Trauma in the Woods returns to area
October 18, 2013 10:30 AM

For over a decade, safe-minded hunters in Indiana County have longed to resuscitate the formerly annual Trauma in the Woods hunters’ safety seminar.

B.J. Pino, chief executive officer at Citizens’ Ambulance Service, heard the chatter from local sportsmen for years before deciding that the time was right to bring the event back.

Citizens Ambulance Service, with the help of a committee of organizers and a handful of generous sponsors, will resurrect the always-popular Trauma in the Woods event, bringing it back for the first time since 1999.

Hunters and outdoorsmen of all ages are invited to attend the free seminar, which will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, at IUP’s Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex.

Pino asked Joe Iezzi, an emergency medical technician and the director of business development for Citizens Ambulance Service, to head the Trauma in the Woods committee. A lifelong hunter who attended several Trauma in the Woods seminars in Indiana County as a teenager, Iezzi said community demand served as the primary catalyst in reviving the seminar.

“The community is always expressing interest and asking when we’re going to put it together again, and that’s the main reason it’s happening after so many years,” Iezzi said. “I can remember going as a kid with my dad on several occasions, and I always learned neat tricks about safety and what to do in case of an emergency, and that stuff stuck with me.

“We just want to help improve the safety of our hunters and stop at least one incident from happening. If we can do that, the event will be a success.”

Fellow committee members T.J. George, Tim George, Brandon Snickles, Dan Christy, Dave Smith and Kathleen Pino each played integral roles in booking vendors, guest speakers and taxidermists.

Iezzi also point out that sponsors Amfire Mining Company and Penn Mechanical Group offered substantial donations to facilitate the seminar’s revival.

“This is only happening because of the help from our committee members, Mr. Pino and our sponsors,” Iezzi said. “We found the perfect central location in the KCAC, and everyone has played a part in trying to make this a big hit. We’re expecting anywhere from 500 to 800 people, but we’re hoping we can break 1,000.”

Along with more than 30 vendors and three guest speakers — two of whom were injured in hunting accidents and needed the assistance of paramedics — the seminar also will include several prize drawings.

The first 500 people through the gate will receive free hunting hats and whistles, and the first 200 children will take home a free orange hunting vest.

A drawing for a 4-foot poster autographed by the cast of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” will be given away. Additionally, the grand prize for children will be a $3,000 trophy buck hunt in Somerset County.

“We tried to gear things toward kids and their safety in the woods, although this seminar is for everyone — kids, adults, boys and girls,” Iezzi said. “We’re giving away an autographed ‘Duck Dynasty’ poster we got straight from the studios in West Monroe, La., plus we’re offering kids a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go on a trophy buck hunt. We’re very excited from that standpoint because we feel we have something for everyone.”

For information or to find out about booth space, call Iezzi at (724) 349-5511 or (724) 3496381, or email him at

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