Information for Prospective New Members

(The bulk of this text is complements of Ron Splittgerber, Diamond Peaks Nordic Ski Patrol)
Updated December 7, 2005

Members of the Medicine Bow Nordic Ski Patrol provide backcountry assistance to snow travellers in the Snowy and Laramie Range Mountains, southeastern Wyoming.  Typical patrol-day duties include monitoring of USFS trailhead facilities in the Medicine Bow National Forest, measuring backcountry snow conditions, and providing emergency first aid assistance to travellers as determined by the USFS and the Albany County Sheriff.  Many of our members are dual-registered with the Snowy Range Ski Patrol, a nearby alpine patrol.  National Ski Patrol and local standards require active patrollers to devote approximately 10 days per year to primary patrol assignments, including annual refreshers for maintaining essential patroller skills.

The ski patrol has many educational opportunities for its members. Some basic requirements assure that all members have achieved a certain level of competence in their first aid and skiing skills. Once that minimum competency level is reached, there are many other classes available to augment your abilities. Typical fee schedules are included. Skill items do not have to be taken in the order listed unless there is a pre-requisite. As a minimum, you are expected to meet steps 1-4 for our patrol:

1. Registration with the National Ski Patrol (NSP - ~$55)

2. Registration with local patrol (Medicine Bow Nordic Ski Patrol - ~$10)

Completion of 1-2 above gives you 'Candidate' status

3. Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR-BLS for Health Care Providers or CPR-BLSFRP for the Professional Rescuer) (must certify every year) (American Heart or Red Cross  $20)

4. Outdoor Emergency Care course (OEC or WEC) and certification exam (~$80 plus first aid supplies)
   -- entails approximately 90 hours of classroom and practicum exercises

Completion of 1-4 above gives you 'Auxiliary' status (You'll need to buy a jacket and aid belt/pack, ~$200)

5. Ski and Toboggan training and certification exam (~$20) assuming you own boots/skis/poles

Completion of 1-5 above gives you 'Patroller' status

6. Level One Avalanche class and exam (~$20 plus books)

7. Introductory Mountain Travel and Rescue class and exam (~$20 plus books)

Completion of 1-7 above is required of all 'Patrollers' within 2 years

8. Advanced OEC/WEC clinic and exam (~$20)

9. Advanced Ski and Toboggan clinic and exam (~$20) plus travel and training sessions

Completion of 1-9 above gets you to 'Senior' status, can substitute an elective for Advanced OEC

10. Level Two Avalanche class and exam (~$20)

11. Advanced Mountain Travel and Rescue class and exam (~$20)

12. '6-pack' instructor class

13. Co-teach any skill class above

14. Written recommendation of skill advisor

Completion of above gives you 'Instructor' status in one skill. There are 'Instructor' certifications for both basic and advanced skill levels in each of the skill areas of OEC/WEC, avalanche, mountaineering, and ski and toboggan. You may also become an instructor-trainer in any of the skill areas and 'teach the teachers.'

Completion of 1-9 above, and demonstrated dedication beyond the average patroller makes you eligible for a 'National' appointment classification. A patroller who holds 'National' status has been nominated by fellow patrollers for this honor - it is not a status you can earn. Those holding this status wear a star-shaped emblem rather than the traditional gold-cross chest emblem.

Completion of steps 1-11 above allow you to train for 'Certified' patroller status. This status is much like a graduate degree, and covers areas such as search and rescue leadership, explosive handling for avalanche control etc. The certification exam for this status is held at a destination ski area. It is a comprehensive 4 day seminar covering all skill levels mentioned above. Currently, only a small number of patrollers world-wide hold this status.

For further information, contact the patrol director or investigate the resources available from the national office of the National Ski Patrol.

Return to the MBNSP Home Page.

Page last updated December 07, 2005.

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