Stephanie Cox, the NSP’s CEO recently paid a visit to several Vermont and New York ski areas. Stephanie, National Chair Rich Pietrafesa, and I also traveled to Fort Drum, home of the 10th Mountain Division of the US Army. During our time together, Stephanie and I had a chance to chat. I got to watch her interact with Eastern Division Patrollers. I was struck by how she is driven to make a difference, and that she has a plan to do so. Part of her plan is to re-establish the credibility of NSP in the ski industry, to the extent that it has suffered in recent years.
I would like to draw your attention to some of the first (and in my mind) most important steps Stephanie and our National Office staff have taken. They are listed on the NSP website under Governance, tucked off in the bottom right corner, and are entitled ‘Terms and Statements.’ They may be elsewhere as well. I urge you all to find and read them. With these brief, simple statements of position and principles, NSP sets out its values. Three of these statements I found particularly interesting:
Bullying and Harassment Statement which sets the tone and standards of our organization, including principles of respect, inclusivity, and safety in the NSP.
Statement of Intent on Well-Being establishes NSP’s commitment to supporting a culture of wellness, safety, and resilience for our members and those we serve, subtly making us aware/reminding us of these priorities.
The Environment Statement of Intent speaks to our reliance on the natural world and our responsibility to take greater responsibility to protect and care for places and the climate, which I think is critical for us to recognize.
Collectively, these statements seem to me to be reinforcing NSP’s integrity in the world, and our recognition of the high standards and awareness of our responsibilities as a great national organization of committed, dedicated public servants. But in my mind they also speak to our individual responsibilities to act in fairness with concern for our fellow patrollers and those we serve, and to put their welfare above our own individual welfare. That’s the essence of our service after all is said and done. And we are called by these statements to recognize how we can impact the lives of other patrollers, the public and the environment we recreate in.
I like that Stephanie is leading us to recognize our collective and individual responsibilities and that she is challenging us individually to sharpen our awareness and leadership. And I believe she reminds us that our integrity as individuals is the bedrock foundation for all of these critical goals.
Kim Terwilliger, Assistant Eastern Division Director
Welcome to winter in the northeast – rain, snow, rain, ice, rain, wind, snowmageddon, or nothing. Despite our winter weather situation, the Eastern Division has delivered multiple education programs for our members with more still available. MTR programs were available in November and December. Multiple patroller schools have been held since January throughout the Division, including Sugarloaf, Elk, Killington, Plattekill, and Seven Springs. A snowboard/tele-specific event was held at Waterville Valley as well. Gore will be hosting an upcoming patroller school at the end of February. Women’s clinics have been embedded in many of the patroller schools which have been very well attended.
In addition to the patroller schools, numerous regions have hosted OET and women ’s-specific clinics. Three Level 1 Avalanche courses have been on the calendar for this winter with one Level 2 course being conducted at Whiteface. The Certified program has held their pre-test and candidates are prepping for the exam, scheduled for Sugarbush in March. Good luck Certified candidates! Most regions are holding their Senior OET evaluations during the first weekend in March with Senior OEC evaluations scheduled throughout the month as well. Good luck to all those candidates too!
Our YAPs have been very busy attending region-specific or combined region events in preparation for their YAP Summit to be held at Smugglers’ Notch, March 8-10. These events have included overnight programs, escape room games, and OET/OEC training. They are an incredibly talented, enthusiastic group.
Thank you to all the Division and Region staff members who dedicate their time and energy to schedule, instruct, and make programs accessible for our Eastern Division patrollers!
One more thing…the search is on for the next Eastern Division Women’s Program Advisor. If interested, please see the eblast announcement for details and submit a letter of interest and resume to Kim Terwilliger, email@example.com by February 28, 2024.
The Outdoor Emergency Care Module of the Senior Program (OECMSP) has been updated and reinvented to reflect more of a training program that provides growth in the area of Leadership, Decision Making, and Problem Management (LDP). Once you have demonstrated mastery in your OEC skills, the patroller moves on to clinics that will focus on the objectives of LDP. The scenarios you will work with are designed to help focus your growth, and more concise problem-solving leading to quicker decision-making and better leadership. Each clinic should leave you with a feeling of accomplishment and something to focus your growth on. In addition to mastery of the OEC skills, there are requirements for breaking down written scenarios to identify problems and potential solutions as well as writing a scenario with LDP as the challenge as well as OEC.
