The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 36

includes OEC classes and OEC Refreshers. OEC stands for Outdoor Emergency Care, and is the foundation
of the NSP education program. Over the course of its history, the NSP has helped to develop
similar patrol organizations in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Chile, Israel, Turkey and
Korea.
The Joint Statement of Understanding (JSOU) made with the National Ski Areas Association
(NSAA) outlines the relationship between the NSP Patrollers and the ski areas. NSP volunteers act as
agents of their ski areas and take their direction from the ski area management. NSP does not manage
the patrols, NSP provides the training and certifications to its members who become " unpaid " employees
of the mountain. These " unpaid " employees look and act just like the " paid " Pro-Patrollers. Both work
under the protocols, operations, and standards of care established by area management. NSP sets the
standard of education and certification. Many ski areas including Big Bear Mountain Resorts, Big Bear
Lake, CA are holding their Pro-Patrollers to be trained in NPS Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC). Paid
and volunteer patrollers all work in unison, shoulder to shoulder, and are equally educated and deliver
the same level of first responder first aid. As intended, it is opaque to the resort guests, as to who is a volunteer
and who is not. On every winter weekend an extra 20-30+ volunteer patrollers arrive to their
" mountain home-away-from-home " dwellings late on Friday nights, in the dark, rain, fog and snow for
their Saturday and Sunday duty days. They are welcomed with open arms and relief in the eyes of the
paid patrol staff. The personal contributions and sacrifices scream dedication. NSP Members buy all
their own uniforms, equipment, pay for their own lodging, meals and accept loss of income from weekend
paying jobs to be in their boots and gear in the early morning hours. Patrollers are the first to ride the
chairlifts and begin their 10+ hour shifts with hill set-up, equipment placement, digging out tower pads,
making the lift line mazes with bamboo sticks and banner tape, all before the resorts are opened to the
general public.
Each and every NSP volunteer patroller has a unique and personal story. They come from extremely
TOP: Jerry Colburn Nunn, Jimmie Nunn's wife
LOWER PHOTO: Jimmie Nunn - skiing at age 9.
Jimmie Nunn's 93 year journey was full of
achievement, adventure and service. You will see
his picture in several places in this history and
you will understand why. His family came to
Flagstaff from Sweetwater, Texas in 1934 and was
skiing on mail order skis two years before the
first rope tow on what was to become a part of
the Arizona Snowbowl. He was a star basketball
player and skier for his high school. He was an
unofficial Junior National Ski Patroller in 1944.
He served in the Navy in World War II; and then
commenced his university education, earning
two degrees, the last a Master's degree in
architectural engineering from the University of
Colorado. He remained active with NSPS and
started the Phoenix Ski Patrol in 1952. Jimmie
worked his way through NSP ranks, occupying
every position from Patrol Leader to Far West
Division Director and Assistant National Director
(1971-74). Injury prevented his further advance in
the National Ski Patrol (NSP).
As a member of the all-volunteer 1960 Squaw
Valley Winter Olympics Ski Patrol, he was part
of Andrea Mead's honor escort as she skied the
Olympic torch into the arena. There, he met
fellow patroller, Jerry Colburn, who became his
second wife 15 years later in 1975. Jimmie had a
long career in architecture in the Phoenix area
diversified walks of life. This group of computer technicians, lawyers, chefs, construction workers, streetstripers,
sales men and women, teachers, doctors, nurses, financial planners, firefighters, landscape artists,
musicians and more, all share common values and beliefs. All have a passion to serve their community
and help individuals who could potentially be facing life threatening injuries or are cold or scared, or have
become separated from their friends and family, or potentially are lost beyond the resort boundaries. All
have a common goal to ensure their patrons have the best guest experience possible with safety as the
main motivator. Each NSP Patroller loves being an ambassador for their ski areas and take pride in providing
high-level first responder services and care to resort guests. " Vollies " are a unique group of individuals,
their patrol family is held in high regard, and their experiences are life changing.
Over the years, the Far West Ski Association has had many opportunities to cross collaborate and
embrace the membership of the National Ski Patrol.
Let's start with Gertrude " Jerry " Colburn Nunn, a true ski pioneer. Nunn was born March 12, 1922
and grew up in Sacramento, CA. At the age of 14 years old, Jerry was introduced to skiing by a girlfriend.
Jerry was an athlete, and the first time she strapped on skis was at Soda Springs Ski Resort at Donner Pass
in the Sierra Nevada. Although she fell repeatedly, like so many new skiers, she loved it! She got up again,
just to fall again, and she never stopped until the very end of the day.
Now, although women were skiing back in the 30's and earlier, it was a man's world. And, as Jerry's
interest, skill, and involvement grew, so did the adversity she encountered and she persisted, nonetheless.
At just 18 years old, she began her upward trajectory as assistant to the ski patrol physician at Sugar Bowl.
She joined that National Ski Patrol System as a Patroller in 1944. In 1949, she joined the ski patrol at
Sugar Bowl. But her true contribution and change would begin at Squaw Valley when she was accepted
to the Ski Patrol System in 1954.
Jerry and her colleagues at the time were tasked with creating avalanches to make the ski areas safe
for patrons. They used the weight and force of their bodies or used dynamite. This was an extremely
dangerous job. In December 1959, she was featured in a cover story of Skiing Magazine. After becoming
a mother, Jerry applied to become certified as the first female Forest Service Snow Ranger and she was
hired as a Patroller for the 1960 U.S. Olympic Ski Patrol Team.
Jerry teamed up with avalanche control expert, Monty Atwater, to develop a new, safer avalanche
prevention technology: The Avalauncher. Atwater had developed an avalanche gun, that would allow patrollers
to create preventative avalanches from a greater distance, making the process safer and much more
efficient. Jerry and Monty hit the road to sell the avalanche gun, and after Monty could no longer contribute,
Jerry continued on alone. The technology was often referred to as Jerry's Gun and a more modern
rendition of it is still in use by ski resorts around the world today.
36 FWSA 90th Anniversary Booklet / 1930 - 2020
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The Far West Ski Association Turns 90

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Far West Ski Association Turns 90

Index
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - Cover1
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - Cover2
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 1
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 2
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - 3
The Far West Ski Association Turns 90 - Index
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