FAQ's

VOLUNTEER PATROL CANDIDATE PROGRAM

To become a basic patroller, you will first need to apply to be in the "Candidate Program" and once accepted, train as a patrol "candidate". Review the following FAQ's and fill out the Candidate Interest Form (see tab). Upon receipt of the Candidate Interest Form, our Candidate Advisor will review your form and contact you. Based upon your qualifications and experience, you will be advised of training information and/or suggestions on how to proceed.

What are the requirements for acceptance into the Patroller Candidate Program?

There are five basic requirements:

(1) Successfully complete an interview process.

(2) Successfully pass a skiing or boarding assessment.

(3) Possess a current CPR certification.

(4) Possess a current OEC (Outdoor Emergency Care), EMT, Wilderness First Responder or higher certification.

(you may begin candidate training if you are currently enrolled in an approved medical course)

(5) Register with the National Ski Patrol.

How good of a skier or snowboarder do I have to be?

We are looking for skiers & snowboarders who are stable and confident anywhere on our mountain. We have a wide variety of terrain and features, and our conditions may change dramatically throughout any given day. We don't expect pretty, but we do expect competent.

How do I get the medical training? (if you already have medical training, see OEC Challenge below)

The National Ski Patrol has developed a course referred to as "Outdoor Emergency Care" (OEC) and certification in OEC is required of all patrollers. This is an ~80 hr course which is given in the summer or fall and is offered through the National Ski Patrol's local patrols throughout the nation. This nationally recognized program is designed to help you manage the toughest emergencies, in all seasons. The course is comparable in scope to a basic EMT course, but with more emphasis on outdoor trauma and medical emergencies. For current courses offered, you may go on-line to www.farwest.org and check under Calendars and Far West Courses.

Alternative options to taking an OEC course include:

Enroll in a EMT course through one of your local colleges or EMS organizations;

Enroll in a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course through one of the following providers:

Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI);

Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO);

Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA);

**Any WFR course must be a minimum of 72 hours to qualify to challenge the OEC** (see below)

Upon receiving an EMT or WFR certification, you will be required to certify in OEC to be a Basic Patroller. This certification can be acquired by "challenging" the OEC course. (see below)

I am already an WFR, EMT or higher. Do I need to take an OEC course?

No. If you are currently certified/licensed as a WFR, EMT or higher, you can do an OEC Challenge Course. This involves successfully passing a written exam, practical skills test and costs $60.

Exception: If you are a current EMT, advanced EMT, or paramedic you may receive an OEC technician card by successfully completing the OEC Modified Challenge course. This course is a skills only test and costs $30.

OEC Challenge

Challenge applicants must meet one or more of the following:

> Emergency trained and currently certified as: EMT, MD/DO, PA/NP, RN, or LPN .

> Previous OEC certification provided the expired OEC certification date has not exceeded three years.

> Certain wilderness first responders whose courses have a minimum of 72 hours of course work (currently approved are WMI, WMA, and SOLO).

> Other certifications may be approved by the national education director after consultation with the national OEC Program director. This is based upon the submission and review of appropriate curriculum materials.

> Challenge time requirements (total hours) will vary with background, specialty, and experience.

> Challenge applicants must practice skills with an OEC instructor prior to the challenge testing.

> If the OEC challenge applicant fails any portion of the challenge examination, there is no retest opportunity and the applicant must then participate in a full OEC course.

During your candidate training, we will offer periodic OEC Challenge testing.

My OEC Certification has expired. What are my options?

If your OEC certification date has not exceeded three years, you may "challenge" the OEC Course. If it has been over three years, you will need to take and OEC or other approved course.

What is involved in the Candidate Program?

Upon acceptance into our Candidate Program, there are a series of disciplines that you will be trained and evaluated in to become a Basic Patroller

These include:

(1) Skiing/Boarding Proficiency

(2) Toboggan-Handling Proficiency

(3) Incident Site Management

(4) Hill Safety

(5) Medical & Rescue Skills

(6) OEC Certification

(7) Basic Patrol Test

Upon successful completion of the Program you will qualify as a Basic Patroller.

What days and times is Candidate Training offered?

Candidate training is only offered on weekends during the ski season. Some weekday training will be offered with prior notification. A schedule of specific training dates will be provided to you during our annual "On-the-hill" two day refresher held in November or December, which you will be required to attend. In addition, you will be required to attend a Pre-season training weekend, usually held in the late fall. All candidates who train during the ski season, are expected to put in a full day. Report times are 0715 hrs (booted up and ready to ski) and training generally ends after sweep.....approximately 1630 hrs.

How much time is required in the Candidate Program?

Simply stated, candidate training is a BIG time commitment! Anyone that is interested, should give it serious consideration, before jumping in. Candidate training is significant.....for both yourself and your family. It does not permit much latitude for missed classes. It is important that this is understood. Candidates will be expected to attend all training sessions. Training will be on Saturdays or Sundays or both (full weekends). The average training period for a candidate is 2 months. This period will vary based upon your commitment, skills and experience.

It is a big commitment, but the job of being a Ski Patroller is a big responsibility......as ultimately you will likely be in a position to save someone's life.

Ski Patrol can be a very rewarding and exciting experience. Through this training you will gain self confidence, knowledge, and important skills that will help you on and off the hill. Responding to emergency situations isn't something most people do or plan on doing, but responding and managing emergency situations is part of what we do.....and with the training we provide.....you will be ready to handle them with confidence.

There is no better feeling in the world to know that you were the one that made a positive difference someone's life.

As a Patroller, how often must I patrol?

To maintain an "active" status, you must patrol a minimum of ten days per season, attend our annual 2-day Patrol Refreshers in November or December; and maintain OEC and CPR proficiency.

Do Patrollers receive any benefits?

Yes. Mt. Shasta Volunteer Patrollers receive several benefits. In general these benefits include daily comp passes, meal tickets, employee and family season passes. Employee and family season passes are based upon the number of days patrolled in the previous season. The more days patrolled the better the benefits.

Are there any costs involved in the Candidate Program?

Cost of your Candidate Training will be covered through your NSP dues. During your candidate training days, you will be issued a complimentary lift ticket. Meals, travel, ski equipment, helmets*, clothing and other items will be at your own expense. There are initial costs prior to training.....those involved in acquiring your medical certifications, CPR card and your annual National Ski Patrol dues.

* During training, candidates are required to wear a helmet.

Our annual NSP dues are $100 and all patrollers are required to pay them. Usually these dues are paid at our annual refresher in November or December. Candidates are required to pay these dues prior to any training. These dues are non-refundable.

An OEC Challenge is $60. If you need to challenge the OEC, this fee is paid prior to the challenge test......given periodically throughout the ski season.

CPR training fees can vary from $15 to $50. If you do not have a current CPR card, CPR training and cards can be acquired at our annual refreshers in November/December. Otherwise, CPR training can be acquired through various private and EMS organizations in your local community.

Upon becoming a basic patroller, you will be required to purchase the appropriate uniform:

Jackets: $200 - $350 - Red with black trim

Vests: $90 - $120 - Red with black trim (Long solid black sleeves must be worn under the vest).

Helmets: $40 - $120. Patrollers are required to wear a ski helmet (solid black in color). It can generally be any make and model approved ski helmet.

Black ski pants. Pants must be solid black and can be of any make and model.

***All costs are approximate***