Peritz to lead Mountain Rescue |

Peritz to lead Mountain Rescue

Aspen Times staff report

Mountain Rescue Aspen veteran Ray Peritz is the organization’s new president.

Peritz replaces current president Debbie Kelly, who has served three one-year terms. Peritz, a real estate broker for Otis, Walker and McCormick, was elected in the organization’s Dec. 4 membership meeting.

As Mountain Rescue president, Peritz is responsible for organizing rescue missions and assessing the importance of each situation. However, Kelly said, the president also ends up answering the telephone for the organization and taking on a lot of administrative chores, as well.

Peritz has been involved with Mountain Rescue since 1990 and has been a full member since 1992. He’s been on the organization’s board of directors for four years, three as a training officer and one as operations officer.

He is also one of Mountain Rescue’s qualified rescue leaders. The organization generally has eight to 10 members who are able to take a command role in a rescue.

One of Peritz’s first goals is to make certain Mountain Rescue is well prepared for its upcoming recertification, he said. To continue to operate, each rescue team in Colorado must be evaluated every five years by other rescue organizations for proficiency in rescue skills.

Another general goal, he said, is to make certain all Mountain Rescue volunteers are proficient in all the rescue skills. He also hopes to have an influence on team spirit.

“I hope every team member feels as passionate as I do about what we do,” he said.

Following Kelly and past MRA president Scott Messina won’t be easy, he said.

“I’ve got some tough shoes to fill,” he said. “It’s a great honor.”

Kelly is relinquishing the post, she said, because three years as president were enough.

“I’m kind of ready to have a little more personal time,” she said.

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