Frequently asked questions about becoming a ski patroller.
Why patrol?Because it’s awesome! Most patrollers are first attracted to the ski patrol as a way to participate in a group skiing experience. The offer of FREE skiing in exchange for first aid services is important, and extensive first aid training equips patrollers for almost any situation they will ever encounter which requires fast and effective first aid intervention. The spirit of good fun exists within each area’s patrol, with great pride taken in a job well done. Skiers have learned to respect the Canadian Ski Patroller, whose presence at ski areas across Canada is at the invitation of the area operator.
What’s involved?In a nutshell, patrollers make sure the hills are safe and in the unfortunate event a ski area guest is injured, ski patrol attends to the injured guest. At the most basic level, the patroller’s job requires: correctly assessing the guest’s condition; providing first aid to stabilize his or her condition; and moving this patient quickly, securely, and as comfortably as possible to hand off to EMS.
How much first aid do I have to know?None. We will teach you. Our 60 hour Advanced First Aid course, specializing in skiing accidents, is typically offered in the fall and sometimes in the spring as well. We are one of the finest first aid organizations in North America, instructing First Aid, A.R., C.P.R., Oxygen Therapy, and accident site management. These are skills that are practical for you in everyday situations.
Does it cost anything to join the ski patrol?Yes, there is a cost to joining the ski patrol. The fees paid by our members offset the cost of running a national organization and cover our liability insurance.
I already have first aid certification. Do I have to take the CSP Advanced First Aid (AFA) course?Yes, our training is very specific and applies to providing services to ski areas. It is also important to learn our standard practices and procedures so that all patrollers can work together effectively. Our advanced training is ranked at a higher level than regular first-aid courses. We include CPR, Oxygen therapy, AED procedures, airway management and blood pressure technology. If you have a credited CPR course (HCP level) valid for the current ski year you don’t need to re-certify. Individuals with medical qualifications, or holding an advanced first aid certification from another organization, recognized by the Canadian Ski Patrol, may be permitted to complete the Advanced First Aid – Modified (AFA – Modified) course to become a regular member.
I am a snowboarder/cross country/telemark skier. Can I be a patroller?Yes. At our alpine areas we accept snowboarders, alpine skiers and telemark skiers. We also have patrols in Nordic ski areas.
What level of skier/snowboarder should I be?You need to be a strong intermediate skier. Since you may ski or ride in all kinds of conditions under any circumstance you should be able to competently handle all of the runs on the mountain where you will patrol. You don’t need to be an expert, but you will need to be able to handle a toboggan, and meet the minimum rating set out by the local patrol at the particular area you wish to patrol. Your skiing level will improve dramatically just by the amount of time spent skiing with us. We will teach you how to handle a toboggan.
What is a toboggan?This is our main means of transporting an injured person from the slopes/trails to the base of the ski area. It is an adult-sized device that looks like a sled with two handle bars that are held by the patroller in which the patient lies flat or in a position of comfort.
Is it hard to transport a patient in a toboggan?No. We provide proper training and we teach you how to do it. With a little practice it will become something fun.
How old do I have to be to patrol?To be a patroller in the Greater Vancouver Zone, you must be nineteen (19) years of age as of December 1st, of the current year to become a certified patroller.
What are some of the benefits of joining the ski patrol?Canadian Ski Patrol Advanced First Aid (AFA) training and certification -This certification is Federally recognized, and sought after by employers across the country. Lots and lots of skiing -You will come home from patrol exhausted, and more satisfied than you have ever been from a weekend at the slopes. First tracks -We are the first ones up the chair, and the last ones off the hill. Camaraderie, many patrollers build lifelong relationships on the patrol. -Do you like people who like to be outside? We have loads of them. Area access privileges -Canadian Ski Patrollers receive staff discounts from all the venues in Canada where we patrol. Thinking of heading to Big White or Mt. Tremblant? We can hook you up. Long list of pro-deal/CSP supplier discounts. -Helly Hansen, Arc'teryx, Avalanche, K2, Head, Kastle, Burton... You name it and we have access to pro deals on thier gear. Volunteer hours -Looking to contribute to your community? We have tons going on in all seasons. Hands-on experience -You will become a cool cucumber under fire, capable of keeping it together and making a difference when the chips are down. Electronic monthly newsletter “5/5” -Both the National team and the Zone executive work hard to keep you informed on a monthly basis. Terrific skiing/snowboarding nationally -Did we mention venues from coast to coast? Ever ski in Newfoundland? We patrol there too. The pride of being involved in your community and helping others -The uniform is worn by people who care and make a difference. A good reason to get out and stay active (year-round) -But honey, I have to patrol this weekend! Social events -Every weekend is a chance to get together with friends, head out on the slopes or trails, and have fun! A sense of belonging -Patrollers that stay longer than three years tend to stay on the patrol for decades. We have members who have been on the team for over 30 years! A time of a lifetime! -Patrol memories will become some of your most cherished.