Here are some frequently asked questions about our organization and what you can do to get involved!

Participant Requirements
What are the prerequisites for joining the Canadian Ski Patrol?
You need to:

  • Be 18 years of age for full membership
  • If you are between 13 and 17 years of age, you can join the Junior Safety Patrol
  • Complete the Canadian Ski Patrol Volunteer Form
  • Complete a one-time police information check
  • Be an intermediate/advanced to expert skier (alpine, telemark, or Nordic) or snowboarder
  • Be willing to learn and practice new skills
  • Provide your own skiing/snowboarding equipment (uniforms and patrol packs are provided for patrollers)
Is attendance at the Information and Recruitment Night mandatory?

There will be an Information and Recruitment Night at the NAIT Patricia Campus on September 20th, 2018 at 7 pm. Attendance is not mandatory, but it is strongly encouraged. Joining is a big commitment and it is important that you have all the information needed to make the decision to join. The evening includes presentations about patrolling in the Edmonton Zone, and presents an opportunity to chat with patrollers from all of the ski areas we serve.

How can I find out about the Canadian Ski Patrol prior to joining?

The best way is to simply approach a patroller and ask questions. Edmonton Zone patrollers will be happy to explain what is involved. Additional information can be found on “The Patrol Experience” section of this site.

I have no previous first aid experience – can I still join?

Yes! We provide all the training you need to become a fully-qualified ski patroller. Many of the people who join the CSP have little or no first aid experience. After taking the course – which gives you an advanced level of first aid training – and with practice, you will become a very competent first aider.

Are there Canadian Ski Patrol volunteering opportunities available year-round?

Yes! We provide first aid support for non-skiing events that run year-round, including:

  • The MS150 Bike Tour between Edmonton and Camrose
  • The Five Peaks trail-running races
  • The Tour de l’Alberta cycle tour
  • The Sourdough Raft Race.
  • The ITU World Triathlon Championship
First Aid Training
How long is the Edmonton Zone CSP first aid course?

We teach advanced first aid skills, including patient extraction, backboarding, splinting, bandaging, HCP CPR/AED and oxygen. The length of the course reflects these skill sets. The Edmonton Zone CSP first aid course runs over approximately 80 hours in the fall, spread over five weekends (both Saturday and Sunday). The first aid training course runs every other weekend between the end of September and the end of November.

I have previous first aid training and/or a medical background (e.g. wilderness first aid, EMR, nurse, doctor, etc.) - does this qualify as a substitute for the Edmonton Zone first aid course?

No. All new patrollers must successfully complete the first aid course. This ensures that we all understand each other’s level of training and that patients receive consistent and safe treatment. Completion of the course is also a requirement for liability insurance purposes.

I patrolled a few years ago with the CSP – do I still have to take the first aid course?

If you completed the course more than two years ago without completing the annual CSP recertification, then you must redo the entire first aid course.

What happens if I am unsuccessful with my first aid exams?

You are allowed to take a re-test. The training can be overwhelming and if you put in the effort to learn the material and study, the instructors will assist you. All new patrollers must successfully pass their first aid exams (CPR/AED, Skills, Written, and Diagnostic). On-snow training can be completed in March or in early December. We do not offer refunds for unsuccessful participants.

What are the First Aid exams like?

There are four components of the first aid exams. All of these must be successfully completed prior to qualifying as a patroller.

  • CPR/AED Exam: this is a 20 question multiple choice exam and candidates must score 80% or higher to pass, as well as demonstrating practical CPR/AED skills.
  • Skills Exams: candidates must demonstrate a comprehensive set of assessment/bandage/splint/backboard/miscellaneous treatment skills.
  • Written Exam: a 100 question multiple choice exam on the contents of the Canadian Ski Patrol First Aid manual. The pass mark is 80%. Should you achieve a score lower than 80%, you will be asked to re-write the same exam.
  • Diagnostic Exam: this is a real-time evaluation of patient assessment skills in a defined patient scenario, with diagnosis of the injury/illness and treatment of the patient. A minimum score of 80% is required on the Diagnostic Exam. A single re-test is available with a different patient scenario.
I cannot make some in-classroom sessions – what are my options?

