The Western Michigan Region of the National Ski Patrol includes five areas, a Nordic patrol and over 430 active patrollers. Patrollers live by the credo “First on Last off”, we provide first aid & safety on the mountain, opening and closing the slopes. 

For more information about the National Ski Patrol visit

We are a different breed poster
Alumni photo


Alumni membership is a special NSP registration category for members who no longer want to provide emergency care or rescue services but wish to remain involved with NSP.


Alumni membership is available for any member who has patrolled for at least a year, but who needs to take time away for some reason.

And what happens if you want to go back to patrolling? As long as your certifications are current, you can switch out of alumni status and go back to patrolling at any time.

So being an alumni member is a great way to stay connected with NSP and your fellow members.

Contact Tim Kirch to find out more about our Alumni Program.


NSP has been providing avalanche education to ski patrollers and other search and rescue personnel since 1957, making it the oldest and most experienced avalanche education association for rescue professionals in the U.S. NSP offers avalanche education for general recreationists as well.


All NSP avalanche courses meet or exceed curriculum recommendations established for each course by the American Avalanche Association. Course content is frequently updated to incorporate the latest avalanche research and skills. All avalanche education courses are taught by NSP-certified avalanche instructors who undergo rigorous training and evaluation of technical knowledge and teaching proficiency.

Contact Michael Walenta for information about training in our region.

avalanche training

Instructor Development

Becoming an NSP instructor is a very rewarding process.

Questions about the Instructor Development Program can be directed to Instructor Development Program Director  Pat Livingston.


NSP’s Mountain Travel and Rescue Program offers a sequence of courses that prepare ski patrollers and others to manage group safety and to participate in search-and-rescue operations in the mountains, including backcountry and off-piste settings. The courses cover basic survival skills, mountain travel techniques, wilderness navigation, hazard management, mountain weather, group dynamics, environmental considerations, medical problems specific to mountain environments, search-and-rescue principles, and emergency rescue techniques, including rope work.

There are five courses. Mountain Travel and Rescue Fundamentals and Mountain Travel Rescue 1 prepare candidates to be search-team members in ground-based search and rescue operations. Mountain Travel and Rescue 2 prepares more experienced candidates to serve as task-force or strike-team leaders. Mountain Travel and Rescue Clinics (with no prerequisites) and Mountain Travel and Rescue Enhancement Seminars (for students who have completed MTR F, MTR 1, or MTR 2) focus in depth on specific skills for mountain search and rescue operations. All courses involve hands-on field sessions; Mountain Travel and Rescue 1 and 2 require overnight field sessions.

Contact Michael Walenta for information about training in our region.

MTR lighting fire with flint
ski patrol bringing down sled


The Senior Program consists of core and elective requirements designed for alpine patrollers, Nordic patrollers, and other patrollers, with variations for each discipline.

If you are interested in becoming a Senior Patroller contact Jen Squires for OEC and Kyle Jones for hill.


The Certified program is the ultimate test of your patrolling capabilities and knowledge base. Your preparation to participate will provide a unique opportunity to learn from others, to broaden your experience and sharpen your skills. Admission is not automatic. The credentials of a certified candidate are reviewed and qualified individuals are invited to participate in the annual certified test. The certified test is an intensive 3-day event that tests all aspects of your patrolling skills.

The Certified Program has six core components examining physical endurance, knowledge, and experience, all requiring individual study and travel. The six core components are: Avalanche, Outdoor Emergency Care, Outdoor Risk Management, Rope Rescue, Skiing and Riding, Toboggan Handling. The specifics of each component can be found below in a document titled “ Certified Program Operations Manual”. This member designed and approved standard is without compromise, where excellence is mandatory.

If you are interested in achieving this level of certification contact Hal Froot for more information.

women's clinic picture of group in sled


The NSP Women’s Program mission is to empower patrollers by advancing skills and developing leadership in a women-focused program.

Please visit the Facebook page for more up-to-date information. Use the hashtag #NSPwomen on Instagram and Facebook.
Women’s Facebook Page.

Contact Jackie Bottomley if you would like more information or to get involved!


The NSP Young Adult Program (Y.A.P.) introduces teenagers to ski patrolling and the NSP. The YAP Program often serves as a training ground for future patrollers. NSP young adult members and candidates must be 15 years old by December 31 of the year in which they begin patrolling, so YAPs are generally 15 years old through 17 (or through their senior year in high school). Young adult patrollers must meet the same patroller training and responsibilities as any other member of the patrol with the same skill set.

The NSP imposes no limitations on YAP activities that are not common to all who participate in NSP programs. That said, the NSP YAP Program is not a labor program, and at the local level each YAP Program operates in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws and school district policies and procedures relating to youths volunteering their time to participate in ski patrolling activities and providing emergency care and response services, and also operates within the parameters of the program approved by their ski area, including applicable ski area policies and procedures.

For more information about our Y.A.P. program contact Jess McCallum.

YAP program group picture
John Donnelly head shot

Region Director

Assistant Region Director

Assistant Region Director

Jim Tuinier


Legal Advisor

Adam Medema head shot


Kim Feenstra Headhsot

Blue & Gold Newsletter Editor


Web IT


WM Section I Chief


WM Section II Chief

Joe Biermacher

WM Section III Chief


Alpine Proficiency/NSP-C Ski School Advisor

Kathy Brennan

Michael Walenta Headshot

Avalanche / MTR Advisor

Sue Brann

Awards Advisor

Alpine Toboggan Advisor

Madison Willemstein head shot

Bike Patrol Advisor

Madison Willemstein

Certified Advisor

Instructor Development Advisor

Medical Advisor

Lourie Hurley head shot

OEC Advisor

Jenn Squires head shot

OEC MSP (Module of the Senior Program)

Kevin Barrons Head shot

Region Nordic Advisor

head shot of David Menke

Safety Advisor

Senior Hill Advisor

Sue Brann

Senior Program Coordinator


Snowboard Advisor

John Mallett headshot

Telemark Advisor


Women's Program Advisor

Jackie Bottomley

Jess McCallum Headshot

Y.A.P. Advisor

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