Following a passion for both skiing and helping others, I am a proud and devoted CSP member. The Canadian Ski Patrol has been an integral part of my life for more than 40 years. Over those years, I have witnessed the evolution of our organization while also developing many lifelong friendships, and yes, I even met my wife when she first joined CSP in Ontario and we enjoyed patrolling together for nearly a decade.
I have happily held numerous positions in our great organization starting as an assistant instructor and moving up to instructor, examiner, Toronto Ski Swap co-ordinator (3 years), assistant patrol leader, on- hill instructor, on-hill examiner, official NAC photographer (6 years), and most recently Zone President (7 years).
I am thankful to have received many awards during my involvement with CSP, but the ones that personally stand out are my National Appreciation Award, Canadian Ski Patrol Award, and most important of all, a Life Saving Award.
I am a Bachelor of Technology graduate from Ryerson University. My professional career was firefighting, initially with the City of Toronto. After 15 years with the Toronto Department I had risen to the rank of Captain when I applied for a Chief’s position with the Town of Banff. I was thrilled to be selected as the first Fire Chief for the (then) newly incorporated Town of Banff - the first of its kind to be formed in a Canadian National Park. Not only could I follow my career in firefighting in Banff, but I also continued my CSP involvement at Lake Louise, where I have patrolled since 1989.
I retired from firefighting after 17 years in Banff. My wife and I relocated to British Columbia, where I continue to follow my ski patrolling passion at Sun Peaks Resort. Each and every November, I return to Lake Louise for two weeks as part of the World Cup medical team, patrolling at the World Cup men’s and ladies’ downhill speed events. Last November was my 28th consecutive World Cup event.
In 2007 I was selected by Vanoc as Chief of Patrol for the 2010 Paralympic Games. This role involved travelling and training others and participating in test events several seasons prior to the Olympics/Paralympics in Whistler. My commitment in Whistler 2010 lasted 42 days, and yet I still managed to put in my required number of shifts at my local hill that season.
Looking ahead, I believe my experience patrolling in three different provinces and divisions - at many diverse ski areas ranging in size from a small “mom and pop” hill with two t-bars to several of Canada's largest destination resorts – provides me with the background and scope needed to be able to fully understand and appreciate the issues that our organization is currently facing.
It's time our organization became recognized for the great work we do and to take a lead role in the provision of our services to the snow sliding public. To do this, we must first ensure our organization is relevant to our customers/employers - the ski area operators. We must also remain relatable to the general public and to all our members. Times are continually changing and we must adapt to remain viable and successful in growing this wonderful volunteer organization.
Being an active skiing member of the CSP, I still look forward to the beginning of each season and returning to see old friends, meeting the new recruits, and watching the first snowflakes fall so as to hit the slopes as soon as they are ready.
I am Fred Haight (aka Fireman Fred) - a loyal and passionate member of the Canadian Ski Patrol who embraces change and has the time, spirit, and dedication to make it happen.