Kim Bartelson of Winona is the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ 2014 volunteer snowmobile safety instructor of the year.
Bartelson, a retired firefighter, began teaching snowmobile safety in the Winona County area in 1997 after helping with several serious snowmobile accidents while working for the Winona Fire Department.
Today, he is considered the area’s “go to person” for questions about or training in snowmobile activities. Bartelson teaches with a group of volunteer instructors who have stayed together for 17 years. A few new instructors have been added over the years, keeping the class fresh and making sure the classes will continue into the future.
He and his team make sure students have not only memorized class materials, but also understand the material. Parents help emphasize the lessons.
As a former firefighter, Bartelson has experience in emergency medical services and accident assistance. Students also benefit from his experience with cold water training and bluff and trench rescue.
More than 1,000 volunteer instructors teach DNR snowmobile safety courses across the state.
For more information on the dates and locations of these courses, see an online list or call 800-366-8917. For a copy of the DNR’s 2014-2015 Minnesota Snowmobile Safety Laws, Rules, and Regulations handbook, call 888-646-6367 or 651-296-6157 or visit the regulations Web page
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Bartelson is a member of the Country Climbers Snowmobile Club and Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association.