Friday, February 4, 2011

Cross country ski patrollers-Winters volunteers

   The cross country ski patrol at Independence Oaks County Park is all volunteer being made up of four National Ski Patrol level people along with 15 other volunteers.
   All patrollers have years of skiing experience between them, come basically trained in first-aid and supply all of their own equipment on their individual dime.
   For the 09-10 season, patrollers won the "Best Small Ski Patrol award" for Eastern Michigan under the banner of the National Ski Patrol.
   The trophy, all three feet tall of it according to John O'Dell, patrol director, is impressive not only for it's size but for winning the award itself.
   It was presented in the spirit of outstanding service to the public. Patrollers, when on duty, are out and about skiing the trails, offering advice about technique, and pointing out better ways of dressing.
   When time permits they stage mock emergency drills to help keep their training up as well as to involve other park staff in the event a real emergency happens.
   By some accounts, Independence Oaks is thought to be the first park with a ski patrol, beginning in 1978. That makes this award extra special as it is a recognition for all the years of work that has gone on previously.
   With all of the snow we've had this year, patrollers have been kept busy doling out useful information and in general, being seen on the trails.
   Congratulations for a job well done, and recognized by your peers. Read more in this Sunday's sports.

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