Bruce Holmberg was recently presented the National Ski Patrol’s most prestigious award, the National Appointment. This award, presented to Bruce by Bill Sachs, the National Chairman, is given for exceptional leadership and commitment to the National Ski Patrol and to the skiing and snowboarding public.
Bruce joined the National Ski Patrol at Ski Liberty, PA, 10 years ago -- he was, at age 52, by far the oldest candidate patroller anyone on the patrol can remember. The next oldest candidate in his class was 26 – half Bruce’s age. No, ski patrol candidate year was not like plebe year used to be, but it was a year of rigorous outdoor emergency care (read first aid to injured/ill skiers and snowboarders), ski and toboggan training and several tough tests. Two years later, Bruce became the assistant patrol director of the 100 person volunteer Ski Liberty patrol and then two years after that was elected, then reelected to four consecutive one year terms as the Patrol Director. During this time, the patrol was named the Eastern Division’s Patrol of the Year and was a runner up for national Patrol of the Year. His tenure came at a time when liability issues at ski areas put significantly increased demands on patrollers to prevent accidents and then treat errorlessly any injuries that did occur. This placed huge demands on volunteers and required stepped up training and highly honed operating procedures to handle everything from medevacs, heart attacks, head injuries down to the everyday (it seemed) blown knee or dislocated shoulder.
Bruce is also an outdoor emergency care instructor, ski and toboggan instructor, and senior trainer-evaluator. Although he stepped down last year as patrol director, he still patrols regularly at Ski Liberty and travels to other ski areas throughout the region to instruct and evaluate other patrollers.
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