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Ski Patrol meets in Grand Rapids promoting safety

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The National Ski Patrol held its Central Division Meeting in Grand Rapids this past weekend.

The National Ski Patrol is made up of 28,000 trained members spread out across 600 Patrols.  

Some of those members keep watch over the U.S. Central Division running from the Missouri River to the south and north through Michigan.

Meeting in Grand Rapids safety was at the core of its division meeting including the continued promotion of protecting your head by wearing a helmet.

“Concussions with sports it’s the same kind of a thing so you want to protect it. It’s just a good idea and actually at first you thought ‘who wanted to wear a helmet’ you put them on and they actually make you warmer.”

John Thomas is National Ski Patrol Central Division Advisor.

He encourages others to volunteer their time.

“And what’s a better way than doing it with something you enjoy. A passion of skiing.”

Alicia Cristina Saenz possesses that passion as Patroller at Pando Winter Sports Park.

“Monitoring safety and advising people on maybe things that can be corrected and make things a little bit safer and then you’re out there responding if anything happens you’re right there.”

WGVU General Manager, Michael Walenta, is also a Mountain Travel & Rescue/Avalanche Advisor. He tells us Ski Patrol safety is becoming a year round service.

“It’s not just skiing. It’s skiing, snowboarding, and Nordic patrolling, too. Cross country we have that as well. And now we’re branching into non-snow emergency care as well, like bike patrolling.”

Patrick Center, WGVU News.