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National Ski Patrol - Western Appalachian Region News

Region Young Adult patroller was stabbing victim

On Wednesday, April 9, 21 students, a security guard, and two others were injured in a stabbing incident at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa. One of the most critically injured of the students was 17-year-old Jared Boger, who is a young adult patroller at Seven Springs Resort. The knife wound missed Boger's heart and aorta by millimeters, and pierced his liver. Boger was life-flighted to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian, and was placed on a ventilator. Boger is now in critical, but stable, condition, and his doctors expect him to survive.


Boger was a third-place finisher in a recent toboggan competition at at the Eastern Division YAP Seminar at Sugarloaf, Maine. Boger's father, Don, and brother, Travis, are also patrollers at Seven Springs. His grandfather, Bill Heilman, was a patroller at Seven Springs, and his younger brother is a Seven Springs candidate for next season. All of us in the region, and patrollers from across the country wish Jared a speedy recovery. Expressions of support for Jared's recovery can be emailed to Dick Barron.

Region Patrollers to Assist at Pittsburgh Marathon 2014

The Western Appalachian Region NSP will be partnering again this year with the medical support  teams of the Pittsburgh Marathon.  Pat Boccardi will again be coordinating the region's efforts and acting as point man for the NSP.  We will be forming the “Rapid Response Team  (RRT),” stationed just before and after the finish line. The race is Sunday May 4th and we will be needed from about 5am to 3 ish.  Pat is asking patrollers interested in volunteering to contact him via e-mail with their name, address, patrol affiliation and a phone number for contact.  He will send back details on how to register on the marathon website as they have password protected the registration for the RRT members. We all had a great experience last year and expect the same this year.


Region's Young Adult Patrollers Shine at Division YAP Event

Our region Young Adult Patrollers (YAPs) did the region proud at the Eastern Division YAP Seminar at Sugarloaf, Maine. They took home 6 of a possibly 11 awards this weekend including:


1st place Skiing - Caleb Parnell - Blue Knob
2nd place OEC - Thomas Eshelman - Hidden Valley
3rd place Toboggan - Jared Boger - Seven Springs
2nd place Over All - Thomas Eshelman - Hidden Valley
1st place Over All - Caleb Parnell - Blue Knob
Hans Hyson Award - Caleb Parnell - Blue Knob


Congratulations to all 10 YAPs from our region that participated in the event, and to the 11 adults that chaperoned and drove the kids the 12 hours to Maine for the event, and especially to the region YAP advisor Liz Hermann who organized our region'sparticipation in the event.  Please let all of patrollers know what great kids we have in this region, and congratulate the kids when you see them.


Two Newest Certified Patrollers - Bart Gabler & Mike Wess

The region is pleased to announce and recognize Bart Gabler of Hidden Valley (Certified #786) and Mike Wess of Blue Knob (Certified #787) as the National Ski Patrol's newest Certified members! The Eastern Division Certified exam was held at Whiteface Mt. Lake Placid NY in March.  Bart and Mike were the only two candidates to successfully complete all the components of the exam and earn the number and shield of a Certified patroller. As you may know, less than 1% of all NSP members are able to achieve this elite level.  With the addition of these two, the Western Appalachian Region has produced a total of 13 members in the past 40 years to reach this level.  This is a testament to the quality of teaching and dedication found in our region. Bart and Mike, on behalf of the S&T staff, "Congratulations."


2014 Region Patroller School & Women's Seminar a Success

The Western Appalachian Region 2014 Patroller School and Women's Seminar was a hugh success. Nearly 40 patrollers attended the two day event that offered top level training from division and region staff and PSIA level 3 instructors  Designed for all alpine patrollers - Candidate, Basic, Senior or working toward Senior or T/E - patrollers were able to to refine their skills in Skiing, Patroller Skills and Toboggan Handling. Women in the Women's Seminar were taught by top women in the division training staff the easy way to handle a toboggan.

