Fresh white powder, beautiful mountain scenery, is it no wonder that winter sport activities continue to lure vacationers to our countries many ski resorts? As snowboarding, skiing and other recreational snow sports continue to get more popular every year there is, unfortunately, a corresponding increase in the number of accidents. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that in 1997 alone there were 84,200 skiing injuries and 37,600 snowboarding accidents treated in emergency rooms nationwide. That is why ski patrol workers are so important and why we have spotlighted the EMT Job of Ski Patroller today.
EMT Job Ski Patrol – What Do They Do?
The ski patrol’s primary responsibility is to maintain SAFETY on the ski slopes. Their secondary responsibility is to assist those that are injured and to safely transport them down the mountain. A list of ski patrol’s duties include:
Any accident that takes place on the slopes is a ski patrol’s responsibility and this is where your EMT training comes into play. Once you get the call, your first priority is to quickly get to the accident site, whether by ski, snowboard or snowmobile. Once at the site, you then provide assistance and first aid to the injured. If necessary, you may have to transport the injured down the mountain by toboggan if they are in need of further medical assistance.
While on duty, the ski patrol will make sure to maintain any ski trails that they are traveling on. This includes boundary maintenance, marking of hazards and avalanche prevention measures.
In addition to slope maintenance, while on watch, the ski patrol also oversees that those on the mountain are following all of the safety rules that are in place. For instance, if there are skiers that are in marked “unsafe” zones of the resort, it is your job to make sure they safely evacuate those areas.
You are also there to make sure that people on the slopes are having fun and to answer any questions they may have.
Requirements for EMT job – Ski Patrol
- Typically, must be 18 years or older.
- Usually require EMT Training with EMT-B certification – The majority of injuries that you will treat will be a variety of strained or sprained ankles and knees. However, there will be rare times where you might need to treat more serious injuries. For instance, someone striking a tree or other hazard or treating victims of avalanches for hypothermia and exposure.
- Expert skier or snowboarder – You will need to be capable of navigating every ski run and course so that you can respond to any accident, wherever it may be. In addition, you will be required to be able to transport patients, towed by toboggan, safely down the slopes from anywhere on the mountain.
- Handle cold/high altitudes – You must be in good physical shape to be able to cope with the rigors of a sometimes harsh winter environment. At times, bitter cold or high altitudes can quickly sap the strength of even healthy individuals. So it is important to be as physically fit as possible.
Some resorts may require that potential ski patrol members get certification through The Professional Ski Patrol Association (PSPA).
A Fun and Rewarding EMT Job
If you love to ski or snowboard and desire to help others, then becoming part of ski patrol may be right for you. This unique EMT job will require you to ski or snowboard for most of the day which is sure to make you even more skilled at the sport you love. Although it may be a challenging job at times, your actions will keep people safe and allow everyone at the resort to have fun. There are also some nice perks that generally go along with the job, such as free or highly subsidized winter lodging. In addition, many resorts give out free ski passes that you can give out to friends or family all winter long.
Since there are many that love the idea of getting paid to ride fresh powder all day, there can be a lot of competition for the specialized EMT job of ski patroller. This also tends to impact the salaries that members of ski patrol might make. You can expect to make between $9.50 – $12.50 an hour depending on your experience and work location.
For those seeking to become ski patrol members you should start by getting EMT training immediately. Also, if you are not yet an expert skier or snowboarder, start hitting the slopes! Work hard at school and you could soon be performing ski slope safety sweeps, enjoying the ride on fresh powder and providing lifesaving assistance to those that need it. Thanks for reading about our EMT job spotlight today. If you have any questions about this EMT job, please leave a comment below.
For more information on where to get EMT training.
Thought I would also share a cool little video showing what it is like to working in Ski Patrol. Besides some fun skiing shots, it does also show some of the EMT related duties that you would perform while working. Enjoy!