Awards Program

For more information on the Region Awards Program please contact:

Ellen Conrad    716-713-6382



Three categories of awards are available.  Some are competitive, (such as Patroller of the Year) with one recipient selected each year. Others are based strictly on merit (such as a National Appointment) and can be presented to several deserving individuals in the same year.  Below are the different award categories available for submission.  Please note the date deadlines listed for each award type.  Award applications are located at the bottom of this page.

·      Feb 20 2024 deadline - All Outstanding National Awards, i.e., Outstanding Patrol, Outstanding Administrator, etc

·       March 9 2024 deadline - All National Appointments/ Leadership Commendation/ Distinguish Service Awards

·        March 9 2024 deadline - Merit Stars- Blue, Purple, Yellow, Patroller Cross

·        April 21 2024 deadline - Western New York Regional Awards nominations

·        May 1 2024 deadline - Patriot Star and Patroller Achievement Awards


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Region Awards   

WNY Patroller of the Year Award - Recognizes an outstanding patroller who sets an example for others.  Factors to be considered include service to the local patrol, ski resort, and NSP; leadership roles held; behind-the-scenes activities; length of NSP service; attitude; effort; skills; accomplishments; and relevant training completed.  

Ambassador of the Slopes Award - Recognizes a patroller who promotes a favorable image of the ski patrol to the skiing and snowboarding public.  Factors to consider may include attentiveness to safety, customer service, community service, and professionalism.  This patroller’s actions enhance the public’s impression of the resort, the sport, and/or the ski patrol.  

Diane and Frank Smith Special Recognition Award - Recognizes a patroller from any WNY patrol who constantly works behind the scenes without holding patrol office or a significant NSP appointment.  A “doer” who performs activities such as committee work, fund-raising, maintenance, work parties, shift supervision, record keeping, planning, training, etc. at the patrol level and/or for the NSP.

Mike Reid Instructor Award - Recognizes a certified instructor in the WNY Region (open to all disciplines, including S&T, OEC, CPR, AED, Phase I, avalanche, and mountaineering) whose service extends beyond working with candidates.  Training involvement should include a significant period of time, significant training accomplishments, and/or multiple instructional areas. 

Will Wendell Training Award - Recognizes a patroller who dedicates time and talent to the training of candidates and/or mentoring of inexperienced patrollers.  May include training in OEC, S&T, snowmobile operations, patrol room procedures, resort practices, and other areas.  The patroller may or may not be a certified instructor.  

Jack McKenna Senior Candidate Award - To recognize an individual who completed the final requirements for the Senior program during the current season and demonstrated favorable effort, attitude, performance on Senior evaluations, and improvement in skills.  Only the Senior EMM and S&T Training staffs may make nominations for this award.  The Senior Coordinator will select recipient with input from the Senior training staff as necessary.

George “Skip” Pfister Memorial Award - Recognizes a patroller involved in the instruction of other patrollers in any of the NSP programs: OEC, S&T, MTR, Avalanche and Instructor Development who displays Skip’s outstanding volunteer spirit. Attributes of the candidate shall include those that Skip so consistently exemplified: passionate volunteer, desire to help others, positive role model and an outdoor enthusiast in more areas than skiing/snowboarding. The candidate shall have successfully completed at least the Senior OEC program, completed the Instructor Development course and be at least actively involved in the mentoring phase of becoming an instructor.  The candidate does not need to hold an office at the local or regional level. Full award write-up available here.

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Examples of Awards for Meritorious Acts and Special Services

This is a brief summary.  Full details available from Region Awards Advisor.  

National Appointment - Recognizes extraordinary leadership and service beyond the patrol level.  Must be Senior and have completed minimum 8 active seasons.  

Leadership Commendation Award - Recognizes extraordinary leadership and service beyond the patrol level.  For auxiliaries and non-senior patrollers.  Must have completed Sr. OEC, 4 senior electives and minimum 8 active seasons.  

Distinguished Service Award - For extraordinary service over a very long period of time with exceptional devotion to duty and outstanding performance.  

Meritorious Service Award - For exceptional service and leadership in a Region or division staff position for a minimum of 3 years.  Not available to section chiefs and Region directors.  

Yellow Merit Star - To recognize an outstanding act or service to the NSP.  Not for service to a local patrol.  

Purple Merit Star - To recognize an NSP member who was the primary individual responsible for saving a human life.  Not for patrollers acting as firefighters, etc. at time of incident.  

Blue Merit Star - To recognize an NSP member’s unsuccessful attempt to save a life, or to recognize a member acting in a support role associated with purple merit star.  

Green Merit Star - To recognize an NSP member for an outstanding act of heroism, including hazardous rescue, where not eligible for purple merit star.  

National Certificate of Appreciation - For support or service to the NSP at the National level (may include exceptional local patrol work).

Patroller’s Cross - To recognize an NSP member who suffered a serious on-duty injury involving physician care over a long period, surgery, extended rehab, and/or lost work time.

Angel Pin - For a spouse/partner of an NSP member who demonstrates extraordinary support of the NSP.

