Tim Viall, NSP Alumni adviser
NSP: When did you first become involved with the NSP, and what was your initial interest in patrolling?
Tim: I joined the Mt. Spokane NSP as a candidate in fall 1974, interested in the first aid quotient, as well as the presumed free skiing! After several moves in my newspaper career and a break in NSP service, I rejoined the Dodge Ridge NSP in 1994.
NSP: How many cups of coffee do/did you drink during a patrol shift?
Tim: A coffee break in the morning, coffee at lunch.
NSP: Powder or groomers?
Tim: Because Mt. Spokane is in a natural, frequent fog belt, it mandated patrollers become tree skiers. In my younger years, I loved tree skiing, powder skiing, and crud skiing. Always tried to avoid the bumps; now that I'm more mature, I'm more of a groomed slope skier.
NSP: What do you find most rewarding about being an alumni member of the National Ski Patrol?
Tim: I've been able to stay involved at my patrol level with helping orchestrate "Alumni celebration day" events, as well as at the division level as the division newsletter editor and alumni adviser. And, I've become the medical services coordinator, and chief recruiter, for first aid for the huge Sea Otter Bike Classic in April each year, putting about 50 NSP members to work as backcountry first aiders and course marshals at the largest biking event in the U.S., the seaotterclassic.org.
NSP: Tell us a little bit about your new position with the NSP.
Tim: I've been the Far West Division Alumni adviser for the past three years; I'm still learning new methods from other divisions and working to position alumni in the minds of our 40 Far West Division patrols. I hope to help accelerate that across the NSP system with our 600-plus patrols.
NSP: What have you learned from your experiences as a patroller that will assist you with alumni members?
Tim: After 35 years in the NSP, it's not something you give up easily. As an alumni, I have the opportunity to stay involved and give back to the organization that I've taken such delight in over the years. I would invite others to continue on as an alumni when job, family, age, or other things get in the way of active patrolling.
NSP: What are you most excited about with your new role as the NSP Alumni Program advisor?
Tim: To work with division alumni advisors to help apply their best practices across the system and use alumni membership as a marketing tool to advance the NSP.