Q. What is the age requirement to join the CSP?
A. New members must be 18 years of age as of December 1 of the current year to become a certified patroller. Under special circumstances, some resorts permit patrollers at age 16 if qualifications are met, however, restrictions may apply. Check with your specific resort for further details.
Q. How much first aid do I have to know when I join?
A. None! We will teach you. Our advanced first aid courses start at various times in the fall. Each course consists of class demonstrations, lectures, hands-on practical work and CPR training. Courses are offered weekday evenings or full days on weekends.
Q. I already have first aid certification. Do I have to take the Canadian Ski Patrol Advanced First Aid (AFA) course to become a regular member?
A. Yes, our training is very specific and applies to providing services at ski areas. Our training is ranked at a higher level than regular first-aid courses. We include CPR, oxygen therapy, AED procedures, airway management and blood pressure technology. If you have a credited CPR course valid for the current ski year you do not need to re-certify your CPR. A regular member must successfully complete the advanced first aid (AFA) requirements annually. Individuals with medical qualifications, or holding a first aid certification from another organization, recognized by the CSP, must successfully complete the advanced First Aid-Modified (AFA –Modified) course to become a regular member.
Q. Are there paid patrolling jobs offered?
A. Yes, there is always a need for paid patrollers. First, we suggest that you make contact with the patrol services director of the ski area where you would like to become a paid patroller. We can help you with contact information.
Q. Are patrollers legally protected for their actions as a patroller?
A. Yes, the Canadian Ski Patrol carries a general liability insurance policy.
Q. Is there any way to really see what it is like to be a patroller?
A. Yes, at numerous ski areas across the country we have “Ski With a Patroller Day” programs that match you with a ski patroller for the day. Just go to your local ski area, ask to meet the patrol leader or the person in charge for the day, tell this person you are interested in becoming a ski patroller and that you would like to see what it is like to be a ski patroller.
Q. How often will I be required to patrol during the winter?
A. Duty rosters and expectations depend on the local patrol. Some patrols will ask for a certain number of days, others are fixed to a one day a week, or one day every two weeks or a one-weekend-out-of-two schedule. They might ask you for your availability at the beginning of the winter and then make a schedule around your available time. When you fill in the “Join the CSP” form, your information goes to a recruiting officer in the area you wish to join. You will then be called and all your questions about becoming a patroller will be answered.
Q. How are ski patrollers recognized at a ski area?
A. Whenever patrollers are on duty, they are in uniform and well-identified as patrollers with the Canadian Ski Patrol.
Q. What are the official colours of the Canadian Ski Patrol?
A. Patrollers are recognized at most resorts with a distinctive white cross on a predominately red upper body garment (either a jacket or vest). Some resorts use a more predominantly black uniform with white cross.
Not too long ago, we were recognizable for our blue and yellow uniforms. In 2012, we rebranded ourselves with a modern, strengthened logo based on our traditional leaf and cross logo, with red, black and white colours.
Q. Is CSP training recognized by employers and provincial governments?
A. Some provinces recognize provincial Worker’s Compensation Board or Workplace Safety accreditation and equivalency. The Canadian Ski Patrol has Basic and Standard First aid accreditation from the Canadian federal government’s human resources development Skills Canada. This accreditation is recognized in the workplace.
Q. Can I take the Canadian Ski Patrol first aid course without becoming a ski patroller?
A. In most regions yes. A regular member must complete the advanced first aid requirements. A regular member who has on snow certification and provides patrolling services may be referred to as a patroller. A regular member can provide services off the slopes or trails. In some areas of the country we provide first aid services for many non-skiing events and regular members are always welcomed in these roles.
Q. What level of skier/snowboarder do I need to be to become a patroller?
A. You need to be a strong intermediate skier. Since you may ski or ride in all kinds of conditions under any circumstances you should be able to competently handle all of the runs on the mountain 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 particular area you wish to patrol. Ski and snow board instruction is often available to Canadian Ski Patrol members at little or no cost at the local patrol level.
Q. I am a snowboarder, can I be a patroller even if I have never skied?
A. Yes, we certify individuals in first aid and on snow for alpine, nordic, snowboard, telemark, and miniskis. We have lots of patrols in nordic ski areas. In alpine areas, we also accept snowblades, but we strongly suggest you be able to ski as well, that will make toboggan handling easier.
Q. What is a toboggan?
A. This is our main means of transporting an injured person from the slopes/ trails to the base of the ski area.
Q. Is it hard to transport a patient in a toboggan?
A. No, with proper training there are 100-pound patrollers that can handle a 150-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.