Roman bathsFrom the hushed whispers of ancient civilizations to the contemporary adventures of leisure seekers, hot springs have woven themselves into the rich tapestry of human history. These geothermal wonders, bubbling from the Earth’s embrace, offer more than just a warm soak—they carry tales of health practices, cultural significance, and an enduring allure that transcends culture or location.

The Ancient Thermal Embrace

Beginning back in ancient human civilizations, hot springs have cradled societies in their warm waters. Picture ancient Rome, where the public baths, or “thermae,” became the heartbeat of social life. Romans believed in the medicinal properties of these heated waters, and communal baths became hubs of not just hygiene but also politics and gossip.

Japanese onsenIn Japan, the onsen tradition traces its roots to the eighth century. Here, hot springs aren’t just natural wonders but revered spirits, embodying a delicate dance between the ethereal and the earthly. To bathe in an onsen is to partake in a ritual that transcends the mere cleansing of the body—it’s a spiritual communion.

Europe’s Renaissance and the Spa Culture

As Europe emerged from the shadow of the Middle Ages into the Renaissance, the fascination with hot springs experienced a renaissance of its own. Spurred by the belief in the therapeutic powers of these natural baths, spa towns blossomed across the continent. The town of Spa in Belgium lent its name to these retreats, becoming synonymous with places dedicated to health, relaxation, and social indulgence.

German and Swiss spas, renowned for their mineral-rich waters, drew visitors seeking remedies for ailments ranging from skin conditions to arthritis. The mineral composition of each spring was scrutinized, with some attaining a reputation equal to the finest elixirs.

Hot Springs in the New World

As explorers set sail to discover the New World, hot springs beckoned them in unexpected corners. Native American communities had long revered these natural thermal wonders for their healing properties. The geothermal gems scattered across North and South America became sanctuaries, places where rituals of purification unfolded.

From Tradition to Tourism

beppu hotspringThe 19th and 20th centuries witnessed a shift. Hot springs transformed from revered sites of cultural and spiritual significance to destinations of leisure and recreation. The healing properties that once defined them now shared the stage with the allure of relaxation and escape from the rigors of modern life.

Yellowstone National Park, the United States’ first national park, is home to some of the world’s most iconic hot springs. Here, the vivid colors of the Grand Prismatic Spring and the rhythmic eruptions of Old Faithful showcase nature’s unbridled display of geothermal prowess.

Present-Day Soak: A Fusion of Tradition and Luxury

blue lagoon icelandIn the contemporary landscape, hot springs continue to be both a nod to tradition and a symbol of luxurious escape. Resorts like Yellowstone Hot Springs blend the age-old benefits of geothermal waters with modern amenities, offering visitors not just a soak but an experience.

Today’s hot springs are not merely pools of warmth; metaphorically, they could be considered portals connecting us to a timeless past. Whether you’re immersing yourself in the centuries-old ritual of a Japanese onsen, feeling the minerals of a European spa, or witnessing the geothermal symphony of Yellowstone, each hot spring is a chapter in the story of human fascination with the Earth’s innate healing powers.

Soaking in the History

So, the next time you dip into the welcoming embrace of a hot spring, remember that you’re not just enjoying a leisurely soak; you’re participating in a ritual that spans epochs. The steam rising around you carries with it the whispers of ancient Romans, the tranquility of Japanese onsen-goers, and the adventurous spirit of explorers encountering geothermal wonders in uncharted territories.

The allure of hot springs is a testament to their timeless magic. From ancient civilizations to the modern-day wanderer, these natural marvels remain steadfast, inviting us to soak not only in their warm waters but also in the profound history they hold.

Soaking in mineral waters has been a popular practice for many centuries, and for good reason. Geothermal mineral waters, which are naturally enriched with various minerals and nutrients that come from deep underground, have been known to provide a number of benefits. Whether you are looking to improve your skin or alleviate muscle pain, soaking in mineral waters can provide an excellent solution. In this article, we will explore some of the benefits.

May improve skin health and vibrancy

Kneipp Walk Relaxing FeetOne of the most significant benefits people have reported from soaking in mineral waters is an improvement in skin health. Mineral waters contain high levels of minerals, such as sulfur, magnesium, and calcium, which can help nourish and moisturize the skin. Soaking in mineral waters can help remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, and improve skin texture, leaving you with a brighter and smoother complexion.

