Certified Chair Bill Zink

My name is Bill Zink. I started patrolling in 1994 at Ski Roundtop, a little hill in the southwest section of the Eastern Pennsylvania Region of the Eastern Division of the National Ski Patrol. I received my rust and blue coat on February 13, 1995, from one of the best trainers, Gordie Bell.

The next night, in my rush to get out on the slope and patrol, I promised my wife Natalie I would be home by 8 pm on Valentine’s night to celebrate our new house. Somewhere around 7:30 pm, while riding the chairlift, I witnessed a high-speed collision of two skiers. They were both young men in high school. Once the dust settled, one boy lay on the ground unconscious, and the other was walking around in a dazed state.

I unloaded the chair, had the lift operator radio in the event and location, and made my way to the scene. Both patients survived. One was flown by helicopter to a nearby trauma center and the other went with ALS. I arrived home at midnight, February 14, 1995.

That day impacted my life in so many ways. It set me on a course of perpetual learning. I never wanted to be the guy that didn’t know what to do when the poop hits the fan. Fast forward to 2024 and I am now newly elected chair of the Eastern Division Certified Program. I currently patrol at Ski Whitetail, a Vail resort; Timberline Mountain in Davis, West Virginia (Southern Division); and as a part-time Pro at The Hermitage in southern Vermont. I love the sport of skiing. I love ski patrolling. And I love the friends that I have made in the industry.

I look forward to the next several years. I want to share the impact the industry and the Certified program has had on my life. The Journey to Certified is just that. A journey. It is a worthy journey no matter the outcome.

I am still married to the same woman as I was on that fateful Valentine’s night in 1995. While she can’t say she loves skiing and ski patrol as much as I do, she will say she does love the people and what it has meant to me and our life.

To learn more about our program, consider participating in one of our two summer/fall events, a “Summer Certified Boot Camp” scheduled for August 16-18 at Holiday Mountain Ski Area in Monticello, NY or an “Enhanced Patroller School” at Swain Resort the weekend of September 13-15th. Go to www.patrollerschool.org for registration details and information about these summer programs. See www.Nspeast.org/certified for details on the Certified Program.