Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I already have a first aid certification. Do I have to take the CSP first aid course?
A. Yes, we train to an advanced first aid standard. Our training also includes some very specific skills that apply to providing service at ski areas. We include CPR-HCP, Oxygen therapy, AED procedures, airway management, and blood pressure technology. If you have a credited CPR course (CPR-HCP) valid for the current year you need not re-certify in CPR.
If you are an experienced medical professional (doctor, nurse, or paramedic) you may take a modified version of the first aid course. The modified course allows you to skip many of the regular classes and attend only those that are specific to the patrol. You are still responsible to pass the written and practical tests at the end of the course. The Course Coordinator and Education Officer will have final approval on who is eligible for the modified course.
Q. Are there paid patrolling jobs offered?
A. Yes, there is always a need for paid patrollers. Paid patrollers are trained by the CSP but employed directly by the resorts (Wentworth or Martock). If you are interested in a paid patrol job we suggest that you make arrangements with the resort where you would like to become a paid patroller. We are happy to help you contact the resorts to discuss possible paid patrol work. Please email email@example.com for more information on paid patrol jobs.
Q. Are patrollers legally protected for their actions as a patroller?
A. Federal and Provincial laws protect first aiders. The Canadian Ski Patrol carries a general insurance policy to protect its members.
Q. Is there any way to see what it is like to be a patroller?
A. Yes, we encourage anyone who is interested to join us for a day of skiing or snowboarding. We are pleased to provide a lift ticket and have some experienced patrollers show you who we are and what we do. This helps everyone to determine is becoming a patroller will be a good fit. The experience will be helpful when you begin training.
Q. How often will I be required to patrol during the winter?
A. You are in control of when you patrol and how often. We require that you don’t take advantage of the season pass that the resorts will provide. As a rule, we ask that you patrol approximately 80% of the time you are at a resort. It’s OK to visit occasionally and enjoy some time out of uniform. We all lead busy lives. Some of our patrollers can commit to shifts well in advance others can only commit on short notice. Patrollers are welcome to patrol exclusively at either Martock or Wentworth or split their time between both. We patrol through the week, on weekends, and evenings. If you are giving back to the patrol and our resorts, we are grateful. We are grateful for any shifts you can provide at our many off snow events in the spring, summer, and fall.
Q. What is lodge day?
A. Lodge day is held annually at Martock and Wentworth on a weekend in late November before the season begins. Lodge day gives new patrollers a chance to meet current patrollers and become familiar with the resort and resort specific procedures. New and current patrollers are brought up to date on changes for the season. The sign up for roster shifts begins at lodge day. Lift evacuation training takes place. There is always a great lunch served at lodge day! Attending one lodge day each season is required.
Q. Is CSP training recognized by other organizations?
A. Yes, the CSP has been accredited by the Federal and Provincial Government to provide first aid training to the public. What this means to an individual member is that the CSP training course has met all the federal and provincial requirements for accredited advanced first aid training in the workplace. A valid CSP ID card identifies patrollers as being qualified.
Q. Can I take the CSP first aid course without becoming a ski patroller?
A. Yes, we offer a first-aid only membership classification. We provide first aid services for many non-skiing events and first-aiders are always welcomed in these roles. We have several active patrollers who are not skiers, snowboarders, or Nordic skiers. They are always welcome at the resorts and during summer events to help provide first aid services.
Q. What level of skier/snowboarder should I be to become a patroller?
A. You do not need to be an expert! You need to be a strong intermediate skier/snowboarder/Nordic skier. Since you may ski or ride in all kinds of conditions under any circumstance you should be able to competently handle all the runs on the hill where you will patrol. You don’t need to be an expert, but you will need to be able to handle a toboggan, and meet the minimum rating set out by the local Patrol at the area you wish to patrol. Ski and snowboard instruction is available, in most cases, at no cost to the patroller. Many Scotia Zone patrollers are certified ski, snowboard, or Nordic instructors. They are always happy to provide instruction to fellow patrollers or new patrol candidates. Becoming a patroller is a great way to improve your sliding skills.
Q. I am a snowboarder; can I be a patroller even if I have never skied?
A. Yes, we accept snowboarders, alpine, nordic, telemark skiers and non-skiers.
Q. What is a toboggan and it hard to transport a patient in a toboggan?
A. This is our main means of transporting injured persons from the slopes to the base of the ski area. They are not overly difficult to handle but do require specific skill sets to ensure they are managed safely. We have 100-pound patrollers that can handle a 100-pound toboggan with a 250-pound patient in it. We teach you how to do it and with a little practice it will become something fun.
Q. I already bought a season pass for next season?
A. Patrollers in good standing ski and snowboard at no cost. It is up to the patrol leader and management of each resort to determine who is eligible to receive a refund for a season pass they have already purchased. Generally, the patrol leader will recommend to resort management that a refund be issued once it is clear that a new patroller will fulfill their commitments.
Q. Who is the CSP looking for?
A. We require alpine, snowboard, telemark, nordic and non-skiing enthusiasts from all walks of life who are interested in volunteering their time to help others and want to have fun. You must be a strong team player over 16 years of age and be prepared to work in a variety of weather conditions.
Patrollers under 18 years of age will require a parent or guardian to sign a permission form and waiver. The Course Coordinator and Education Officer will have the final approval if a patroller under 18 has the maturity and skills required.
Q. I want to patrol but I don’t own a car?
A. This is not usually a big problem. You can likely find someone who lives in your area that is also scheduled at your hill and would be willing to carpool with you. Check with your resort’s patrol leader or assistant patrol leader and they should be able to assist you in making the connection you need for transportation.
Q. What is recertification?
A. All patrollers are required to attend annual recertification training prior to the start of the season. There are several training sessions and dates available to choose form typically at Martock, Wentworth, Halifax, and in the valley. Recertification sessions take place from late August until late November. Patrollers complete 16 hours of recertification a year that consists of a review, written test, and practical hands on skills test and attending a Lodge Day.