Can relieve muscle pain and soreness

Another significant benefit of mineral waters is the alleviation of muscle pain and soreness. The heat and buoyancy of the water can help reduce inflammation, increase blood circulation, and loosen tight muscles. Minerals such as magnesium and potassium found in mineral waters have also been shown to help relieve muscle pain and cramps.

Stress and anxiety reduction

Soaking in mineral waters can also help soothe the body to reduce stress and anxiety levels. The warm water and minerals, work on the muscles and joints to help relax the body and mind, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation. The act of soaking in mineral waters can also be a meditative experience, allowing you to disconnect from daily stressors and focus on your well-being.

Helps support the immune system

soaking in mineral waters at YHSMineral waters have been shown to contain high levels of minerals such as calcium, zinc, and selenium, which can help boost the immune system. These minerals play a crucial role in the body’s immune function and can help fight off infections and diseases.

Alleviates symptoms of certain health conditions

Soaking in mineral waters has been shown to alleviate symptoms of certain health conditions. For example, mineral waters have been shown to help reduce the symptoms of arthritis, eczema, and psoriasis. The minerals in the water can help reduce inflammation and improve skin health, providing relief for those with these conditions.

In conclusion, soaking in mineral waters can provide numerous health benefits. From improving skin health to alleviating muscle pain and reducing stress levels, mineral waters can help improve your overall well-being. If you are looking for a natural and effective way to improve your overall relaxation and sense of wellness, come on over and join us for a soak at Yellowstone Hot Springs!

*Disclaimer: Though there are numerous scientific studies regarding the benefits of mineral waters, Yellowstone Hot Springs does not claim that soaking in mineral waters will treat or cure any diseases.

Hot springs are a popular tourist attraction in many countries. Not only do they offer calming relaxation, but they also often boast beautiful scenery for photos.

Hot Springs State Park in Wyoming

Credit: Charles Willgren under license CC BY 2.0 No changes were made to the image.

In a survey of hot springs trends from the Global Wellness Institute, hot springs are recognized and appreciated for their health and healing potential. Thermal mineral springs are also used as a natural remedy to improve health and recovery for visitors. While hot springs are increasingly sought-after globally, some of the best and most unique ones are right here in the US. Below, we’ll look at some of the most unique hot springs in the country and why you might want to check them out:

Hot Springs State Park in Wyoming

Containing the world’s largest mineral hot springs, Hot Springs State Park in Wyoming is a park that is simple to navigate, offering hiking trails and buffalo fields for excellent landscape photography. In a previous post, we’ve mentioned Hot Springs State Park and highlighted the turquoise and green mineral-laden spring in Thermopolis, Wyoming. Visitors can picnic, explore The Swinging Bridge — a suspension footbridge across the Bighorn River — or soak in the calming springs. The hot springs offer indoor and outdoor options, providing enough room for everyone and preventing congestion. Visitors can also appreciate the view of the State Park’s beautiful summer flower gardens for some colorful photography.

Pohoiki Hot Springs in Hawaii

Pohoiki Hot Springs

Credit: W. Bulach under license CC BY-SA 4.0 No changes were made to the image.

The 2018 lower Puna eruption in Hawaii created several natural thermal ponds, including Pohoiki Hot Springs, as well as a black sand beach that has since become a tourist attraction. Located in Isaac Hale State Park, getting here takes about an hour, but this depends on where you’re coming from; it could take two to three hours coming from the Kona side of the island. To get to the Puna District, where the hot springs are located, you’d need to travel by private car.

There are plenty of car rental options on Hawaii’s Big Island to help you get south of the city of Hilo, allowing you to enjoy the lush green surroundings, heated tide pools, and freshwater springs. Traveling by car in Hawaii is also a great sightseeing opportunity for rugged coastlines and lava fields, especially if you’re looking to explore past your hotel or resort. Once you reach the town of Pahoa, you’ll be able to get to your target destination when you see the detailed signage in the area.


Unique Hot Springs - YHSYellowstone Hot Springs Resort in Montana

One of Montana’s newest hot springs experiences, the Yellowstone Hot Springs is located between two mountain ranges on the bank of the Yellowstone River. The mineral-rich pool waters have become visitors’ go-to for a relaxing, stress-free day.

