USPA has selected Ron Bell as its next Director of Safety & Training, succeeding Jim Crouch who has served in that position a phenomenal 18 years. Bell’s start date is October 29.
Jim Crouch started as Director of Safety & Training in July 2000. Over the course of 18 years, Jim has been a major influence on the USPA initiatives that have dramatically reduced skydiving’s risks for all participants. When he began, the sport was experiencing an average of 32 skydiving deaths per year in the U.S. and a fatality rate of 1 per 84,375 jumps. Now, the sport averages 22 per year and a fatality rate of 1 per 133,333 jumps. Along the way, Jim has authored countless safety articles for Parachutist magazine, championing improved student and novice training, regular review and performance of emergency procedures by all skydivers and enhanced canopy flight training for all.
Ron, a U.S. Army veteran, joined USPA in 2002 and has logged more than 11,500 jumps, earning multiple USPA instructional ratings. As a USPA Coach Examiner, AFF Examiner and Tandem Examiner, Ron has been employed for the last several years as a full-time skydiver, managing DZs, providing instruction and conducting training courses for aspiring skydiving instructors and coaches.
Early this year, Ron was selected to fill the vacancy on the USPA Board of Directors created by the resignation of the Pacific Regional Director. This summer, Ron submitted the required materials to run for reelection in the current board election, and thus appears on the election ballot. Because USPA’s Governance Manual forbids employees from serving on the board of directors, Ron will resign from the board prior to his start date. The board will decide how and when to fill the vacancy, most likely relying on the results of the current board election.
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