The region thanks the visiting division staff from the Eastern PA and Western NY regions, as well as the Seven Springs PSIA Instructors, the Region TE's, Eric Speedy for coordinating the weekend, and Seven Springs Patrol Director Dick Barron for hosting the event.  

National Board Election Results

The results of the NSP Board of Director elections are in. And the Western Appalachian Region had one of the highest voter turn-outs of the 15 regions of the Eastern Division. 

Nationally, 17% of patrollers voted (4724 out of about 28,000). That's the highest voter participation we're ever had, but there's room for improvement. The voter turn-out from the Eastern Division this year was 3.6% ahead of the national average at 20.6%. Locally, our Region voter participation was 29.5%. That was the 4th highest turn-out in the division.

To those of you that voted, thank you! Your participation made a difference. Four good candidates were elected:

Morgan Armstrong
Norris Woody
Dave Walker 
Tom Sherry

Our voter turn-out is up and the trend is encouraging. I'm looking forward to our Region doing even better next year.  


2013 Patroller Achievement Award Winners

Former Canaan Patrol Director Sam Harold was presented the 2013 Patroller Achievement Award by new patrol Director Mike Mullens at the Canaan refresher on Sept. 21st. He is the first Canaan patroller to receive this award. Veteran Boyce Park Ski Patrollers Rich Linzer, Jim Jacobs, and Kim Metheny were the first Boyce patrollers to be presented with the Patroller Achievement Award at the Boyce refresher on Sept. 29th.

YAP's start on-line fund rasing drive

The Young Adult Patrollers (YAP's) of the Western Appalachian Region are starting an on-line fundraising drive to raise money to go to the Eastern Division Young Adult Patroller Seminar at Sugarloaf in Maine in March of 2014. If you'd like to help, or to learn more, please click on http://www.gofundme.com/434skk. You can read more about all they did last season by clicking on Programs, then on the YAP page. Please support our Region's YAP's. They are the future of the National Ski Patrol.

Blue Knob YAP Caleb Parnell saves life

Caleb Parnell, a 17 year old Young Adult Patroller from Blue Knob Ski Patrol saved the life of a man who collapsed Sunday afternoon May 5th on the Hollidaysburg Area High School track where he and a friend were practicing football footwork drills. Both Golden Tigers football players, Caleb Parnell and Daniel Baker rushed over to Jerry Jackson, 68, who Parnell saw had fallen to the ground. An onlooker immediately called 911, but for the next 10 minutes, Jackson's heartbeat was in Baker's hands and his breath in Parnell's lungs. See the complete story in the Altoona Mirror, by clicking here.

Region ski patrollers assist at Pittsburgh Marathon

Twenty patrollers from the Western Appalachian Region assisted as Rapid Response Team members at this year's Pittsburgh Marathon. With just two weeks notice, Pat Boccardi, patrol director of the Boyce Ski Patrol assembled a team of patrollers from Boyce Park, Hidden Valley, and Seven Springs ski patrols to volunteer to assist at the marathon. This dedicated group met at a downtown parking garage at 5:30am on race day. They deployed in multiple areas to assist the UPMC medical staff and city paramedics in and around the finish line. Some were stationed along the last stretch of the race course, an area known for a high rate of cardiac incidents, to spot and assist ailing runners. Others were stationed just beyond the finish line, an area known as the drop zone because drained and hurting runners often stop and drop the second they cross the finish line. They kept the runners moving to avoid a pile-up and assist them into a wheel chair or higher medical care if needed. Still other patrollers stood on the pedestrian bridge over the finish line and acted as spotters for downed or ailing runners on the final leg of the course. Two other patrollers worked at an aid station at about the 21 mile mark. Patrollers were startled and pleased to hear "thank you"s from the runners as they ran by. All patrollers had a great experience and are looking forward to volunteering again next year.