If you want beautiful scenery to accompany your hot springs experience, you can enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains and the big Montana sky. Visitors will also be able to enjoy other attractions in and around Yellowstone National Park, such as wildlife, thermal geysers, and the sunset. The Yellowstone Hot Springs also offers seasonal campsites and RV parking, with plans to offer cabin rentals for a family-friendly outdoorsy experience.


Chena Hot Springs in Alaska

Chena Hot Springs in Alaska

Credit: unagiinu1210 under license CC BY-SA 3.0 No changes were made to the image.

Last but not least, the Chena Hot Springs offers hot springs and houses an ice museum and kennel for family-friendly fun. They offer seasonal activities such as ice fishing and snowmobile tours in the winter and an unforgettable viewing tour for visitors to glimpse the famed Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. Most importantly, the Chena Hot Springs resort is geothermally powered, having installed Alaska’s first geothermal energy plant in 2006. The facility’s geothermal resources heat its outdoor baths, swimming pools, and greenhouses and even refrigerate its ice museum. You can book a Chena Hot Springs Resort shuttle for the scenic 60-mile drive from downtown Fairbanks to the resort, with the occasional moose and wildlife along the way.

Post penned by Chloe Pearl Alexander

Don’t miss this exciting event, right at our very own Yellowstone Hot Springs, August 10th, at 8pm!

Enveloped in a heavenly Montana sunset amongst the cathedral of the mountains be transported to the theatres of the world, and experience the power and grace of the Arts!August 10th, the most anticipated world class event of the Montana summer returns for an evening of magic and beauty on the banks of the Yellowstone! International superstars and Montana talents join together in “the last best place” for an unforgettable night of classical and contemporary dance, music, opera, Native American cultural traditions and more.

Past highlights have included dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, Russia, Bayerisches Staatsballett, Germany, Mikhailovsky Theatre, Russia, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Italy, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Native American Fancy Dancers, International Cellist, Opera Singer, & Musicians from Germany, London and Russia. Young Montana talent from Vagonova Ballet Academy, Russia, English National Ballet School in London, Manhattan School of Music in NYC and Crossroads School for Arts & Science, Santa Monica, California.

The Yellowstone International Arts Festival was founded by the “most influential ballet family of our time,” (London dance critic Graham Watts, April 2019) who were born and raised in Montana, and now work professionally around the world. It is produced by the non-profit Youth Arts in Action, a 501c3 which has been serving Montanans for more than 18 years, with an emphasis on youth and arts education.

Make sure to follow along on social media @yellowstoneintarts to keep updated on all the exciting announcements. Visit YellowstoneInternationalArtsFestival.Org or text 406-579-6414 for tickets & more information.

Yellowstone National Park Trips featured us (much appreciation!) in their list of “17 Best Hot Springs and Pools in and Near Yellowstone.” In their article they say: “Swim in hot springs pools at the brand-new Yellowstone Hot Springs in Corwin Springs, Mont., 6 miles north of Gardiner off Hwy. 89. It offers 400 square feet of pools in a natural setting. Fresh mineral water is constantly flowing into the pools, so the water is always fresh and clean.”

If you haven’t already checked it out, be sure to take a look. There were even a couple I had never heard of. For instance, I had not heard of Heise Hot Springs in Ririe Idaho.

Another they mention is Hot Springs State Park, in Thermopolis, Wyoming. “As you travel through Wyoming, don’t miss the opportunity to swim in the “world’s largest mineral hot springs, or so locals say, located in Thermopolis, Wyoming. Greek for “hot city,” Thermopolis derives its name from the hot water that comes from Big Spring. The turquoise and green, mineral-laden spring issues forth 3.6 million gallons of water every day.”

There are also a number of other beautiful hot springs scattered around Montana and Wyoming. We are passionate about hot springs here at YHS and love sharing lists of some of the hidden gems in the area. Here are some additional hot springs photos to whet your appetite for more soaking fun!

In our previous post we looked at how Sweden celebrates Christmas. Today we travel to France…

France Celebrates Christmas: Joyeux Noël

The French phrase les bonnes nouvelles means “the good news” and refers to the gospel. This is where the French get their name for Christmas, Noël. As with many of the European countries, Christmas is one of the most important holidays of the year. France has a unique geographic position working as the liaison between Northern Europe and the Mediterranean. Because of this, the people of France have adopted a variety of Christmas traditions.

French Christmas Music to Set the Mood

The French have been influenced by both American and German seasonal traditions. One of these is the Advent wreath which consists of fir and pine branches that hold 4 pillar candles. These candles are lit on each Sunday leading up to Christmas.

