Outdoors

Mount Rainier ranger wins national aviation safety award

Mount Rainier National Park aviation manager Glenn Kessler, left, receives the National Park Service Wright Brothers Aviation Safety Award from Pacific West regional aviation manager Shad Sitz.
Mount Rainier National Park aviation manager Glenn Kessler, left, receives the National Park Service Wright Brothers Aviation Safety Award from Pacific West regional aviation manager Shad Sitz. National Park Service

Glenn Kessler, the climbing ranger supervisor at Mount Rainier National Park, has been awarded the 2015 Wright Brothers National Aviation Safety Award.

In his role also serving as the park aviation manager, Kessler was cited for his leadership in establishing and managing the park’s new aviation program.

“He has created a safety culture through creation and implementation of the park’s aviation management plans,” said the news release announcing the National Park Service award.

The aviation program at Mount Rainier typically involves 30-50 major search and rescue missions, including helicopter short-haul rescues, medevac operations, maintenance flights supporting backcountry, trail and high-camp operations, resource management, research and fire support missions.

Kessler has guided the program as it works to improve standards, procedures and training. Since he took over management of the park’s aviation operations, Kessler successfully led the development and startup of the park’s new helicopter short-haul program.

“The aviation safety award recognizes an individual or organization who proactively promotes an open-minded attitude in the prevention of aviation mishaps and accidents, works diligently to correct and improve aviation safety deficiencies, communicates the actions and results to others,” according to the news release.

“Glenn’s many contributions toward aviation safety have been instrumental in raising the standard for Mount Rainier’s safety and efficient management of its aviation program,” the release said.

SHADOWS OF THE PAST

Visitors to Mount Rainier National Park on Saturday will have the chance to meet some characters from the park’s past.

Staffers and volunteers will present “Shadows of the Past,” with some of them portraying people who explored, settled, climbed and protected the mountain.

Groups will be led along the Trail of the Shadows at Longmire, where they will meet the historic characters. The program talks about 90 minutes. The walks start at the National Park Inn at 8:30, 8:50, 9:10 and 9:30 p.m.

Visitors should wear warm clothes and sturdy shoes, and bring bug spray and a flashlight.

The program is free, but there is a $20 entrance fee to the park.

CELEBRATE CAMBODIAN CULTURE

The eighth annual Cambodian Cultural Celebration will be held at Saltwater State Park on Saturday. The free event will run from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Members of South Puget Sound Cambodian communities will share their culture through performances of traditional music, dance, skits and drumming, along with activities, contests, displays and demonstrations. Performers will include Khemarak Samaki Classical Group at Wat Samakirattanaram Buddhist Temple of Tacoma.

Cambodian food from Angkor Gourmet of Tacoma will be available for purchase.

The event is free, but a Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to the park. The park is at 25205 Eighth Place S., Des Moines.

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