Here are some frequently asked questions about our organization and information about how you can get involved!
What are the requirements to join the Canadian Ski Patrol?
- You must be 18 years of age
- Be an intermediate skier (alpine, telemark, or nordic) or snowboarder
- Be willing to learn and practice new skills
- Provide your own skiing/snowboarding equipment (minus the uniformed jacket and waist pack, which are provided to recruits in the Gatineau Zone)
I have no previous first aid experience – can I still join?
Yes! We provide the training for you to join us. 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, most people become very competent first aiders.
I have previous first aid training and/or a medical background (e.g. wilderness first aid, paramedic, nurse, doctor, etc.) – does this qualify as a substitute for recruit training?
All new patrollers must successfully complete the Canadian Ski Patrol recruit course. This ensures that we all follow the same procedures and is requiredd for insurance purposes. However, some medical professionals may be permitted to take a special condensed course with approval from the zone’s vice-president of education (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I patrolled a while ago with the CSP – do I still have to take the new patroller course?
If you completed the course more than two years ago without completing the Canadian Ski Patrol annual recertification, you must complete the recruit course again.
What happens if I am unsuccessful with my first aid exams?
You are allowed to take a re-test of the exams; however, the passing mark is increased. The training can be overwhelming, but 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, Diagnostic, and Administration) prior to the on-snow training. We do not offer refunds for unsuccessful participants.
What are the First Aid exams?
There are five components to the first aid exams. All of these exams must be successfully completed before proceeding to the on-snow training.
- Written Exam: A 100 question, multiple choice, exam on the Canadian Ski Patrol First Aid manual content.
- CPR/AED Exam: A 20-question multiple choice exam.
- Administration Exam: A 10-question multiple choice exam.
- Diagnostic Exam: This is a real-time evaluation of your patient assessment skills, diagnosis of the problem and how you would treat the patient.
- Skills: A series of practical assessments of your first aid skills (splinting, bandaging, etc.).
I cannot make some in-classroom sessions – what are my options?
We understand that we are all volunteers, we have busy schedules and circumstances can change. Absences from the classroom sessions are evaluated on a case by case basis and require approval from the zone’s vice-president of education (email@example.com). Please send an email outlining the dates you will not be able to attend.
I cannot make the CPR day – what are my options?
You can register yourself through another certified provider for a CPR course that fits your schedule; however you will be responsible to cover this cost. You must take the Healthcare Provider (HCP) level and the certificate must be valid until May of the upcoming ski season. You must also provide a copy of your certificate to the VP of Education (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I already have CPR certification, do I have to attend this session?
If you already have a valid HCP level CPR certification that is valid until the end of the upcoming ski season, you can provide a copy to the VP of Education (email@example.com) and miss this day of the recruit course. Note that patrollers must recertify their CPR annually (even if your external CPR certification is valid for longer than 1 year).
What is the on-snow training?
Qualified on-snow instructors will evaluate your downhill skiing/snowboarding or nordic skiing level and provide toboggan handling exercises and training. This training typically takes a few days to complete and is organized at each ski area in December and January.
Can I choose the ski area where I will patrol?
We try our best to accomodate requests from recruits who wish to ski at a specific ski area and take into consideration specific situations. However, sometimes it is necessary to assign recruits to their second choice in order to maintain patrol numbers at each ski area. Each ski area is unique and has its own benefits, and it is important to select one that works the best for you. There will be opportunities during the recruit course to speak with patrol leaders to get a better idea of what it’s like to patrol at their ski area. Gatineau Zone ski areas include Camp Fortune, Sommet Edelweiss, Mont Cascades, Mont Chilly, Mont Ste Marie, Mount Martin, Mount Pakenham, Nakkertok Nordic and Ski Vorlage.
How do I schedule my patrol days?
An online scheduling system is used. Since the schedule pattern varies by ski area, we encourage you to talk to the patrol leaders before deciding at which ski area you want to patrol. At some ski areas you might patrol Saturday and Sunday every second weekend; at others you might patrol every Saturday or every Sunday; at others the schedule might be more flexible.
Can I patrol on weekdays or nights?
Shifts during the week (Monday-Friday) or in the evenings (where there is night skiing) are filled by paid patrollers. These patrollers are typically members of the CSP who are hired by the ski area. Most ski areas hire paid patrollers who have at least one year’s experience.
Do I get to ski for free?
Each ski area has different benefits and may offer lift tickets or a season’s pass to their patrollers. During patrol shifts, you get to ski without purchasing a lift ticket. There are also added benefits such as discounts on equipment or prioritized tuning services.
Do I need to buy my own equipment?
A patrol jacket, waist pack, and basic first aid supplies are provided for recruits choosing to patrol at a ski area within the Gatineau Zone. Recruits need to supply their own black snow pants and ski/snowboard equipment. Most alpine ski areas will require patrollers to wear a helmet (preferably black).
Is the patrol welcoming to families?
Patrollers and their families are welcome in our patrol huts. We offer many opportunities to socialize in the patrol including pot luck dinners, chili cook-offs and game nights. Young and old, we always have fun together!