Stanislas Christmas Tree

Courtesy of

As we have seen from previous countries, the Christmas tree is a cornerstone of Christmas celebrations. French families are no different. France saw its first Christmas tree in Alsace in 1521, which was known as “sapin de noël” or “arbre de noël” The Christmas tree is one of the most popular traditions in France since the 16th century.

Traditionally Christmas trees were decorated with things like apples, ribbons, and paper flowers.

milk and cookiesOn Christmas Eve, in American traditions, children leave milk and cookies out for Santa. This has been part of the custom for generations. The old French custom was for children to fill their shoes with carrots and treats for Père Noël’s donkey by the fireplace. This tradition evolved into a more American tradition of Père Noël shimmying down the chimney of each home to bring presents for good boys and girls. His donkey has been substituted by 7 magical flying reindeer.

Le Réveillon feastLe Réveillon Feast

Often times, children in France open their Christmas gifts on the evening of December 24. They have to wait until Christmas Réveillon dinner or after midnight mass has concluded. Le Réveillon feast usually includes things like a starter of snails, oysters, seafood, or smoked salmon. The main course would most likely be roast goose or turkey. And what French celebration with amazing food could be complete without wine.

Tradition of Gift Giving on Christmas

The symbolic act of gift giving to children on Christmas is meant to symbolize the gifts brought to Jesus by the Three Wise Men on January 6. Traditionally, French children were given a small gift and an orange for Christmas. At the conclusion of the WWII, and the increased American influence on France, the simple tradition evolved into the ceremonial expensive gift giving.

Many French families give thanks to public servants during the Christmas season by giving them money.

Do you know why people hang mistletoe above the doorways at Christmas time? The French would tell you that it is to bring good fortune for the upcoming year… So it is not to steal a kiss from your sweetie… hmmmm.

Some French families still follow the old tradition of exchanging gifts on January 6th, the Feast of Kings or Feast of Epiphany. This celebration brings a very exciting twist. The pastry that they enjoy, the gallette des rois (cake of kings), can have something special inside. The person who finds the elusive charm inside is named King or Queen for the duration of the celebration. They even wear a paper crown to symbolize their new found royalty. This also comes with a string attached. The royal winner must then provide the cake for the next party.

One of the most recognizable decorations that often grace homes, community gatherings, churches, etc. at Christmas time is the nativity scene. We all know the main characters that are set up for the nativity: Joseph, Mary, Baby Jesus… But the French nativity may have some players that you don’t know about. What about the banker, fruit and vegetable sellers, local noblemen, a blind man, a woman selling fish, a scissor grinder, and a roast chestnut seller? Yes, that’s right… These additions may be found in the French nativity. You would be able to enjoy these nativity scenes all the way to February 2 as this is when they are taken down.

From all of us at Yellowstone Hot Springs, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Joyeux Noël!

Norman Wesley Brooks said: “Christmas is forever, not for just one day, for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf. The good you do for others is good you do yourself.”

village magicMerry Christmas ornamentEvery holiday has its special nuances and traditions. Christmas is no different, and is arguably one of the most celebrated and recognized holidays. From childhood, we are taught the significance of a holiday from family, friends, and the community. That limited perspective can sometimes drift over into adulthood, and we forget that there are glorious celebrations, which may look different from what we know, all across the globe. For example, here in the United States, Christmas is widely known to be celebrated on December 25th. But, is this the same everywhere? Where did this date come from? The Christmas holiday is meant to honor the birth of Jesus, but this date was never specified in the Bible. So where did it come from? The first official mention of December 25th as Jesus’ Birthday appeared on a Roman calendar from AD 336. However, is this when everyone celebrates the miracle birth?

With this in mind, I started to think about how others view this very special day. So, I set out on a journey, and I would love for you to take a moment to join me for a magic sleigh ride around the world. We will take a peek into the way that some other countries celebrate this very special holiday, and maybe add new practices to our own Christmas traditions.

Sweden Celebrates Christmas, Wishing us “God Jul!”

Christmas Lights SwedenChristmas is sometimes referred to as the “second most important celebration in the Swedish calendar after Midsummer.”— Royal Djurgården

Can you believe that the Christmas celebration lasts almost 2 months in Sweden? Christmas in Sweden begins on the first Sunday in December and continues until January 13. During this time, there are several celebrations that may seem different than what most people imagine when they think of Christmas.

