FWD Awards – 2012

This year the FWD submitted award nominations in 11 of the possible twelve categories to the National Awards Committee. Nine of those nominations were selected as National honorees and five of those nine won the highest possible honor. If you are into statistics, the FWD received 37% of the National Awards while making up just over 6% of the total membership. This is a testament to the quality of our members and our training programs. We need to thank our Division Awards Committee for their hard work – Leilani Connely from ESR, Cash Murphy from SoCal, Toni Sinclair from AZ, Nick Akimoff from Northern and Debbie Whitcher from Mother Lode. I also would like to acknowledge two members of the National Judging committee – Debbie Whitcher and David Ritchie. I would like to further acknowledge David Ritchie, as my predecessor he help set the standard for the high quality nominations that we are able to submit at the national level. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we need to acknowledge and thank the many individuals and committees that took the time to write up and nominate our members for these awards. Without them none of this would happen.

Distinguished Service Award
Rich Bailey – China Peak Ski Patrol
The Distinguished Service award requires a minimum of 20 years of extraordinary service to the NSP. Rich Bailey has over 40 seasons of extraordinary Patrolling. Prior to working for China Peak he was a respected member of the Sugar Bowl Ski Patrol. He has served on the FWD Board of Directors for 27 years as the Professional Representative. A long time supporter of the NSP, Rich supported the NSP and our training programs at a time when Snow Summit Corporation was unwilling to see the benefits. On more than one occasion he has stuck his neck out for patrollers, the APP and the NSP. He is a licensed Avalanche blaster, Avalanche instructor, OEC and OET instructor. He holds National Appointment 6551, which he was awarded in 1985. Rich has strong ties to the NSAA, SCAAA and the APP. He is an advocate for NSP in everything he does. Rich is truly deserving of this award, long overdue and an outstanding example of a true leader in the NSP. He continues to work for the membership and is a friend and fellow patroller to all.

Outstanding Nordic Patroller
Steve Newman – Mt. Pinos Nordic Ski Patrol
Steve is no newbie to awards this is the second time he has been names the Division’s Outstanding Nordic Patroller. He also holds a coveted Gold Merit Star as the Outstanding Administrative patroller in 2005, holds a National Appointment, three Yellow Merit Stars, two Green Merit Star and a Blue Merit Star. Steve has served the NSP in an outstanding career spanning the last 17 years. He has served as an assistant Patrol rep, Section Chief and Regional Director. He serves both the Mammoth Basin Nordic Patrol and the Mt. Pinos Nordic Patrol. A true asset to the NSP and one of our most respected members, congratulations to Steve Newman, the FWD Nordic Patroller of the year.

Outstanding Young Adult Patroller
Jesse Honig – Bear Valley Ski Patrol
Jesse began his quest to join the Bear Valley Ski patrol at the age of 13. At the age of 16 he began formal toboggan training and was able to officially join the NSP. He is a top student and in addition to skiing, plays water polo and is the number one ranked tennis player on his team. He approaches patrolling with a sense of pride and confidence whether he is doing mundane tasks such as posting signs and setting up closures or taking charge of challenging medical situations. He has a reputation as a true team player and is always willing to offer a helping hand. A respected and admired member of the Bear Valley Ski Patrolling family it is our honor to present Jesse with the Outstanding Young Adult Patroller Award. Jesse also wins a Yellow Merit star as a National Nominee.

Outstanding Administrative Patroller
Kevin Qualseth – China Peak Ski Patrol
Kevin has been a member of the NSP for the past 12 years. A shy and humble man, Kevin has grown as one of the FWD finest instructors and program administrators. As the Mother Lode Region OEC advisor for the past four years, Kevin has hosted numerous Senior OEC seminars throughout the division. He has been named the Outstanding Administrative patroller for the Mother Lode Region twice, as well as receiving the Mother Lode Region Director’s award for outstanding service to the NSP. A Scout leader he has guided several Eagle Scout projects for making splints and serves as a team captain for catering for the American Cancer Societies Relay for Life. As a CPR instructor he has taught over 400 school employees CPR. The NSP values honed skills and strong leadership. Kevin is a superb example of a patroller that has grown with his NSP training. Originally a shy man – he has stepped forward into leadership positions with a strong, quiet confidence. As the Region OEC advisor he has hosted over 15 Senior Emergency Management Scenarios while creating a positive learning environment for all participants. A great patroller and a great human being, the Far West Division is proud to present Kevin Qualseth with the Outstanding Administrator Award. Kevin also receives a Yellow Merit Star as a National Nominee.

