flag image

NCPSF honors Mike Pelchat for EMS leadership and dedication

November 09, 2011
BRETTON WOODS — Friday night in the Grand Ballroom of the Mount Washington Hotel the North Country Public Safety Foundation (NCPSF) honored Mike Pelchat of Gorham, manager of the Mount Washington State Park, for his exceptional leadership and a lifetime of dedication in the field of Emergency Medical Services.

"Our EMS honoree started hiking, rock climbing, and working in the White Mountains back in the early- and mid-70s, and as he gained experience, an early passion for mountaineering manifested itself which has continued to be a central part of his life's journey to this day," said retired State Police Commander of Troop F John Scarinza of Randolph, who serves on the Foundation's board of directors. In the winter of 1975-1976 he became the second winter caretaker at Gray Knob Cabin maintained by the Randolph Mountain Club on the northern slopes of Mount Adams at an elevation of 4,370 feet.

Sensing a need to assist fellow hikers and climbers in need, in 1988 he became one of the founding members of the Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue (AVSAR) team where he recently served as president.

Pelchat is also an EMT, ambulance crewmember, ski patroller and firefighter. He has been on hundreds, possibly thousands, of rescues, Scarinza pointed out. Pelchat has received a Governor's award for a rescue involving three skiers in the Great Gulf and has been on many of the high-profile search and rescue missions in the White Mountains, often in the most severe and daunting winter weather at high elevations.

"I think I can say with confidence that this one man has probably been responsible for more lives saved in and around the mountains and valleys of northern New Hampshire than any other single individual… ever," he said.

Pelchat has served as both a board members and president of the Randolph Mountain Club.

"We are pleased that Gorham Fire Chief Rick Eichler took the time to remind us of this one man's great dedication and devotion to helping others," Scarinza said.

The Foundation honored four other individuals at its 4th Annual Awards Dinner: Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, retired Lt. Todd Bogardus of Fish and Game of Littleton; Firefighter of the Yea, retired Pittsburg Fire Chief Sandy Young; President's Award, Woodsville Fire Chief Brad Kennedy, and a surprise recognition for Sugar Hill Fire Chief Allan Clark, who has played a key role in both establishing and shaping the nonprofit organization, NCPSF (P.O. Box 239 Franconia, NH 03580).

NCPSF is dedicated to the support of public safety officers and their families in time of need by providing expertise and structure to community relief efforts and fundraising. The Foundation supports the police, firefighters, EMS, and state Fish and Game of Grafton and Coös Counties.

No overhead expenses are charged off against receipts and 100 percent of every project dollar raised goes to those in need.

Originally established to support community efforts to assist Jose Pequeno, the former Sugar Hill Police Chief who was severely injured in Iraq, the Foundation has helped a number of families in the two-county region, including 25-year-old Woodsville firefighter Dan Jock, who has three young children and is fighting leukemia at Mass. General in Boston.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
Thanks for visiting SalmonPress.com