During your training clinic sessions, you will need to pass four on-snow scenarios as a prerequisite to attend your evaluation day. These scenarios should prepare you well for the final evaluation and come from a set of scenarios that are challenging and score the same as the scenarios you will see during the final evaluation.
Trainer Evaluators are also adding additional training so they focus more on the LDP aspect of the OECMSP and how to better train candidates on what to expect and then evaluate them with a focus on LDP.
Evaluation day may look different as well. All candidates participating in the final evaluation will decide on whether to have a non-scoring warm-up scenario, or some other warm-up activity, or move directly into the final evaluations. During the final evaluation process, you will only have two scenarios to complete successfully. Since the new OECMSP program is more focused on training, if you are not successful on one scenario you will have the opportunity to train or review what didn’t work well in the failed scenario and the opportunity to redo on that day or a date in the future that is agreeable to all.
The big difference here is that prior to continuing, the program is designed to provide you with the opportunity to train and reach a level of comfort before you go into your next evaluation. Not being successful in one scenario allows you to complete your redo in the same season. Not being successful in two scenarios means you go back into the training program with practice scenarios and go through that process again until you are comfortable. In most cases that takes more than one season. For Patrollers, Alpine Patrollers, and Nordic Patrollers this evaluation continues to be under the conditions which you patrol which requires an on-snow final evaluation experience.
Other updates to the program provide the logistics to run this program to be trimmed down and need a smaller number of personnel to run an event.
Bottom line is the principle and practice that the OECMSP has moved to become a more flexible training program that enhances the patroller’s personal growth in the areas of Leadership, Decision Making, and Problem Management. The program will support ski areas with better scenario and OEC management from trained patrollers as well as help these same patrollers become leaders within NSP in the future.
If you have any questions or would like a deeper look please feel free to reach out to the Eastern Division OEC Supervisor, any of the Asst. OEC Supervisors or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Watch Western Appalachian Region YAP Advisor Anna Hermann as she interviews Hidden Valley Ski Patrol YAP Gracie Gonzalez about her experiences at last year’s 2023 Eastern Division YAP Summit held at Smugglers’ Notch. Gracie talked about what inspired her to become a patroller, what a wonderful learning experience the division YAP event was, and how it affected her growth as a young patroller and as a young adult. Gracie was the first YAP to receive the James Slattery Award. Read about Jim Slattery, the Division’s Oldest Junior, in the next issue of Trail Sweep.
All members of NSP are OEC Technicians, but many are also EMTs. EMTs need to take their own refresher and a certain amount of approved continuing education.
Mike Klau of Blue Hills Ski Area has set up a rotation of monthly speakers that teach various subjects related to first aid. Each class is taught by Zoom and typically runs from 7-9 p.m. All classes are approved for two EMT CEUs for all levels. In the past some of the classes have been Boston MedFlight, Treating the Trans Patent, Post Covid Lungs, Ethical Dilemmas Facing First Responders, and many more. All classes are free but limited to members of NSP.
After each course a certificate is issued for your records or to be sent to your EMS training officer. Another bonus is that there is a spot on the NREMT webpage for NSP members who are EMTs. If you register there, your continuing education will be managed.
Lastly, every other year an EMT-B refresher class (NCCR) is offered. This course has a small fee, since the instructor is paid.
Disclaimer: The courses are designed for EMS personnel and do not always follow OEC techniques. Mike Klau does not make any money from this; it is purely a labor of love. If you would like more information, please reach out to Mike, his email is email@example.com. If you are an EMT, please include your EMT number. Also please add where you patrol.
Skiing is a great way to get out and enjoy the winter weather. But it’s also a strenuous activity that can take a toll on your body if you’re not careful. That’s why it’s good to follow a ski diet that will help you stay fueled and energized throughout your day on the trails. This post will discuss some of the best ways to maintain good nutrition while skiing!
1. Consider your food intake. 2. Carbohydrates are important for skiing. 3. Protein is also a must for skiing. 4. Stay hydrated. 5. Avoid eating high-fat foods or drinking alcohol while skiing. 6. Make sure to take breaks during the day to eat and drink something. 7. Eating before you ski. 8. Eating after you ski.
