Scott Abell: STARS still delivering safe, quality service to clients |

Scott Abell: STARS still delivering safe, quality service to clients

As a STARS volunteer it is important to clear up a misconception that has been reported by the All Concerned Volunteers group of former volunteers. I have many friends who were part of this dismissed group, and I share some of their frustrations with the past operation of the program. However, I do not agree with the representation that the STARS program is at all unsafe or underserving the needs of our clients.

In the article published Monday, one of the individuals quoted stated that she was upset that the loss of so many “experienced” volunteers could have an impact on the operations of our winter program. Additionally a letter has been circulated asking members of the Steamboat community to support the group by wearing colored red and black ribbons and telling people about their concerns with STARS.

The letter states “people with disabilities are not being served and there is an increased risk on the mountain to you, me and people with disabilities this ski season.” The inference is that without the dismissed volunteers the program is unsafe. This could not be further from the truth.

STARS continues to have a wonderful, hardworking and well-trained group of full-time staff as well as a sizeable group of experienced volunteers who dedicate their efforts for a safe, first-class experience for our clients. We have not had to turn away one lesson, camp or program due to staffing or lack of experience of our volunteers, and STARS is on track to serve the same number of clients as in the past winters. We had two volunteers and one employee receive their Level 1 Alpine PSIA certification in January. Additionally, we have had zero safety incident reports so far this season.

I want to reassure the community that STARS’ on-mountain operation is still delivering quality service to those with disabilities.

Scott Abell
Steamboat Springs

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