From My Desk

News and Comments by:
Gerit Lewisch
EPA Regional Director


Date: 12/30/2011

From: Gerit Lewisch

Ref: Upcoming Albany Meeting


Re:      RD Election Process


Every two years, all fifteen regions in the Eastern Division are bound to hold an election to vote for the Region Director. Since the RD is also a member of the Eastern Division Board, Eastern Division By-laws direct the election process.

Any region director can run for three consecutive terms. That process has to be repeated every two years.

At our last Division Spring Officers Meeting on May 1, 2011 I introduced the thought to let regions have the choice to conduct the elections manually or electronically.

The preliminary proposal has been well received as long both options stay on the table.

Eastern Pennsylvania Region, the largest in the nation (larger than many divisions) with 1457 patrollers went recently again through the process of a manually conducted election.

Bob Davies- EPA Election Chair and his team advertised the election; the platforms of all candidates were published on the web. Prints of the platforms have been posted at every refresher. All ballots have been printed with watermarks on special paper and were counted out for each refresher to guarantee a fair election process.

It was the obligation of the four Section Chiefs to oversee the election at the respective refreshers in their section. All in all we had 4 Instructor Refreshers and nine Patroller Refreshers for a total of 13.

That process as described in the Division By-laws put a heavy burden on to the Election Chair and our Section Chiefs. They had to make sure they got all materials and that they were present at the refreshers, collect the sealed ballot boxes and had all the material delivered to our EPA Fall Region Meeting.

Before the meeting, designated patrollers checked and counted the ballots. After the Election Committee certified the results, the candidates have been informed of the outcome.

After officially opening the FOM I had the pleasure to announce my successor for the public. (Bob Bernatos)

We as a region could save considerable time and monies to have the electronic voting way available to us.

Therefore I delegated the task to put a package for a by-law change to ARD and Region Delegate George Hannon, who also is a member of the Division By-law Committee and very familiar with the procedural task.

At the present time all administrative work has been completed and the package is on the desk of the Division Volunteer Legal Counsel William Cline, Esq. for his comments and or approval.

I will bring our request in the final form to the Eastern Division

Winter Board Meeting on March 16, 2012 at Bromley, VT. That will meet the required 30 days of filing prior to the Spring Officers Meeting in Albany, where our new elected Region Director Bob Bernatos and our 5 delegates will vote with all other Delegates, Section Chiefs and Region Directors on the proposed by-law change. Stay tuned for the results to be announced by mid May 2012.

Thanks you,






Date:        04/25/2009     

From:       Gerit Lewisch-EPA RD

Re:           Upcoming Albany Division Meeting


Our recently established Division By-laws provide for the expansion or contraction of regions and their representation. At this time the existing number of elected Section Chiefs and the position of the Region Director is the basis for the distribution of  votes.

The Division by-laws allow that every five years the Division Officers can visit the issue of representation and by vote adjust the numbers of eligible votes at Eastern Division.

At our last year's (2008) Division Spring Officers Meeting in Albany, NY, I discussed the imparity of Eastern Pennsylvania Region with other Regions in the Division with my fellow board members and the desire of EPA to gain an additional vote at the division level.

At the time of my writing, we hold 5 votes in total. Four Section Chief limited votes, and one Region Director vote on the Division Board. Only each one of the 15 region directors can cast one vote on all upcoming issues before the Board and the Division in general. The Section Chief’s vote is limited to by-laws, membership, dues and the budget.

My fellow board members agreed in a straw vote to visit this issue during our 2009 Division Spring Officers Meeting.

 On April 18, 2009 at our Region Spring Officers Meeting at Blue Mountain Resort a motion was passed unanimously by EPA Line Officers to actively seek the additional vote for the Eastern Pennsylvania Region. Our Region Legal Advisor Timothy Kelly will advise me if the additional vote can be designated by the Region Director or if an election process has to be established to comply with our own EPA Region by-laws.

 I will attend the 2009 Division Spring Officers Meeting in a few days (May 1- May3, 2009) in Albany, NY and introduce this issue under new business on May 3, 2009.

I do expect a positive outcome and will report the results back to you.

Thank You,





    03/03/2008 - PRELIMINARY ADVISORY - EPA Inclusion into the EMS System


                ..... more GOOD NEWS to Follow Soon.

After years of hard work by Ski Patrol Volunteers, EPA achieved one of the goals as a first step- the recognition by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania of the “Ski Patroller” to be a member of the EMS community.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has agreed to include Pennsylvania ski patrollers into the EMS system.   This will be a no hassle, totally OPTIONAL agreement between INDIVIDUAL patrollers and the state.   The benefits of becoming a certified EMS provider are extremely valuable and provide MANY protections and STRATEGIC BENEFITS to the individual patroller not offered by other ‘groups’ and ‘associations’.   

The EPA Region website will soon list all the ‘details’. You will soon receive another email when the region website is updated and operational for more info, including ‘online’ applications.

Immediately, any patroller in good standing who applies will be awarded the certification of “First Responder” by reciprocity of your past OEC. This will give the patroller immunity under Act 45 and protects her or him from medical liability.

This notification is just ‘advisory’ at ths time, I will advise you by email when the EPA website is updated and ready for you to follow the online applications and info listed to sign up.

I am pleased that every patroller with OEC credentials, residing or patrolling in Pennsylvania is eligible to sign up. I will email you again when the EPA region website is upgraded to take your application and give further info.

Thank you,


To begin your application process, please click here...

February 04, 2008

It came to my attention that we do have problems to understand how we shall apply for awards.

If you follow the suggestions as written below, you will save time and it will be easier to get through the process.

For all awards applications please note the following trail;

All applications are to be sent to Dick Bensel and cc. Steve Buzzard.

Everything shall be without signatures and in electronic form.

The awards coordinator will send the application and cover letter to Bob Davies the review chairman.

The review board chairman will send the electronic submission to the review committee members.

If they approve the application the originator is notified and then the application can be put in hard copy form.

All the signatures are collected but the RD's.

After the awards coordinator receives the package he sends it to me for my signature.

I sign as the last person in the region and it goes up to Division.

So please remember I will get the package from the awards coordinator!

This avoids a lot of frustration and misconceptions.

Do not send anything to me, the awards coordinator will do that for you.

All e-mails and addresses & phone numbers are listed on the website - the newsletter is outdated.

Please keep in mind after the Division received the completed application, it will take 45 days for you or us to receive the award if granted.

Thank you

Gerit Lewisch, EPA RD.

December 04, 2007

The snowflakes are falling and the start of our 2008 season is finally here.

I am sure many of us have been waiting and longing for the snow.

I would like to take the opportunity to say “Thank You” to all the instructors and advisors who have worked and planned so hard during the summer season.

These special people did not see a break, to the contrary their workload has been heavy and has been ever increasing since we left our Spring Officers Meeting in March of 2007.

It is a monumental effort to plan and conduct all courses, OEC classes and refreshers and if there was a glitch here or there, it was minor.

I wish I would meet all the people whose involvement has been instrumental to our success so far and let them know how much I appreciate their efforts.

You can help me, by taking the time to talk to your fellow patroller, instructor or advisor and thank them. Let them know that we all realize their contribution.

Keep in mind we all are volunteers donating our time to the cause of our organization. So many patrollers endured hardships and had personal problems, but they got the job done.

That makes our organization unique and I personally realize it day by day- outstanding

Happy Holidays to you and your family!



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