Author Archive for Sinèad Anderson

PACE Penguin Pops Up at Mount St. Louis Moonstone

Penguin joins forces with the Canadian Ski Patrol for safety awareness

MOUNT ST. LOUIS MOONSTONE – PACE Penguin wants to know – are you sliding safe and having fun? Flanked by members of the Canadian Ski Patrol the PACE Penguin – a loveable children’s safety mascot – was spotted at Mount St. Louis Moonstone today greeting families.

To celebrate National Ski and Snowboard Day the penguin popped up at the resort to bring excitement and alpine safety awareness for novice sliders. Targeted at children ages 3-8 and their families, the PACE Penguin program aims to educate children, parents and fellow skiers/snowboarders in a fun and engaging way.

“Spending time together as a family at your local ski hill is one of the greatest joys of Canadian winters. By educating children, parents and fellow skiers & snowboarders, we are helping families to ski/snowboard safe and have fun.”

  • Kerina Williamson, founder PACE Penguin Program

For members of the Canadian Ski Patrol early education is key.

“We want everyone to know the ‘rules of the road’ aka the Alpine Responsibility Code but it is particularly important for young skiers and snowboarders. By encouraging good sliding habits early, we can help spark a shared love of snow sports.”

  • Bruce Robinson, President and CEO Canadian Ski Patrol

Thanks to the generous support of Mount St. Louis Moonstone, Konica Minolta Canada and the Canadian Ski Council visitors were greeted by the friendly 6-foot penguin and patrollers with 500 free alpine safety tip colouring books. Guests who visited the pop-up were also entered into a contest to win 1 of 5 plush penguins of their very own.

Quick Facts:

  • The PACE Penguin Children’s Ski Safety Program was developed by Kerina Williamson, an avid skier and mother of twins in response to opportunities she saw in the industry.
  • While injuries are rare, four key preventable factors have been identified as responsible for most downhill injuries sustained by children: deficient binding adjustment, lower skill level, inappropriate equipment and lack of formal education.
  • The PACE Penguin seeks to educate children, teach parents and raise awareness in fellow skiers/snowboarders addressing all 4 preventable risk factors.
  • Program includes a child version of the Alpine Responsibility Code, parent tips and tricks, lost child ID card. Posters and signage is also provided to participating resorts asking fellow skiers/snowboarders to slow down and “Give PACE Extra Space”.

Brightly coloured children’s bibs are also available.

For More Information:

vpcommunications@skipatrolcentral.com

From the Training Department…

Professional. Passionate. Proud.

More than just a motto, it is something we should strive to embody every time we put on the red jacket.

But what does it really mean for you?

To be a professional you need to act (and train) like a professional. Training and re-certifying needs to be an ongoing, continuous process, not a one-time annual (or tri-annual) event. By making training and development a part of our daily patrol routine (just like sweep) we continuously practice, polish and perfect our skills. 

Let’s talk about how we get there.

In Advanced First Aid (AFA)… we ensure our professionalism with our Core Skills (Yellow Cards). We have about 35 skills that take roughly four hours to complete over the course of a patrol season. For most patrollers, this represents about 5% of their patrol duty day commitment, less time away from skiing/riding and patrol duties than their coffee or lunch breaks. Each patroller is expected to personally perform and be evaluated on each ski by an AFA instructor by May 31st 2019. It’s our goal to avoid the need for Yellow Card courses after this date.

Advantage it provides:

  • Spreading out training and sign-off starting with Walk the Hill Days, means less effort and stress at the fall recertification courses. 
  • Scenario-based skill sessions are more realistic and can be done on-snow, in strategic locations that give patrollers the flexibility to respond to an incident in needed
  • Additional focus on high priority skills (e.g. patient assessment, backboards) or those that are infrequently used
  • Teamwork and essential communication are reinforced

In On Snow Rescue (OSR)… we ensure our professionalism with our 3×3 Toboggan Runs. These runs are designed to ensure our on-snow toboggan handling skills are constantly being refined and refreshed, and to ensure we can safely transport patients from an incident site to the First Aid station. Patrollers should be able to perform a successful toboggan run on any terrain at the resort/club or if not, be working to develop their skills to achieve that goal over a reasonable timeframe. Ideally each run will be observed by an OSR instructor (who provides feedback and suggestions for improvement) although that may not be practical at some patrols. At a minimum, each patroller is expected to have one unloaded and one loaded toboggan run observed by an OSR instructor. 

Advantage it provides:

  • Patrollers keep their skills fresh
  • OSR recertification is streamlined and less stressful
  • Patrols can take advantage of resort/club specific routines such as race duty, morning/closing sweep, etc. to achieve their training objectives more efficiently
  • Prevents uncertainty and risk on the first toboggan run of the season with a real patient
  • Can add challenge and interest for more expert patrollers by select specific terrain or add routing features

Thank you Instructors!

At this point in the year we have now trained over 70 new recruits and recertified over 450 returning patrollers – this monumental effort was only possible thanks to over 90 members of the Central Zone training team contributing a combined 4200 hours.

This would not be possible without all the AFA instructors who helped out with new patroller training, AFA, BLS and Core Skill recertification activities, as well as the AFA Coordinators and Course Coordinators at each patrol who contribute a huge effort to organize all the various courses and activities to certify us each year.

A special shout out to the e-Learning team for their support and to Brenda Lynch and Glen Doyle for their leadership of the returning patroller recertification and new patroller training programs. 

We should be incredibly proud of our dedicated team for pulling together another outstanding year!

Want to step up and join the training team? Talk to your PL or AFA coordinator at your hill to learn how – and stay tuned for Instructor Training Courses to take place in the off-season.