Citizen Advocates supports ski patrols with locker donations

Members of the Whiteface Volunteer Ski Patrol pose with the lockers donated by Citizen Advocates. (Photo provided)

MALONE — Upgrades to the boot and ski room for the Whiteface Volunteer Ski Patrol and Titus Mountain received a lift from Citizen Advocates in Malone in the form of much need locker space.

The ski patrol for Whiteface Mountain Ski Area has been modernizing the boot and ski room, which has had the same basic amenities since the 1980 Olympic Games. With over 55 pairs of boots and 100 pairs of skies stored on handmade wooden racks, there is little room for other essentials like jackets, helmets, aid belts or any of the required equipment needed to patrol Whiteface.

Citizen Advocates, the health and human services organization with operations throughout the North Country, recently located its administrative offices in what was previously the U.S. Army’s Lockwood Reserve Center on Finney Boulevard in Malone. When the Reserve Center was declared surplus, many of the items in the center were left behind – including more than 100 full-sized, red metal lockers.

With no practical use for the lockers, Citizen Advocates was open to finding them a new home. One of the company’s board members, Felix Tam, is also a member of the ski patrol at Titus Mountain, who were also given lockers for upgrades to its boot and ski room as well. When members of the Whiteface ski patrol toured the impressive facilities of their counterparts at Titus, and with lockers to spare, Citizen Advocates’ Board of Directors made a similar donation to Whiteface.

“The ski patrols at Titus and Whiteface provide an important service for the residents of and visitors to our community,” said James Button, COO for Citizen Advocates. “So when the opportunity arose to repurpose the lockers for a great cause, we were happy to step in and support their efforts.”

Whiteface Volunteer Ski Patrol member John Mathiason stands with the lockers donated by Citizen Advocates. (Photo provided)

“This was such a welcome gift, and will provide us with the space that supports the critical work of our ski patrol,” said Joe Rine, Deputy Volunteer representative. “The WFVSP extends its appreciation to Citizens Advocate for their donation to this worthy project.”

In total, 50 metal lockers were relocated to Whiteface for the ski patrol’s renovation project.

About WFVSP The WFVSP consists of 55 volunteer patrollers along with 25 paid patrollers with an average of 20.1 years dedicated experience with the National Ski Patrol. There is a strong partnership between the Mountain Management and the patrol. Working as a team they reduced accidents while increasing skier visits.

The patrol has a partnership with the local Volunteer Ambulance Service. The Ambulance Service dedicates an ambulance and crew at the ski area during weekends, holidays and major events. This has decreased the response time by 15 minutes, resulting in greatly improved patient care and transport time to the local hospital, reducing the severity when injuries do occur.

In addition, there are six EMTs (Critical Care), three paramedics and five EMT basics assigned to the Medical Service Area (MSA). This results in an integrated medical team; patrollers, ambulance service at the mountain and the EMTs in the MSA. Another part of the Whiteface Medical Team is a group of local Physicians that volunteer on weekends and holidays to augment and provide guidance to the MSA. These professionals add another layer of care to patients at the MSA.