Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Q. I already have first aid certification. Do I have to take the CSP Advanced First Aid (AFA) course to become a regular member?

A. Yes, our training is very specific and applies to providing services to ski areas. Our training is ranked at a higher level than standard first-aid courses. We include CPR, providing Oxygen therapy, AED procedures, airway management, and blood pressure technology. If you have a recognized CPR course valid for the current ski year you need not recertify your CPR with us.

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 our system, 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 contact 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 CSP 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 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 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 on this webpage, your information goes to a recruiting officer in the area you wished to join. We will contact you and discuss the process, and all your questions about becoming a patroller will be answered./su_spoiler]

Q. How are ski patrollers recognized at a ski area?

A. Most of the time we are the skiers wearing red jackets or vests with the white cross on the chest. Some patrols may wear resort-specific uniforms at the request of resort management. There is usually some indication at the resort that services are provided by the CSP or patrollers are trained by the CSP.

Q. Is CSP training recognized by Employers and Provincial Governments?

A. Some provinces have Provincial Worker’s Compensation Board or Workplace Safety accreditation and equivalency. The CSP has Advanced and Standard First Aid accreditation from the Canadian federal government Human Resources Development Skills Canada. This accreditation is recognized in the workplace.

Q. Can I take the CSP first aid course without becoming a ski patroller?

A. In most regions YES. A regular member must complete the Advanced First Aid requirements of the system. 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 should I 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 circumstance 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 snowboard instruction is often available 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 accept snowboarders, alpine skiers, and nordic/telemark skiers. We have lots of patrols in nordic ski areas. In alpine areas, we also accept snow blades, 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 we have 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.

Q. Who is the CSP looking for?

A. We require alpine, snowboard, telemark, and nordic enthusiasts from all walks of life who are interested in volunteering their time to help others and want to have fun. You must be a strong team player over 18 years of age and be prepared to work in a variety of weather conditions.

Q. I really want to patrol but I don't own a car?

A. This is usually not a big problem. You can likely find someone who lives in your area that is also scheduled at your hill and would be willing to carpool with you. Check with your resort’s patrol leader or assistant patrol leader and they should be able to assist you in making the connection you need for transportation.