Forsta Advent Day

The Swedish celebration of Christmas kicks off with the lighting of a special candle on the “Forsta Advent,” or first Sunday, in December. This ceremonial lighting continues for every Sunday in December.

Courtesy of Flickr

St. Lucia Day – Little Yule

St. Lucia Day is an honoring of a young girl named Lucia who lost her life for her religious beliefs in 304 A.D. This amazing young lady daringly took food to Christians who were hiding from persecution in the catacombs under Rome. For this courage and dedication to God, she is celebrated by Scandinavian countries. During this time, the morning of “little Yule” the eldest daughter in the home wakes early and awakens each family member bearing gifts of coffee and buns. She dresses in a long white dress with a red sash and a crown made of twigs that holds 9 lighted candles. There are also community celebrations where a young girl is selected to be St. Lucia participating in an Advent procession, visits hospitals and schools, and acts as the recognized symbol in parades.

Decorating for God Jul in Sweden

Families in Sweden are much like that of other families around the world who celebrate Christmas. They love to decorate! Whether it is their home, yard, community, or their Christmas tree, decorations are important. They choose to try to utilize the theme of “natural is better.” A favorite activity is to make ornaments out of straw as a reminder of Jesus in His manger. Their Christmas decorations will bring joy to all until January 13th. This is when they take down their Christmas tree and decorations.

Santa Claus Tradition in Sweden

Santa Claus is a jolly tradition in many Christmas stories, and it is no different for the Swedish children. There has been an evolution of this Christmas icon from an angry man who guards local agriculture to the rosy cheeked warm fellow known today. He is believed to look similar to a gnome and goes by Jultomten. Families leave delicious snacks out for Jultomten like rice pudding with cherries and almonds.

Christmas Eve in Sweden

Sunset on December 24th is when Swedish families open presents, but that is not all. At 3:00 in the afternoon, almost everyone in Sweden stops what they are doing to watch the American TV show, “From All of Us to All of You,” or a marathon of Disney movies/shows. That night, families gather for a jalbord feast of things like cold fish, pickled herring, cheese, pickled pigs feet, ham joint and meatballs. There is a very special tradition during this time that includes “risgryngrot” which is a rice pudding dish. There is one bowl that has an almond hidden inside. If you are the lucky winner of this bowl, it means that you will get married in the upcoming year!

Attending Church on December 25th

If December 24th is for family celebrations, you might be wondering what they do on December 25th. Well, Swedish families recognize this as a day for families to attend church.

Next Stop on Our Christmas Traditions Sleigh Ride

Join us again next week for several more Christmas traditions from around the world. We will take a look at a few more countries and how they celebrate. Can you guess what country opens their presents right after midnight on December 24th?

Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family to come together to give thanks for the many blessings in their lives. This is something that is widely known and celebrated. However, what if there was more to know about Thanksgiving.? This got me thinking of some little-known facts about one of the most celebrated holidays…

Sarah Josepha Hale

courtesy of:

Fun Facts About Thanksgiving

1. Do you know who Sarah Josepha Hale is? She wrote “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” But this was not all she wrote. She is responsible for Abraham Lincoln finally making Thanksgiving a national holiday! How you ask? Well, she wrote numerous letters, over the span of 17 years, to Congress explaining the many reasons why he needed to recognize Thanksgiving as a national holiday. She was finally able to persuade Mr. Lincoln. On October 3, 1863, Abraham Lincoln finally recognized Thanksgiving as a national holiday…

2. The first Thanksgiving lasted 3 whole days! The harvest gathering in 1621 included 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians.

Ceremonial Thanksgiving Turkey Pardoning

3. Often times people say that the ceremonial turkey pardoning was started by Harry Truman. However, this would be inaccurate since he actually had the turkey that the National Turkey Federation sent him as his main course. The first president to bestow a reprieve on the gifted Thanksgiving turkey was John F. Kennedy. The tradition seemed to catch on, and Richard Nixon sent his wily bird to a petting zoo to live out his days. Finally, in 1989, George H. W. Bush shifted this turkey release into a ceremonial pardoning tradition.

