Section 14: National Ski Patrol

14.01) "How do I join the National Ski Patrol?"

The best thing to do is to contact the patrol at your favorite ski area. Don't be shy, just ski up to any patroller and ask 'em how to join!

In many cases there will be some sort of "ski-off" in which you will demonstrate your skiing ability. You will also be required to take a fairly intensive first aid course called WEC (Winter Emergency Care). WEC generally takes around 60 hours of instruction.

Your first season will generally be a "candidate" year during which you will be trained in sled handling, hill procedures, and probably more first aid. Following this training there will usually be a test which will include skiing, sled handling, and first-aid.

14.02) "What does the National Ski Patrol Do?"

Lots. In general the NSP is about safety. This takes several forms.

14.03) "Why should I join the National Ski Patrol?"

Well, to start with it's a very rewarding activity. Most of your "customers" are *really* glad to see you! In addition you'll develop new skills, hone your skiing ability, be involved in a community service, and will be hanging around with a bunch of people who love to ski!

14.04) "Is it true that patrollers ski for free?"

This depends entirely on the hill. It also depends on your concept of the word "free". While it's true that patrollers don't pay for their tickets, it's equally true that we work like crazy for that benefit!

14.05) "What other benefits are there to joining the patrol?"

The National Ski Patrol is a Federally chartered non-profit organization. As such your contributions to the patrol may be tax deductable (note the careful wording of this sentence... consult your accountant!). In addition, once you're on the patrol you will generally find more "ins" with the skiing community...which means you have a better chance of finding pro-form deals on skis, bindings, boots, etc.

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