This article was was written and published by Fasterskier.com. Rather than reprint the article in its entirety click on their link and it will bring you to it. They are a web-based publication, located in Williamstown, MA, bringing both the rigor of a daily newspaper and the passion of a niche magazine to their work. The magazine is geared towards Nordic skiing but good nutrition works well for any sport. Thank you to their President Matthew Voisin for allowing us to offer this information to everyone. The magazine has lots of great information on a myriad of subjects. Once you get to their website you’ll want to read more!
The Eastern Division and the NSP offer a variety of events, programs, and opportunities for all patrollers. The following are calendar reminders of some of the opportunities available in the next few months. Click on the links for more details.
PATROLLER STRESS AWARENESS FORUMS
Begin March 13, 2024, at 7 p.m. Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 872 9811 1272
If you have any questions, please contact Melinda Mingus, MD, Eastern Division Patroller Stress Awareness Advisor by email or phone 646-522-1451
WOMEN’S PROGRAM SCHOLARSHIP
The application and additional information can be found on the Women’s Program Scholarship page accepted through March 15, 2024
Children love our Safety Team tent and our stickers, but what they seem to enjoy most is being engaged and challenged about the sport they love. Whether it is skiing or snowboarding, it’s not hard to sense how much they take pride in learning and knowing the safety practices that go along with the sport.
At a recent safety event, the children engaged in creating a safety chain. They each took a long, rectangular, precut paper and were asked to write advice for being safe while skiing or riding. They eagerly and creatively went to work. Each completed paper was stapled around in a circle linking with the circle before it thus creating a chain. They had produced their own Know the Code and had fun listening, reading, and learning from one another.
There are so many creative activities to enable young skiers and riders to reinforce safety and teach them to be more responsible and more confident on the mountain. The impact we have as patrollers to leave an impression with children regarding safety is important and something these same children later in life may pull out of their tool box when pressured by friends to go faster or not sit back on a lift and use the safety bar.
All patrollers are part of the Safety Team. “Safety First” extends beyond scene size up during incidents to our everyday life especially when we don our patrol jackets and encounter our youngest mountain patrons. The next time you greet children in the liftline, on the slope, or in the lodge, ask them what they did to be safe while skiing or boarding today. Perhaps they attended a Safety event, and they will be proud to tell you!
The history of the Eastern Division newsletter, Trail Sweep, stretches back a long time. I have copies going back to Volume 29, No. 4, Spring/Summer of 1986. Looking through the issues, I am amazed at how far we’ve come and all the changes that have been made. We used to publish four issues a year, then three, and finally, we were down to two, although as we reduced the number of issues, they gained in size. We removed some information, like the division and region rosters and event calendar, and the list of awards and obituaries increased. We are an aging organization.
But even though we’re aging, our members are savvy and connected. An electronic survey sent to Eastern Division patrollers in late February asked their opinions about Trail Sweep and how information is being conveyed to patrollers. More than half of those sent the survey opened it, and more than 650 people responded. Nearly 200 comments were received with some interesting results–both good and bad.
While respondents said they got their information about division events almost equally from both Trail Sweep and division emails, most people preferred to get their information electronically. Increasingly, people want their news to come in a timelier manner, in short bursts, and to be readable on their portable devices. Most of the respondents (75%) read Trail Sweep every time or most of the time, and a strong majority (5 to 1) preferred to receive news monthly rather than twice a year.
Trail Sweep has been printed and mailed to the patrollers of the Eastern Division for decades, long before the age of sophisticated personal computers, the internet, and cell phones. As production and postage rates increased, we began to email a PDF file of Trail Sweep to our members. My records show we were still printing copies in 2007. I’m not sure exactly when we converted to electronic delivery.
Now, we’re responding to what our members told us in the survey. Starting with this issue, we will be publishing monthly and formatted differently. Short excerpts of articles will have clickable links to take you to the complete article. We will cover programs, events, people, and other interesting and informative subjects spread out during the year. Trail Sweep does not have an editorial staff. We depend on program advisors and administrators, as well as patrollers, for the articles we receive and publish. This is more important than ever. We want everything to be timely. If there’s something you’d like to see, let us know or, better yet, submit an article to Trail Sweep. Just remember when you’re writing that “less is more.” Photographs are always welcome.
We hope that this change will serve our members well.