4. Did you know that there is actually a turkey hotline? Well, there is… Travel with me for a second back to 1981, when a group of 6 home economists fielded phone calls through the holiday season to answer various cooking questions. Butterball actually answers more than 100,000 turkey questions from November through December. You don’t believe me? Next time you have a turkey crisis, or you just need a little gobble time, call the Butterball Turkey Hotline, 1-800-288-8372 (1-800-BUTTERBALL). They answer every poulterific (yes, we made that up) question you can think of, and probably some you haven’t thought of yet…

Tradition of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

5. Most people recognize the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, even if they have not seen it in person. Today, it is the largest parade, but do you know how it was started? In 1924, the organizers for the parade did not have access to the various sky-scraper-size balloons that we associate with big city parades. So, these organizers got together with the Central Park Zoo officials, and they had a parade with the animals from the zoo. The simple parade line up remained this way for the first 3 years, until the balloon introduction of Felix the Cat came roaring onto the scene. Parades have never been the same since.

6. Have you ever had a frozen dinner? Or gone to your grandparent’s home and found a frozen dinner in the freezer? Who would have thought that those frozen delicacies started because of Thanksgiving? Every year, upwards of 18 million turkeys are not selected to grace a family’s table for Thanksgiving dinner. The brain trust of Swanson got together and decided that they wanted to profit off of the left-over turkeys that were not sold. Therefore, they came up with these packaged meals that could be frozen, saved for later, and heated up when you need something quick to eat. Voila…. TV dinner is created.

Wait, is Big Bird Really a Turkey?

thanksgiving turkey7. How many of us love Sesame Street characters? There is more than meets the eye when one is looking at Big Bird… And that is hard to believe. But, Big Bird’s feathers are TURKEY FEATHERS! What??? They are turkey feathers that have been dyed yellow. I am not sure I will be able to look at Big Bird the same again. 😊

8. Not all things can be done by both males and females. Male turkeys, or toms, make the tell tale “gobble gobble” sound we all know and love when we think about turkeys. Females cannot “gobble” at all. They can only make a clucking noise. Males use their ability to gobble and their sassy strut to attract female turkeys.

9. Where might we be today if Benjamin Franklin had his way? Although the Bald Eagle was selected as the national bird for the US. Benjamin Franklin had stated that he considered the turkey to be a “more respectable bird” and a “bird of courage.” I wonder if this had come to pass, then what would be for Thanksgiving dinner?

10. The US Virgin Islands have expanded on the Thanksgiving celebration. They actually have two separate Thanksgiving holidays. Although they celebrate Thanksgiving Day with the rest of the US, they have already had a previous Thanksgiving celebration on October 19. This is their “Hurricane Thanksgiving Day” to give special thanks for the islands being spared from hurricanes that year. This does mean that if they have had to endure a hurricane, then they would not be celebrating their “Hurricane Thanksgiving Day.”

This wraps up our list of fun facts about Thanksgiving. Hopefully there were one or two new ones you hadn’t heard before. We hope all of you enjoy this time with family and friends. From all of us at Yellowstone Hot Springs, we wish you all a warm and heartfelt Happy Thanksgiving!

We are open Thanksgiving Day for normal hours. Come join us for a relaxing soak before dinner, or an evening soak to watch the stars come out after.

Yellowstone Hot Springs is honoring first responders this weekend (October 15-17) and next weekend (October 22-24). First Responders soak for FREE at YHS and their family members soak for only $1. We appreciate all the hard work, dedication and risks that first responders take to keep us safe. A big THANK YOU from all of us at YHS!

first responder definitionOfficially, the National First Responders Day is October 28th. However, this has only been “officially” recognized since 2017 (first by Colorado, then nationally in 2019), even though many have been honoring our First Responders for much longer.

Who is a First Responder?

So who is a “First Responder?” There is some disagreement on the technicalities of who qualifies.

Merriam Webster defines it as: a person (such as a police officer or an EMT) who is among those responsible for going immediately to the scene of an accident or emergency to provide assistance.”

In general terms, a First Responder is a member of an emergency service who are first on the scene in an emergency. Typically: Police, EMS, Firefighters.

Brief History of the term “First Responder”

first respondersPresident Lyndon Johnson received a white paper report in 1966 showing that a large cause of death in young people was due to injuries caused by accidents. One of the suggested solutions was to have standardized training for response teams who would help in situations of crises. These “EMS” teams consisting of fireman, police and medics would be called in for emergencies.

