Many people ask why, as a student with another job, I would want to spend countless hours both training and working as a ski patrol. Well, after working at the Laurentian Ski Hill for the last 6 years doing almost everything from snowmaking, rental technician, teaching, lift operator and lastly the lift supervisor, I wasn’t able to enjoy the hill, and rarely got out on my skis or snowboard. This year I decided to make a change and get back to why I started working at the hill, my love of riding. This new position allows me to ski everyday I work, and meet/help lots of new people while I’m at it.
Another reason that Im glad I became a ski patrol is the knowledge and training I have received which allows me to be comfortable in my ability in almost any emergency situation, on the hill or off. I know that whether I’m on a ski trip, out camping, or even just hanging out with friends, I have the tools to deal with almost any situation that may occur. With recertification every year and an ever evolving curriculum, up to the current best practices, I have the peace of mind knowing that I have the training to help myself or someone else if I ever had too.
Now that Im almost done my first year I have learned a lot more about why most people patrol for years, many receiving 25 and 50 year awards each year. Not only does it provide you with first aid training and allow you to ski, but you become part of something bigger. The Canadian Ski Patrol system cares a lot about its members and holds many events through the year including skiing development days in Kicking Horse, BC, first aid competitions, and zone conferences and banquets. This all comes together to create a great sense of camaraderie throughout the organization. The organization also supports its members should something go wrong, there is designated patrollers with extra training in order to provide critical incident stress management. This is in place to help patrollers who may need help after a particularly tough accident. They also provide insurance and legal support for all members should they ever need to defend themselves or the organization in court.
Lastly, The Canadian Ski Patrol works closely with industry leaders to help test and advertise their products, in exchange members receive great discounts on many great brands. Although not the primary reason I patrol, it is defiantly a great benefit to someone on a students budget. These pro deals range from Arcteryx and Helly Hansen to Burton and almost 40 other leading brands. To learn more about what the Canadian Ski Patrol offers its members, Click here