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 150 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. New to us is also a mountain bike patrol in the summer. Each patroller is assigned to a duty shift (typically one day or 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.
We are looking for candidates who feel passionately about serving the community and becoming a part of our MSSP family, who can commit to serving at a minimum multiple years with us. In order to gain entry to our training program, candidates must be able to commit to the intense training schedule the first season, followed by commitment to a duty shift ( one night or one day shift per week, or, every other weekend).
Ski EVALUATION Dates
There will be four opportunities to attend a skiing or snowboarding skill evaluation “Ski Evaluation” event this season. A lift ticket will be provided if you do not have a season pass. Be geared up and ready to hit the slopes at the designated time listed below, this means arriving an hour early. You will meet outside the Ski Patrol building. We will break out into small groups to evaluate your skiing or snowboarding skills.
SKI TEST #1: Saturday, February 26th, 10am
SKI TEST #2: Saturday, February 26th, 6pm
SKI TEST #3: Saturday, March 12th, 10am
SKI TEST #4: Saturday, March 12th, 6pm
OUTDOOR EMERGENCY CARE CLASS
The OEC class takes place in a split session, beginning in the spring, taking a break over the summer, and resuming in the early fall. It will start with Zoom sessions covering book knowledge, followed by hands-on class two nights per week. There will be a written exam as well as a hands-on final exam.
Your first chairlift evacuation training takes place in September, attendance is mandatory. You must complete at least two chairlift evacuation trainings – the second opportunity is at the annual Refresher.
MSSP’s annual medical and operations Refresher is scheduled for the first weekend in October. Attendance is mandatory.
Mt. SPOKANE SKI PATROL SKI SWAP
MSSP Ski Swap is scheduled for October 26th through 30th, 2022 at the Spokane Fair & Expo Center. All candidates and patrollers must contribute a minimum of 16 hours at the Ski Swap during this time.
ON-HILL / OET Training
On-hill training begins the Friday after Thanksgiving and continues each weekend through the end of December or the first week of January, depending on weather conditions and class progression. Attendance is mandatory. After graduation of on-hill training, you will be allowed to join your normal patrol shift.