Patrol volunteers included Pat Boccardi, Joe Miller, Patty Vilsack, and Linda Williams from Boyce Park, Rick Etling, Gary Hepler, Ginger Hepler, Chris Lindberg, Denny Matuzak, Ken Schweinsberg, Marty Silverman, Anne Sorrentino, Connie Wolff and Sarah Jane Edinger from Hidden Valley, and John Becer, John Dyke, Dave Schmidt, Emily Tabor, Jim Wojciechowski, Bill Kozlovich, and Greg Goldstrohm from Seven Springs.

Bill Cline named Region Patroller of the Year

Bill Cline, of the Seven Springs ski patrol, was chosen as the Western Appalachian Region 2013 Patroller of the Year. Bill has been patrolling for 37 years, serves as a shift supervisor at Seven Springs, is the Eastern Division legal advisor, region certified advisor, S&T IT, and spends many many hours training patrollers at his home mountain as well as patrollers around the region and the division as a division S&T staff member. We congratulate Bill for his dedication and hard work on behalf of the National Ski Patrol. 

Region YAP's Bring Home Three Awards

Nine Young Adult Patrollers (YAP's) participate at the Eastern Division YAP Seminar held this past weekend at Smugglers Notch Resort. Blue Knob's Caleb Parnell placed 3rd in both the Skiing and Overall categories out of 46 participants. Seven Springs Jared Boger,  Cody Weinzierl along with Caleb placed 4, 5, & 6 in tobogganing, respectively. Tussey Mountain's Maddy Nyblade took 6th in skiing in addition to being the recipient of the Hans Hyson Award. This very special award goes to a Young Adult Patroller who demonstrates a positive attitude, respects his/her peers, patrollers and the general public as well as being active at their home mountain, school and performs community service. Other Young Adult Patrollers representing our region who attended this event and placed in the middle of the pack or chose to participate on a clinic/enhancement track were Austin Airhart from Seven Springs, Christina Brady, Anna Hermann, Brittney DeHart from Blue Knob and Eve Farwell from Tussey. A congratulations and job well done. And thanks to region YAP advisor Liz Hermann from Blue Knob and the chaperones: Bruce Ferguson, July Patteron, Bob Horell and Brian Weinzierl from Seven Springs, Tim Parnell from Blue Knob and Will Farwell from Tussey.

Region hosts NordicFest 

Eastern Division 2013 NordicFest was hosted in Western Appalachian Region by Laurel Highlands Nordic Ski Patrol on March 1st , 2nd & 3rd, 2013. There were 26 patrollers from as far as upstate New York to West Virginia and as far east as New Jersey. Low angle rescue was taught by John Boburchuk from Wilderness Emergency Rescue Institute. They practiced on knot skills that will be incorporated later in to low angle rescue rigging exercise. Afternoon activities were a Ski Enhancement seminar by Nordic Advisor Jerry Timcik. Patrollers also had the chance to practice femur traction splint and emergency toboggan building on the ski trail. In the evening Laurel Hill State Park Manager Mike Mumau had a slide show presentation. The slide show consisted of Laurel Hill, Laurel Ridge, Laurel Highlands Trail and Kooser State Parks which makes up the Laurel Hill State Park Complex. Kooser and Laurel Ridge State Park promote groomed cross-country ski trails. While Laurel Hill State Park has many multi-use trails non-groomed. It was a very informative presentation.

Wounded Warrior Patrol Week at Seven Springs a Success

For the second year in a row, Seven Springs hosted the Wounded Warrior Patrol program. This is for wounded vets and their families to spend a week learning to ski. The Wounded Warrior Patrol program, held February 24 to 28 2013 at Seven Springs, offers our wounded warriors and their families to learn the sport we love - skiing. Stay tuned for photos of the event. To learn more, visit the wounded warrior patrol website at http://www.woundedwarriorpatrol.org/index.html. You can still donate to the program. Send all donations to the wounded Warrior Patrol c/o Evelyn Alcorn at Seven Springs.