We understand that we are all volunteers and that we have busy schedules and circumstances can sometimes be beyond our control. Absences from the classroom sessions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and require approval from the Edmonton Zone VP Education.

I cannot make the CPR course – what are my options?

You can register yourself through another certified provider (e.g. Red Cross) for a CPR course that fits your schedule; however you will be responsible for covering the additional cost. Please ensure that you take the HCP Level CPR/AED course and that the certificate is valid until the end of the upcoming ski season. You must also provide a copy of your certificate to the Edmonton Zone VP Education.

I already have CPR Certification, do I have to attend this part of the first aid course?

If you already have a valid HCP Level CPR/AED certification that is valid until the end of the upcoming ski season, you can provide a copy of it to the Edmonton Zone VP Education and will not be required to attend this session as part of the first aid course. Note that that patrollers must recertify their CPR/AED skills annually (meaning that if you have a CPR/AED certificate that is valid for 3 years, Edmonton Zone will expect you to re-certify these skills annually).

On-Hill Training
What is the on-hill ski/snowboard test like?

All new patrollers must demonstrate skiing/riding, as well as toboggan handling abilities, that are appropriate for their first year of patrolling at a low-country ski area (Rabbit Hill Snow Resort, Snow Valley or the Strathcona Wilderness Centre).

Instructors will evaluate your alpine skiing/snowboarding level for low-country competency and will provide toboggan handling training. All new patrollers must complete low-country on-hill training, regardless of where they want to patrol. Low-country on-hill training occurs at the Rabbit Hill Snow Resort.

The on-hill training is a two-day weekend course running from 0800 to 1600 on both days.

What is the on-snow requirement for Nordic Patrol?

Nordic patrollers are required to pass the on-hill training at Rabbit Hill.

What happens after I complete on-hill training?

You will receive a hill-specific orientation at your chosen ski area.

Edmonton Zone members interested in patrolling at Marmot Basin must pass two additional training courses:

  • A training weekend, in which skiing and toboggan handling skills are evaluated on all terrain
  • An orientation course, in which patrollers are examined on their knowledge of the resort and its procedures (e.g. radio, response, and ambulance protocols).

You must successfully complete low-country on-hill training before undertaking training at Marmot Basin.

What happens if I do not pass my on-hill training?

CSP Edmonton Zone is committed to helping all recruits attain acceptable on-hill skiing/riding and toboggan-handling skills. Recruits who do not pass their on-hill training will have the opportunity to receive ski-improvement training from our CSIA/CASI-certified instructors, and can have their on-hill skills certified during the season by the Edmonton Zone VP Education. Until they certify their on-hill skills, these recruits are able to provide first aid to patients, but are not permitted to transport patients in a toboggan.

Patrollers who are  unsuccessful in their on-hill evaluation and training are still certified first aid providers and can patrol at off-snow special events (e.g. MS150, Five Peaks).

I cannot make the on-hill training – what are my options?

You need to attend on-hill training either in the spring before you take the CSP First Aid course, or immediately after you have completed the course. Exceptions to this will need to be approved in advance by the Edmonton Zone VP Education. Spring on-hill training takes place at the Rabbit Hill Snow Resort in March 2018, and fall on-hill training occurs at the beginning of December 2018.

Fundraising
What are my fundraising commitments as an Edmonton Zone patroller?

Membership fees in the Edmonton Zone are heavily subsidised by our fundraising efforts. These fees cover equipment costs, subsidise the uniform costs (the red patrol jacket) and pay for our liability insurance. All patrollers are required to participate in our fundraising efforts. The annual fundraising commitment is to work two bingo or casino shifts. Alternatively, volunteering for a shift at one of our summer events can be substituted for one of the bingo/casino shifts (e.g. MS150, Five Peaks).

Meals are provided to bingo/casino volunteers, and the Edmonton Zone pays for pizza and refreshments after each bingo shift.

Ski Areas & Patrolling
Can I pick which ski area I want to patrol at?

Yes. New patrollers can choose which low-country ski area they will patrol at (Rabbit Hill Snow Resort, Snow Valley or the Strathcona Wilderness Area).

