3 qualities you need to become a professional ski patroller

December 16, 2014

Interested in winter sports and helping others? Ski patrol might fit the bill. Here are three qualities you will need to become a professional ski patroller.

3 qualities you need to become a professional ski patroller

Helping save other people while also enjoying time on the slopes can be a rewarding choice of career. (It's also a handy set of skills to have while not on the job.)If you're thinking of becoming a certified ski patroller, the classroom training and practical exams are tough, but the end result is well worth the effort.

So what are the threequalities you need to successfully become a professional ski patroller?

1. You must have extensive training

Ski patrol members take great pride in their work and get the benefit of more time on the slopes.

  • First-aid training is a must, completed through specialized classes that prepare patrollers to respond to any injury or situation they may encounter.
  • Classes are held on the grounds of a patrol area in either a meeting room or the patrol room itself.
  • The course will cover accident site management, oxygen therapy, CPR, and comprehensive first-aid techniques.

2. You must have practical skills

After passing the training course to become a ski patroller, and following first-aid certification, the practical lessons and exams begin.

  • Patrollers are taught valuable skills such as controlling themselves while towing a rescue toboggan across the ground, as well as up ski lifts.

This is especially vital because the toboggan is used to transport an injured person to where proper medical help is available.

  • Along with other techniques—such as splinting a leg, evaluating a concussion, and treating a deep laceration—you'll learn about the proper method for moving an injured person on and off the toboggan.

3. Physical stamina is a must

Days as a ski patroller are long and physically demanding. Being in top shape is a given.

  • A typical day for a ski patrol member starts with a pre-opening sweep of the entire area to make sure that there are no dangers that have accumulated overnight, such as fallen tree limbs or other obstructions.
  • This early morning responsibility can be a refreshing and invigorating part of the day: the powder will be fresh and the grounds not yet crowded by the general public.
  • The down side is that your day starts at the crack of dawn, even when the weather is bitterly cold and the snow is blowing.
  • Patrollers circulate until lunchtime, and then are out and about again for the rest of their day.

Additional responsibilities

At the end of the day, there is another sweep to make sure nobody was left behind or forgotten. It's also to check for dangers on the grounds once more.

  • After the runs have been checked and successfully closed, the patrollers gather at the chalet for a much-deserved après ski.

If you are passionate about the great Canadian outdoors and helping others, becoming a certified ski patroller may be the right career choice for you. After rigorous training and testing, you will be well on your way to protecting the skiing public.

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