A 2011 Newburyport High School graduate, Pezzella will be a junior this fall at Bates College in Maine, where she is studying history, English and film. Last summer, she worked at the Pinkham Notch visitors center in Gorham, N.H. She has been part of this year’s hut croo since May 28.
Her wilderness first aid training includes CPR, setting bones with whatever may be available and bandaging. All this while operating within the backcountry without the aid of a hospital of any kind, making Pezzella and the rest of the croo the last line of defense.
“We have to (deal with) anything from a scraped knee to people who have heart attacks,” Pezzella said. “And although Fish & Game is in charge of search and rescue, we are always the first responders in any situation.”
Pezzella said that no life-threatening situations have cropped up on her watch so far, and as far as she is concerned, her greatest accomplishment this summer has been of the baking kind.
“I made some garlic bread from scratch,” she said. “And when I took it out of the oven, not only was it not burnt, but the crusts were perfectly done. I’m not a trained baker or anything, but to be able to accomplish that was pretty cool.”
Pezzella’s adventurous summer ends Aug. 20, the very same day she will head back to Bates. But for now, she couldn’t be happier working for the Appalachian Mountain Club, the oldest conservation organization in the country.
“It’s pretty much the best summer job I could ever ask for,” Pezzella said. “The organization I work for takes a lot of money they make and generates that back into the outdoors and scholarship programs for inner-city kids or people who couldn’t necessarily afford to spend time in the outdoors as much as they would like. They give people an opportunity to experience what I get to experience every day.”