Outstanding Instructor – Non OEC
Silver Merit Star – National Runner-up
Michael Loy – Dodge Ridge Ski Patrol:
Michael joined the NSP 12 years ago and has made significant contributions to his patrol and region serving as the Mother Lode Region Ski and Toboggan advisor. He received a Yellow Merit Star in 2009 and became a Senior just two years after joining the NSP in 2002. He teaches at the patrol, region and division level and currently serves as a Patrol Representative. Since becoming the region Ski and Toboggan advisor he has taught and evaluated throughout the region and has taught at the division clinics for the last two years. In 2009 he completed Telemark and Snowboard lessons to better instruct snowboard and Telemark patrollers. A superb instructor he always on his game, known for saying “when you are skiing always practice, when going to a code practice your skiing skills.” From the lift he often observes other skiers and makes it into a teachable moment. “What did you see about that person and how could you improve their skiing?” He serves as a Little League coach, with the American Youth Soccer League and his high school golf team. He is known for his excitement, enthusiasm, and his love for patrolling family as well as the public at large. It is our pleasure to name Michael Loy not only as the FWD Division Instructor of the year but also as a Silver Merit Star winner as the runner up in the entire NSP.

Outstanding OEC Instructor – Gold Merit Star – National Winner
Barbara Baxter – Snow Summit Ski Patrol
Barbara is not new to awards – all of which she has earned. In 2000 and again in 2006 she was named the national runner up as an Outstanding Auxiliary patroller. In 2007 she was presented with a Gold Merit Star as the Nation’s Outstanding Instructor. She received the Distinguished Service award in 2007, a Patroller cross and a National Leadership Commendation Appointment in 2003. She is a model for all OEC instructors, a pediatric nurse she brings her standards and skills to the OEC program. Annually she spends countless hours teaching complete OEC courses, challenge courses, refreshers and CPR. She also contributes as an Instructor Development teacher. Her commitment, dedication and enthusiasm are reflected by the many awards she has already earned. The quality of the student coming out of her classes speaks as loudly as the Gold Merit star we will be presenting this evening. It is with great pride we name Barbara Baxter as the Outstanding OEC instructor in the FWD and the Nation.

Outstanding Alpine Patroller – Silver Merit Star – National Runner-up
Dore Bietz – Dodge Ridge and Kirkwood Ski Patrols.
Dore joined the NSP in 2005, attained her Senior in 2007 and in the past year has served at both Dodge Ridge and at Kirkwood, where she has been a leader at forging relationships between the NSP, Area Management and the veteran Paid Patrol. Her out going demeanor, management, recruiting and training skills have been vital in building this new patrol. Meanwhile, at Dodge Ridge she serves as the Assistant Patrol Representative and Senior Toboggan Advisor. At Dodge she is recognized for her Enthusiasm, dedication and friendship. In 2010 Dodge Ridge named her their outstanding patroller. Dodge Ridge Patrol representative Michael Loy describes her best. “Dore’s willingness to serve both our patrol and devote huge energy to forming and training a patrol 100 miles away have been simply awesome.” In reference to the formation of the Kirkwood Patrol, Region Director Jim Simons states “She has stepped up in an incredible way to help with the formation of this new patrol…you will not have any idea how much her efforts have made this enterprise possible.” Dore continues to challenge herself and is currently participating in the certified program where she has already completed four of the nine exams. Not only are we proud to name Dore the Outstanding Alpine Patroller in the Far West Division, we are also proud to award her with a Silver Merit Star as the Runner up Outstanding Alpine Patroller in the nation.