First-year patrollers must be fully-rostered at a low-country ski hill. However, they are welcome to attend high-country training at Marmot Basin. Upon successful completion of this training, they will added to the spares list for Marmot Basin. High-country roster spots are allocated by seniority on the respective spares lists (e.g. based on how many shifts covered for rostered patrollers).

I would like to patrol at a ski area outside of the Edmonton Zone (e.g. Lake Louise, Panorama), can I still sign up through the Edmonton Zone?

Yes. We are a national organization, and you can transfer between zones. Please note that if you sign up through the Edmonton Zone, you must complete all of the Edmonton Zone requirements. This includes your annual fundraising commitments and annual recertification.

What if I cannot make my patrol commitments?

The low-country patrol commitment is one evening a week, or one weekend day every two weeks. Each ski area has its own protocols for assigning shifts and obtaining spares to cover for missed shifts. Outside of emergency situations, it is your responsibility to find a spare to cover for your missed shifts. This is usually achieved by simply emailing the list of rostered patrollers at least a week ahead of the shift you require coverage for. Patrollers with unpredictable schedules can make arrangements with their respective ski area patrol leaders. Note that patrollers are required to work at least 12 three hour shifts per season.

How do I schedule my patrol days?

Each ski area has its own scheduling system, and these will be explained to new patrollers during their on-hill orientation or at a meeting prior to the start of the ski season.

Do I get to ski for free?

Each ski area has different benefits – in general for each day you patrol, you receive a ski pass that you can use or pass on to friends or family. You are not allowed to sell these passes. The ski areas also provide meal vouchers for each shift patrolled.

Can I patrol during the summer?

Yes. The Edmonton Zone provides first aid coverage for the MS150 Bike Tour, the Five Peaks trail running races, the Sourdough Raft Race and other events.

Equipment
Do I need to buy my own equipment?

A patrol jacket, patrol pack, and basic first aid supplies are provided for new patrollers choosing to patrol at a ski area within the Edmonton Zone. A snow shovel, probe and avalanche beacon are provided for patrollers at Marmot Basin.

New patrollers need to supply their own black snow pants, a helmet and ski/snowboard equipment. These can be purchased at discounted rates by taking advantage of the many pro-deals offered to CSP members (these deals can be accessed via the National Canadian Ski Patrol website).

Where and when do I pick up my jacket and pack?

You will be provided with a jacket and pack after you have completed your first aid certification and your on-hill training. Note that the jacket remains the property of the Edmonton Zone and that you will be required to provide a refundable deposit for it. Patrollers have the option of purchasing their own jacket, to which white crosses must be stitched. Such a jacket must be the correct shade of red and be approved by your ski area’s patrol leader. Patrollers can also provide their own black backpack, to which a white cross must be attached.

Edmonton Zone Junior Safety Patrol
What are the prerequisites for joining the Edmonton Zone Junior Safety Patrol?
  • Be between 13 and 17 years old
  • Be an intermediate/advanced to expert skier or snowboarder
  • Enthusiasm for skiing or snowboarding
  • Must attend an orientation meeting to be held in the fall of 2018
What are the duties of the Junior Safety Patrol?
  • Junior Safety Patrol members do not do first aid and are not permitted to transport patients
  • Assisting regular patrol members by being a set of extra eyes and ears on the hill
  • Communication of issues to regular patrol members by radio
  • Helping to set up fences and signage
  • Traffic control at incident scenes
  • Scanning the hill for possible incidents
More Info
I am undecided if this is really for me – what are my options?

Joining is a big commitment, and we want to ensure you have all the information you need to make the decision to become part of the CSP. We encourage you to come to the Information and Recruitment Night at the NAIT Patricia Campus on September 20th, 2018 at 7 pm. You can obtain information by simply chatting with a patroller at any of the ski areas served by the Edmonton Zone.

I still need more information – who do I contact?

Please check our website for information on the Canadian Ski Patrol and the ski areas served by the Edmonton Zone. If you have additional questions about joining, please email info@cspedmonton.com. Check us out on social media at @cspedmonton.