First, make sure that you click our patrol and read about us. Then contact any one of our officers to discuss your interest. We’re always glad to talk to prospective patrollers. A mentor will be assigned to guide you through the process, invite you to a patrol meeting, and introduce you to members.
Once you’ve decided to join, you’ll fill out an application and pay national, division, and region dues. At this point you are a Candidate and considered a member of our patrol. Your name will appear on our official roster from the National Ski Patrol. Now you’re ready to begin your training.
Depending on our schedule, you’ll start the Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) course or Nordic Skills training – or both. We’ll also help get you certified in professional rescuer-level CPR, Automatic External Defibrillation, and Oxygen Administration. The Nordic Skills phase of training, held mainly out of doors, culminates with on-snow assessment of skiing and survival skills. You become a Basic Nordic Patroller when you have successfully completed both programs.
Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) Course
This is taught at the level of an EMT course and uses a textbook which is nearly identical to the standard EMT text. Mostly indoor classes consist of lectures and frequent hands-on practice in skills development. The 100-hour OEC course has this content:
- Anatomy & Physiology
- Patient Assessment
- Airway Management
- Medical & Trauma Emergencies
- Scene Management
- Rescue Techniques
The National Ski Patrol web site gives more information about OEC.
If you are a medical professional (EMT, Paramedic, WEMT, RN or MD), you won’t have to take the course. If you’re in this category, speak with a patrol officer.
Here you will master outdoors skills necessary in nordic patrolling:
- Skiing Skills Development
- Map & Compass, GPS
- Ropes & Knots
- Survival, Shelter Building, Fire Making
- Backcountry Rescue
- High-Angle Rescue
- Snowmobile Operation
If you’re wondering how much all this training will cost you, just relax. Beyond the initial dues and OEC textbook purchase, the training is provided gratis; it won’t cost you a penny. Candidates are not expected to provide their own equipment, packs, or first aid kits; the patrol will provide the essentials. Once you become a Basic Patroller, you are eligible for substantial discounts. Annual dues paid each fall are reimbursed upon completing the minimum patrolling duties for the season.
Candidates are normally expected to advanced to Basic Patroller by completing their Outdoor Emergency Care and Nordic training within a year. Patrollers shall fulfill training and patrolling requirements each year. The patrol season begins in October with a mandatory weekend of OEC and Nordic skills refreshers. Members are expected to complete ten days of patrolling and training each season, six of which are to be patrol days at Northfield Mountain. Attendance at some Saturday morning training sessions is also required.
- Nationally-recognized Credentials
- Development of Outdoors Skills
- Camaraderie with like-minded Folks
- Free Use of Trails
- Free PSIA Instruction
- Free Use of Rental Equipment
- Major Discounts (Pro Form)
Here’s what the National Ski Patrol says about the rewards of ski patrolling:
Work Hard, Play Hard
There’s nothing more rewarding than putting in a hard day’s work – and having a good time doing it. The main objective of being a National Ski Patrol member is to assist area management in caring for injured skiers and in making mountain recreation safer and more fun. But, there are many other benefits. You’ll be a respected part of the industry. You’ll perfect your skills. And you’ll make friendships that will last a lifetime.
The Patrol Needs from You
- Time for Patrolling and Training
- Willingness to work as a Team
- Eagerness to serve the Public
- Ability to learn by doing
- Enthusiasm for the Outdoors