Outstanding Patroller: Gold Merit Star – National Winner
Mike Byas – China Peak Ski Patrol
This award was formerly known as the outstanding Auxiliary patroller award. We have changed that to Patroller Award, to go along with our Nordic Patroller Award and Alpine Patroller Award.

An 11 year veteran of the NSP, Mike is described by China Peak Patrol representative Tony Atkins as a man who ”Educates, Coaches, Communicates and Participates. He plays a vital role in the safety of our guests. “ He has a strong desire to help others and has served as the patrols OEC advisor since 2005. In addition he has served as the OEC Instructor of Record and Instructor Trainer for the Patrol since 2004. He has been elected to the Patrol’s Board of Directors for five consecutive terms and serves as the director of the new NSP mountain host program started this last season. When China Peak was rebuilding its patrol with the NSP model, Mike was one of the leaders among a strong core of committed NSP patrollers. He taught OEC at a very high level helping to prepare the foundation for an NSP patrol. When the time came to switch from the American Red Cross standard of care to the higher OEC standard of care – China Peak was set to be OEC certified due to the efforts of Mike Byas. It is an honor to name Mike Byas the Far west Division Patroller of the Year. It is a further honor to present him with this Gold Merit Star and name him the Outstanding Patroller in the Nation.

Outstanding Paid Patroller – Gold Merit Star – National Winner
Mark Brown – Snow Summit Ski Patrol
Mark Started his patrol career as an NSP volunteer. When he became a full time paid patroller he continued to be extremely involved with the NSP volunteer patrol. He volunteers to help out with skiing and toboggan handling skills as well as helping those interested in completing the certified skills. Beyond the patrol level he has traveled to Las Vegas, Utah and Alaska to help with NSP toboggan clinics. NSP Patrol Representative Luanne Pryor stats “My personal experience with this patroller has led to the utmost respect for his skills as a patroller and his willingness to go above and beyond to help other volunteer and paid staff to improve their skills.” A 24 year veteran of the NSP, a Senior in 1992, Certified in 1996 and the holder of a national appointment in 1998, the Far West Division names Mark Brown as the Outstanding Paid Patroller of 2012 and is proud to present him with this Gold Merit Star as the Outstanding Paid Patroller in the nation.

Outstanding NSP Patrol Representative
Gold Merit Star – National Winner
Michael Fanelli – Northstar Ski Patrol
Michael joined the NSP in 1998 and has continuously served on his local patrol’s Board of Directors. For the past seven years he has served as patrol director. In addition to his duties as patrol rep, he has also served on the Divisional Winter Education Conference Committee for the past four years. He serves as both an OEC and OET instructor. Due to his leadership skills, his role model as a working patroller and his support of the NSP; his patrol is one seamless organization, which the resort management respects and appreciates. He was instrumental in rewriting the patrol bylaws and Policies and Procedures. The consummate leader he is also the consummate patroller. Practicing what he preaches, his OEC skills are impeccable and his attitude is extremely personable and dedicated. At a time when a large ski corporation with no NSP volunteer patrols purchased the nominee’s resort, Michael put his leadership skills and excellent working relationships to great use as he made the transitions with the new owners seamless. He made sure the new owners understood the benefit of the volunteer staff and the NSP. Through his efforts the patrol continued to work together and shined. He received a purple merit star in 1999 and has been named the outstanding patrol representative in the Eastern Sierra Region for the past three seasons. Last year we were proud to name Michael Fanelli as the FWD Patrol Rep of the Year and the National Runner up. This year we are proud to name him once again as the FWD Patrol Rep of the Year and as the Outstanding Patrol Representative in the nation with a Gold Merit Star.

