Becoming a Mt. Spokane Ski Patroller is extremely demanding of your time and dedication. Your first year will be a serious time commitment and quite challenging at times. However, completing the program and earning a place on the Mt. Spokane Ski Patrol will be life changing, with lifelong skills & friendships developed along the way.
HISTORY OF VOLUNTEERISM
The Mt. Spokane Ski Patrol is one of the largest all-volunteer ski patrols in the nation. It is also one of the oldest patrols in the United States, having been formed as a charter member of the National Ski Patrol in 1938. Patrollers with the MSSP join over 30,000 other National Ski Patrol members serving over 600 ski resorts around the world. You can learn more about the National Ski Patrol at www.nsp.org.
The MSSP roster consists of over 140 patrollers, a unique group of “good Samaritans” from all walks of life dedicated to helping others in need of emergency medical care. The MSSP has alpine & telemark skiers, snowboarders, student patrollers, and non-skiing patrollers, plus a nordic patrol for Mount Spokane State Park nordic ski area. Each patroller is assigned to a duty shift (typically one day per week, or one night per week, or both weekend days on every other weekend).
Our patrollers are trained to the highest standards set by the National Ski Patrol system. Each patroller must undergo over 120 hours of classroom, hands-on, and on-the-hill training for initial certification, plus annual refresher training sessions, and hands-on training throughout the season. Candidates who successfully complete training will join a duty shift for the remainder of the first season. At the end of the season, successful candidates will be voted onto the MSSP and become official members with full rights, benefits and privileges. After the first year, all patrollers must attend an annual medical refresher (one weekend in the fall) in addition to volunteering at least 16 hours at the Mt. Spokane Ski Patrol Ski Swap, our primary fundraiser.
Candidates seeking to join the MSSP must successfully complete a three-part training program:
1. Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) Classroom Training
This is the first aid emergency response aspect of a patroller’s training, and is a requirement for any member of the National Ski Patrol. The class entails 18 weeks of training (generally two nights per week) focusing on practical skills and hands-on scenarios. The level of OEC training/certification is equivalent to EMT-B training/certification.
2. OEC “On-The-Hill” Training
This training is conducted on the mountain on Saturdays and Sundays from the time Mt. Spokane opens until the Candidate Class demonstrates proficiency, usually early January. In this part of the training Candidates take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it to a wide variety of practical, real life situations on the hill. Here you will also learn Mountain Protocols.
3. Outdoor Emergency Transportation (OET) Training
OET Training teaches candidates skiing and toboggan handling skills required to safely transport injured skiers. Candidates must have strong skiing skills and be in good physical condition to complete this part of the training, but even small-framed patrollers can handle toboggans safely with proper technique.
In order to gain entry to our training program, candidates must be advanced to expert skiers or snowboarders, or currently hold qualifying medical certification such as EMT or higher. Candidates must be able to commit to the intense training schedule the first season, followed by commitment to a duty shift (either every other weekend, or one night or one day shift per week). We are looking for candidates who feel passionately about serving the community and becoming a part of our MSSP family who can commit to multiple years with us. Ages 15-18 are welcome to join our Ski Patrol Youth, or SPY program.