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Examples of Division Awards and National Outstanding Awards

This is a brief summary.  Full details available from Region Awards Advisor.

The following awards are based on contributions over the last four completed seasons and are available at both the Division and National levels:  

Outstanding Large Alpine Ski Patrol - Best large ski patrol   (40 or over members)

Outstanding Small Alpine Ski Patrol - Best small ski patrol   (under 40 members)

Outstanding Nordic Ski Patrol - Best Nordic ski patrol  

Outstanding Patroller - Best volunteer patroller

Outstanding Nordic Patroller - Best Nordic patroller

Outstanding Student Ski Patroller - Best student patroller

Outstanding Professional Ski Patroller - Best full-time paid patroller  

Outstanding Auxiliary Ski Patroller - Best active auxiliary patroller  

Outstanding Administrative Ski Patroller - Best administrator.  Eligible positions include section chief, Region director, and Region or divisional advisors.  

Outstanding Instructor - Best instructor in any discipline  

Outstanding Patrol Representative - Best patrol director  

Also available from Eastern Division:

John J. Clair, Jr. Memorial Safety Trophy - For outstanding contributions to ski safety and risk management beyond the patrol level.

Patriot Star Award - Awarded to active patrollers who are or have been a member of the armed forces on active duty in a combat zone.  Dates of active duty location(s) of deployment are required.  Click here for the award application from the Eastern Division website. Application must go to Region Awards Advisor for submission.

Eastern Division Patroller Achievement Award - In 2012 a new award was established to recognize Eastern Division members. The EDPAA is intended to recognize long tenured members who frequently go above and beyond at their patrol but who have not had the desire or opportunity to assume leadership roles at the Patrol or Region level. In 2012 150 Eastern Division Patrollers received this new award. Fifteen years of service is the minimum but members who have completed the Senior Program can be nominated after ten. There is a newly designed nomination form and certificate which you can view via the links below.  Submit applications where the pointt total more than 50.

As you will see on the nomination form nominees are awarded points for many areas of NSP service and members with high point totals will receive the award. In 2013 there will also be 150. Members who have received a National Appointment or Leadership Commendation Appointment are not eligible. Receipt of this award does not prevent a member from receiving an Appointment Award in the future. To learn more about this new award please contact your Region Awards Advisor. Nominations must be submitted to Regions Awards Advisors who will review and forward them to the Eastern Division Awards Coordinator.

​Nominations for this award will be accepted at any time. Recipients for the current year award will be determined April 1 and the pins and patches will be available to Region officers at the Division Annual Meeting.

Award criteria/qualifications: designed to recognize long tenured members who frequently go above and beyond in their contributions to NSP and their local Patrol but have not had the leadership opportunities to be eligible for a National Appointment(NA) or Leadership Commendation Appointment(LCA). The minimum requirements for this award are 15 years' service as a Patroller who has not achieved Senior status, or 10 years' service as a Patroller who has achieved Senior status. Beyond that, credits are given for working as an instructor in any NSP discipline and as a CPR instructor. Completion of NSP courses such as MTR 1 & 2 and Avalanche Level 1 and Level 2 also receive credits. All NSP Merit Stars are considered, with the Purple Merit Star receiving the most credit. There is a matrix that includes all the details linked below.

Members who have received either a National Appointment or LCA are not eligible, but receipt of this award does not prevent a member from receiving a National Appointment in the future. Nominations must go through your Patrol Director to the Region Awards Advisor. Unlike other awards, there is a three month nomination period, normally June, July, August, and there will be a limit of 150 recipients a year. In 2014, because we needed some time to finalize the requirements, the nomination period will be August, September and October. Recipients will receive a Sweater Pin and possibly a Patch the design of both can be seen in the Announcement document below.

As with all awards forms, please submit them to _________ to begin the process.



EDPAA Nomination Form is available here.  If you have issues accessing the form please go to the ED Awards webpage and access the form from there.



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Awards Forms

The forms below are in MS Word format.

NSP - WNY Region Award Nomination Form        

National awards - Only the most recent forms will be accepted.  These are available from the NSP website: after you sign in under Member Resources > Forms & Documents > Awards.

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Western New York Region Awards Committee

Patrol Name Address Phone E-Mail

Committee Chair

Ellen Conrad

364 Wilson Road

Angola, NY 14906


Allegany  Nordic

Ellen Conrad

364 Wilson Road

Angola, NY 14906


Buffalo Ski Center

Erin Francis

314 Girard Avenue

East Aurora, NY 14052



Barry Harris

4030 Shore Acres Drive

Bemus Point, NY 14712


Denton Hill

Mark Roman

4 Highview Circle

Horseheads, NY 14845



Holiday Valley

Dan Meess

5507 Country Club

Hamburg, NY 14075

716-949-5275 (c)


Kim Crotty

138 Belmont Avenue

Lancaster, NY 14086

716-445-5413 (c)

Kissing Bridge

Duncan Black (Regional awards)

40 Lennox Avenue

Eggertsville, NY 14226

716-432-8313 (c)

Peek‘n Peak

Jessy Smulski

2739 Shadyside Road

Findley Lake, NY 14736


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