NSP's national Patroller Education Conference (PEC) was held at Copper Mountain, Colo., from April 12-14, and was attended by over 200 patrollers. The conference is designed to sharpen existing skills, learn new skills, and build bonds that last lifetimes. Each of the NSP Education Program Directors ran a program under their specific program focus.
"PEC has become the preeminent conference for ski patrollers, buttressed by an outstanding agenda and an opportunity for patrollers to share best practices," said Tim White, NSP Executive Director. "The Outdoor Emergency Care training patrollers do for initial certification is just the beginning of the learning, and the PEC gives patrollers a chance to experience the new techniques in realistic scenarios, improving their reaction time and mastery of the skills."
Skills and challenges included low angle rescue, GPS navigational techniques, lift evacuation (including climbing a lift tower and riding the line), and avalanche rescue. Clinics and activities included toboggan and OEC updates, OEC on-the-snow scenarios, a Mountain Travel and Rescue – Night on the Snow Rescue scenario, Level 1 Avalanche Refresher, Risk Management, ACL Injury Prevention, Nordic Overview, Lift Evacuation program, receptions, hospitality nights, classroom clinics, and of course, skiing.
Amazing guest speakers Dana Jordan of Cascade Rescue, former Vail patroller and climber extraordinaire Eric Alexander, Copper doctor and altitude researcher Phil Freedman, and skiing and instructing legend Jeannie Thoren, delighted and entertained throughout the conference.
With 11 teams, the ever-popular Patroller Challenge saw its most competitive field ever. Top honors for 2012 go to Team PUHA (Pick Up and Haul Ass) from Willamette Pass, Ore., improving on their second place finish in 2010. Consisting of Sarah Aiken, Cyndy Meno, and Kevin Vogt, Team PUHA scored the highest on the scorecard criteria (Senior standards for Outdoor Emergency Care and Toboggan), and took home prizes from NSP sponsors.
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About National Ski Patrol
The National Ski Patrol is a federally-chartered nonprofit membership association dedicated to serving the public and the mountain recreation industry. For 74 years, the NSP has been at the forefront of safety and emergency care education programs. The association's 28,000 members represent 98 percent of the nation's patrollers. For more information, log onto www.nsp.org.