Outstanding Small Alpine Ski Patrol
Silver Unit Citation – National Runner Up
Diamond Peak Ski Patrol – Eastern Sierra Region.
The Diamond Peak Ski Patrol serves Incline ski area. The group consists of 24 volunteers and 9 paid staff. They have been named the outstanding regional patrol for the past four years and in 2007 they were named the Outstanding Small Alpine patrol in the Nation. Though small, the patrol is self sufficient with 8 OEC instructors and 2 Toboggan instructors and an Instructor trainer in both disciplines. They have an outstanding candidate training program and have developed a “Patroller’s Pocket Guide” for use in the field – this is similar to what paramedics used and can be downloaded from the Diamond Peak Website at www.dpnsp.org. If fact, their web site is worth visiting just to see the excellent recruitment videos and training materials. Many of the patrol staff are locals and donate time to the schools, local fire department and local hospital. They double as patrollers for the Reno Rodeo and the local Search and Rescue team. An example of why this patrol is outstanding is the average tenure of eight years for each member and the diversity of the membership. Diamond Peak Ski Patrol has members that are Paramedics, Doctors, Physical Therapists, a retired Brigadier General, and three Jet Pilots. Members contribute and average of 25 days a season and they have two patrollers that actually commute from Southern California. The Far West Division is proud to name Diamond Peak as the Outstanding ski Patrol in the Division and as a runner up in the nation.

Outstanding Large Alpine Patrol
Silver Unit Citation – National Runner-up
China Peak Ski Patrol – Mother Lode Region
This patrol has gone through a huge ordeal in the past decade. After the Cain case the Area Management made a decision to remove the NSP from their resorts and replace them with a lower American Red Cross standard of care. Many patrollers became disenchanted and left the mountain and the NSP. But a small group of dedicated individuals, Rich Bailey, John and Peggy Jameson, Tony Atkins, Randy Berg, Kevin Qualseth and Mike Byas – to name a few believed in the NSP product, training and standards.

As a testament to the quality of this patrol, five of their members have already been singled out for their contributions to the NSP this evening. Through an arduous process this patrol is now fully NSP certified, and provides a significant amount of the NSP leadership. Their members include the Regional Director, Pro Patrol Representative to the FWD Board, Regional OEC advisor, and the Division Conference coordinator. The patrol boasts outstanding leadership, outstanding training programs and some truly outstanding individuals. Perhaps a customer said it best when she sent this letter :
“My son was involved in a horrible accident last Saturday… I am writing to say thank you form the bottom of my heart for everything you guys did. I know that because of the calm, collected, and loving attitude of the ski patrol, our experience was as good as it could have been.”

China Peak Ski Patrol is flourishing as they complete their second year with a new owner; an owner that values their services and the standards of the NSP. The fact that that owner, Tim Cohee, is here this evening speaks volumes for the support of this patrol and the NSP. The Far West Division is proud to name the China Peak Ski patrol as the outstanding Large Alpine Ski Patrol of 2012 and to present them with this Silver Unit Citation as the Runner-up in the Nation.

Outstanding Nordic Ski Patrol
Gold Unit Citation – National Winter
Tahoe Backcountry Ski Patrol – Eastern Sierra Region
The Tahoe Backcountry Patrol was formed 20 years ago and boasts over 70 members. They patrol the popular Tahoe National Forest over a two state area, where the backcountry adventurer often requires their services and skills. Last season the patrol successfully found a lost snowshoer after a 2night/3day search in a snowstorm that left 2 feet of fresh powder on the slopes. Quoted from the local newspaper:

The NSP and SAR units had leading roles in a successful search and rescue effort. Most outstanding was the work of the Tahoe Backcountry Ski Patrol that is part of the Far West Division. They were able to make major contributions perhaps because they were thoroughly familiar with the terrain… Many other SAR units were deployed, including other NSP patrols, but… the Tahoe Backcountry Ski Patrol was able to get there the fastest with the mostest.”

They are a dedicated bunch with a passion for the backcountry they love to share with the skiing public they encounter. They are involved in their region providing Avalanche and Mountaineering courses and have a rigorous candidate training program.
They were named the Outstanding Nordic patrol in their region in 2009 and the National Runner up Nordic Patrol in 2010. This evening it is our honor to present them with a Gold Unit Citation and name them as the Outstanding Nordic Patrol in the Nation.

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