NSP Celebrates 75th Anniversary in Denver

More than 350 patrollers attended the National Ski Patrol 75th Anniversary celebration in Denver February 1 - 3. Not only did patrollers from all over the United States and Alaska attend, but patrollers from around the world attended, including Canada, Germany, and a marine stationed in Amman Jordan came all the way home to celebrate the occasion. Representing the Western Appalachian Region were Region Director Marty Silverman, 2010 Region Patroller of the year Mike Calabreze from Blue Knob, and Andy Miller from Seven Springs.

Why Do We Ski at Tussey, There’s No Gondola?
By Jeff Banks

I read SKI Magazine and I don’t like it! Sure Lindsey Vonn is on the back cover and every other page has a phenomenal picture of incredible skiing in exotic locations but where is the article about our little mountain? I can dig it, who doesn’t love Ms. Vonn, the outrageous skiing off of the Big Sky tram and the ethereal views from the base of Chamonix. The problem is I don’t live in France and my mom doesn’t give me enough allowance anymore to save up for ski trips out west. So, since our mountain is apparently not SKI Magazine article worthy, why do we ski at Tussey Mountain? I ponder this question as I sit in the roost after running training sleds on icy Tuscarora (Jon Eckess made me do it) this past Tuesday evening. It is not just because Eric Vorwald looks fantastic in his custom Patagonia outfits or because we love skiing with Brian Younkin, who is the best skier in the south eastern portion of Centre County, well actually the best in just the north western section of the south eastern portion of Centre County. It is primarily because our patrol has interesting people who have developed camaraderie over the years and we like to have fun skiing regardless of the conditions. When I started the patrol I only knew a few patrol candidates from my cohort and I felt a little intimidated with my limited experience compared to the seasoned patrollers. Over the years though, I am sure that many of us have had a similar experience developing friendships and gradually feeling like a part of a Tussey mountain patrol family (or at least like a step family that we see on weekends). I think that we have a good mix of old school and new school and yes, even the snow boarders aren’t bad to have around as long as they stay on their side of the mountain. Even though we don’t get 500 inches of powder or have slope side condos and the terrain sometimes resembles a frozen glacier or an oatmeal mush bowl more than a ski area, we do have a nice little fun mountain that is close to home and more importantly a place where you can always find a friendly ski partner. It’s been a great season and I look forward to seeing you all next year.

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Winter Training Schedule:

Dec 21 - S&T TE Staff Refresher - Seven Springs

Jan 5 - Intro to Senior S&T Clinic - Seven Springs

Jan 5 - Intro to Senior EMM Clinic - Seven Springs

Jan 11 - S&T Clinic - Canaan Valley

Jan 12 - Senior EMM Clinic - Seven Springs

Jan 12 - S&T Clinic - Wisp

Jan 18 - S&T Clinic - Mt. Pleasant

Jan 18 & 19 - Eastern Division Women's Seminar - Bristrol Mt.

Jan 25 & 26 - Region YAP Seminar - Blue Knob

Jan 25 & 26 - Eastern PA Region Patroler School - Elk Mt.

Jan 26 - Senior EMM Clinic - Hidden Valley

Feb 1 & 2 - Region Women's Seminar - Seven Springs

Feb 1 & 2 - Region Patroller School - Seven Springs

Feb 2 - Senior EMM Clinic - Hidden Valley

Feb 8 - S&T Clinic - Blue Knob

Feb 9 - Senior EMM Clinic - Seven Springs

Feb 22 - S&T Clinic - Tussey Mountain

Feb 23 - S&T Clinic - Seven Springs

Mar 1 - Senior EMM Clinic - Seven Springs

Mar 1 - S&T Clinic - Seven Springs

Mar 8 - Senior EMM Eval - Seven Springs

Mar 9 - Senior S&T Test - Seven Springs

Mar 14, 15, 16 - Division YAP Seminar - Surgarbush, ME


National Ski Patrol

NSP - Eastern Division

Eastern PA Region

Region Nordic Patrols

Region Director

Marty Silverman