Becoming a Patroller - Photo Page 

Next Outdoor Emergency Care classes start early August On hill instruction begins in December

Printed Hidden Valley Ski Patrol Application OR sign up with an on-line Application

During the ski season a Prospective Member should contact the Patrol Director to arrange for a brief interview, an application form, and a ski proficiency exam. There is a $5 fee required prior to the skiing exam. Next the prospect must complete the National Ski Patrol first aid course, known as Outdoor Emergency Care, or simply OEC. The OEC course is given only during the off-season from mid-August through November, as we are too busy during the winter season. The course is a comprehensive introduction to first aid principles and skills spanning about 14 weeks. A prospect must also have current certification in CPR for the professional rescuer (a more advanced level of CPR training). This CPR certification is available through the American Heart Association.

The patrol coordinates an American Heart Association sponsored course each year for new applicants. Certain health care professionals, from basic EMT to Physician, may elect to "challenge" the OEC course by purchasing the textbook (and optional workbook), demonstrating first aid skills consistent with OEC guidelines, paying the applicable course fees, and passing the written and practical exams. Our recommendation is, however, that even these individuals take the entire OEC course. Once the individual has come this far, he or she is now registered with the national organization as a Candidate Patroller.

The Candidate Patroller at Hidden Valley trains for 1 to 1-1/2 seasons before taking skiing, toboggan handling, chair evacuation, and written exams. Upon successful completion of this training and exam process, the Candidate Patroller becomes the Basic Patroller, and now is qualified to wear the familiar rust and blue ski patrol parka. During this Candidate training period of 1 to 1-1/2 seasons, the Candidate Patroller serves one duty shift per week and has two training sessions for snowboarding or skiing and tobogganing skill development, Wednesday evenings and Saturday or Sunday mornings. There are ample opportunities for the Candidate Patroller to use the first aid skills learned in the OEC class during this period of time.

An applicant who has been accepted is encouraged to begin serving as a Pre-Candidate anytime during the ski season prior to starting the OEC training. The Pre-Candidate will be given one duty shift per week, and will be assigned to ski the shift with an experienced patroller to gain an insight to patrolling. The patrol will provide a lift ticket for each of these Pre-Candidate sessions. The Pre-Candidate will be required to pay full dues prior to starting. Provided there is sufficient interest, a weekly skiing improvement training session will be offered to the Pre-candidates.

The Costs associated with the ski patrol membership include annual dues. The cost of registration and textbooks for the OEC and CPR courses total about $120. A first-aid belt costs $30 - $40 and must be stocked initially by the Candidate Patroller. The National Ski Patrol parka is the required uniform, and will cost ~ $200 (~ 100 for a vest) depending on the model selected. A suitable Candidate Parka is provided to Candidates who have completed OEC qualification.

REQUIRED DUTY consists of sixteen ski area shifts two of which are Midnight sessions each season. There are also non-ski activities such as fund raising and work parties. Annually, each patroller must attend refreshers for OEC, CPR, chair evacuation, snowboarding, skiing, and toboggan handling.

The Benefits of the ski patrol include the satisfaction of helping others, advanced snowboard and ski training by ski patrol instructors, many of whom are also PSIA certified instructors, and the camaraderie among the patrollers.

To become a patroller, one must love the sports of snowboarding and skiing, be willing to work hard at becoming an advanced rider or skier, and enjoy working with people.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED in joining the Hidden Valley Ski Patrol, send an e-mail to or fill out our on-line Application


HomeLinksContacts  - SafetyWho We Are
Copyright The Hidden Valley Ski Patrol
Proud member of the National Ski Patrol