also maintains strong relationships with nearby medical facilities, ensuring easy access to advanced care if needed.
Open Sky equips its teams with state-of-the-art safety equipment to enhance student safety in the wilderness. This includes gear and tools necessary for safe outdoor living, emergency response equipment, communication devices, and specialized equipment tailored to specific activities or potential risks. By providing reliable and up-to-date safety equipment, Open Sky empowers its teams to effectively handle challenges and prioritize student well-being.