In 1969 the first national training for EMS was published. Initially, an EMT and paramedic were considered the same thing. In the early 1970s a group of doctors decided that further training could be provided to help save more lives and the first EMT-P (paramedic) training was born.

Now there were EMT-B and EMT-P training (Basic and Paramedic). An EMT-B program generally provides 120+ hours of training in basic life-saving protocols. An EMT-P often requires as many as 1800 hours of training and is trained in advanced care. They can administer IVs and medication, provide breathing support, EKGs, resuscitate, and many other medical procedures.

Over time, “EMT” has become the common term for anyone with Emergency Medical Technician Basic training. EMT-P are generally referred to as paramedics.

Did you know that all firefighters have at least EMT training, and many are also paramedics? Some police forces also have EMT training, but this varies by state and department.

Modern EMS

first responders firefightersWithin hours of the attacks on September 11th, 2001, thousands of rescue team members made up of firefighters, rescue dogs, police, and volunteers rushed to Ground Zero to hunt through the collapsed buildings for survivors. EMS teams from all over the country combined their efforts in one of our nation’s greatest rescue missions.

Firefighters were first on the scene, arriving just 6 minutes after the World Trade Center’s north tower collapsed. They were already climbing the building trying to rescue trapped people on the tower’s higher floors, when another plane struck. This was the deadliest day in history for U.S. firefighters. 343 firefighters lost their lives that day while trying to rescue Americans trapped in the rubble and collapsing buildings.

Of the over 17,000 people estimated to be in the towers, 87% of them were helped to safety by First Responders.

YHS Thank you to First Responders

Since then, the term First Responder has become a widely accepted designation for police, firefighters and EMS teams who are the first personnel at the scene. To all of you, Yellowstone Hot Springs says THANK YOU! You work hard, put yourself at risk and under stress. You deserve time to relax and unwind. Bring your families and relax in the pools at YHS. Come join us for a soak at YHS the weekends of October 15-17 and 22-24.

Labor Day has oftentimes been a “party” weekend that ultimately marks the end of Summer while bringing in the expectations of Fall/Winter. This is a time for get-togethers, BBQ, and fun. People celebrate Labor Day in many different ways, from spending a family/friend weekend at home, to going out on the water, to just enjoying having an extra day added to their weekend. Who doesn’t love a long weekend, right? But there is more to the meaning of Labor Day than just an end-to-summer party. What is the meaning of Labor Day, and why do we celebrate on the first Monday in September across America and Canada? Just like with some other holidays, the meaning is in the name itself.

industry laborThe basic definition of Labor Day is simply stated as a day held to honor working people. Well, if the vast majority of people have to work to survive, then why is this a celebration? Quick history lesson… In the mid 19th century, labor activists wanted to have some form of recognition for the many contributions everyday workers have made for the country. Without these important employees, where would America be today? Their dedication only enhanced and improved the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our great nation. In 1885, New York had passed an ordinance to mark the celebration for Labor Day. It took the federal government a little longer to catch on to the idea. However, on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland made it official when he signed into law an act designating the first Monday in September to be the officially acknowledged national holiday to recognize our labor force.

delivering letterWhat did the first celebration of Labor Day look like? Well, in Manhattan in 1882, laborers took to the streets near city hall. Police were so concerned about a riot breaking out that they came out in full force. They were on high alert status, and their tension was said to be palpable. There was not a specific time for the parade march for the police to count on, and marchers did not show up until a bit later. With very little happening, those initial observers almost gave up on watching the parade. Then, before they knew it, 200 people from the Jeweler’s Union came down the street. That was the beginning of the party… In total, it is estimated that approximately 20,000 people came out to march that day!

grilling labor dayThis is all to say thank you to the working individual. The pioneers who paved the way for Labor Day are the whole reason many people can enjoy a 40-hour work week, benefits, sick/paid time off, etc. Without those fighters in the beginning, where would we all be today? So, after your hard-earned celebratory day, and when you are preparing to head back to work on Tuesday, remember to take a moment to say thank you to all who came before you who demanded that all working class individuals have the respect and recognition they deserve for their continued contributions and daily dedication to the forward progress of a great nation.

For this, and all you do, we at Yellowstone Hot Springs would like to thank you. If you didn’t get to share Labor Day with us, we are sorry we missed you. We hope you get to come out soon to enjoy a relaxing soak. If you decided to spend time with us during Labor Day weekend, we thank you and hope you had a great time. We look forward to seeing you here again soon!