Region Director's Report

Butch MacQueen    716-354-9235 (h), 814-730-9440 (c)


Region Director’s Ramblings


            Beyond my portal to the world, the terrain has been transformed to winter overnight.  To these eyes, it is a welcome sight!  The past few weeks of warmer-than-normal temperature and an abundance of sunshine were enjoyable but now that we have Thanksgiving behind us, it is time to think more seriously about resuming our patrolling duties.

            Just a few days ago I got out my ski bag and began examining the contents.  I’ll not going into detail on the laundry load that followed but at the end of each season I am grateful to stow the skis and bag in anticipation of the springtime adventures and I don’t always take the time to check what has been left from the season.  But now the smears of mud from the final trek down the quickly melting slopes have been wiped from the boot shells and pants, gloves, neck warmers, etc. have all been neatly arranged for the beginning of the next season.

            Last issue, I urged everyone to avail themselves of the many programs offered by the Patrol.  We should all continually pursue self-improvement in all we do, professionally as well as personally.  So it should be while we patrol.  It may be as simple as making at least part of some runs in the “snowplow” or “wedge” position.  I know it hurts many of us at first but it’s far better to practice it and get the hips in shapes before we need them, than experiencing that pain while running the first loaded toboggan of the season.  Throw in a few wedge turns while you are at it.  For entertainment make it more fun by having a session of follow the leader with other patrollers.  Go through all the maneuvers from the S&T clinics and work on those skills that you are a bit rusty in performing.  Remember the old adage that “If you don’t use it, you’re gonna lose it.”

            Don’t forget to inventory your first aid pack also.  I know I need to replace a few items that were used at the end of last season.  Many of those old latex gloves will tear and split if not replaced with fresh ones also.  And how about those first aid skills?  Yes, you attended the fall refresher, but is that all you need?  No, that’s the minimum you need.  Consider being a patient for either new candidates or senior EMM candidates.  It’s amazing how much you can learn by being a patient.  You are given the scenario including what injuries you are to simulate and then you play the role complete with all the signs and symptoms of the injury.  You will hear first-hand how the assessment should be done as well as the treatment, and in many cases you’ll also be able to hear the critique of how the problem was handled.  All the time you will be gaining knowledge and refining your own skills.  And by the way, the candidates and instructors will be very appreciative of the help.

            Why all this emphasis on continually improvement?  Because our customers are relying on us as Professionals.  And you know how you feel toward a Doctor you visit who does not keep up on his or her skills?  You are that professional who first treats an injured skier.  Will you be the best that you can be?


I hope to see you on the slope,

Butch MacQueen



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