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How good do you need to be?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I'm a Firefighter/EMT-B in New York, and while I've been skiing since i was a tike, and would consider myself fairly decent, I don't know how I measure up to the requirements.

How great do you have to be? Negotiating diamonds with relative ease and confidence ok, or do you need to be that one fella who can rip a double black before lunch and say he had a boring morning?
post #2 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtski View Post
I'm a Firefighter/EMT-B in New York, and while I've been skiing since i was a tike, and would consider myself fairly decent, I don't know how I measure up to the requirements.

How great do you have to be? Negotiating diamonds with relative ease and confidence ok, or do you need to be that one fella who can rip a double black before lunch and say he had a boring morning?
I was a patroller for a short while. I was an EMT-B at the time (since lapsed).

You should be a solid, confident skier. You don't need to be that slick or smooth, you don't necessarily need to rip up the double blacks before lunch...in fact, you don't even need to do a tip roll every time you enter the lift line (every other time is usually fine) .

If you have the strength and skills to ease safely and predictably down the most challenging terrain at your home mountain while helping to control a sled that contains a large skier, you should be in good shape. Emergency medical skills are a big plus, and you already have those.
post #3 of 24
Above all, just have a great desire to spend some of your valuable free time dedicated to the patrol, the resort, and the public you support. The rest will come as needed. Just be excited and motivated.
post #4 of 24
With being an emt-b your med skills are where they need to be, (at my mt if you are an EMT b and current that is fine working on payed patrol) and you could prob challenge the OEC course.

As for skiing I am sure it varrys from MT to MT. with the terrain. but Gnarlito is right. But that is about the finishing point our the volunteer patrolers train you on the weekends. to get to that standard if you cant make it in the first year, you can keep trying it till you get it. The main thing is to stay motivated.
post #5 of 24
EMT-B=good

As far as skiing goes, you need to be able to bring a loaded sled down the hardest run where you work, at least with a tail rope. Falling≠good.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtski View Post
I'm a Firefighter/EMT-B in New York, and while I've been skiing since i was a tike, and would consider myself fairly decent, I don't know how I measure up to the requirements.

How great do you have to be? Negotiating diamonds with relative ease and confidence ok, or do you need to be that one fella who can rip a double black before lunch and say he had a boring morning?
Like everyone else said, it depends on the mountain and the desperation of the patrol. Generally, you don't have to look like a God, but do have to ski well.
Your EMT is a definite plus, and will warrant a look see even at mountains that aren't looking, and if your skiing is good enough, might accept you even if they're not hiring. Some east coast mountains will take you on even if your skiing is sub-par, hoping they can bring your skiing along. Of course, you won't get your cross until you can ski every trail in every condition confidently and you'll only be given a limited time to get there.
We took on a paramedic a few years ago, and we waited 3 years for him to pass sleds. We also just asked another paramedic to not come back since he wasn't showing improvement after 3 years.
we also just turned down a EMT who successfully challenged the OEC with the recomendation to work on his skiing and try again. Nice guy, I hope he does.
The only way to find out, is talk to the patrol you want to join, and try out. But do it soon, it may not be too late to do it this season. Our class just started last week.
post #7 of 24
How good of a skier you need to be depends on the hill at which you are looking to join. We generally look for intermediate and above skiers for our patrol, while others look for more experienced/skilled skiers. My patrol has a lot of instructors and we figure we can teach anybody the skills they need to safely and confidently run a sled at our hill. Other patrols will not take the same amount of time to teach skiing and toboggan skills to candidates that we do and therefore need more polished skiers. So the short answer is, see what the requirements are for any patrol you are looking to join. Also look to see how their skiing and toboggan training programs work and see if you would be a good fit.
post #8 of 24
The EMT-B is extremely important. Your already ahead of game.

On the your skiing ability, it depends on the ski area. I think the first question is can you ski all the trails at the ski area you plan to patrol at. Best to contact the ski patrol director by phone at the ski areas you are interested in patrolling at. The patrol director will probably want to see you ski. The worst that can happen is you may be told this is what you need to work on and come back at a later date when you get your skills up.

In the North East start here to find patrol director phone numbers. Some mountains like Windham are not listed here.

http://www.nspeast.org/html/regions.htm

Check out the EpicSki resort page
http://www.epicski.com/travel/resorts.php



Good luck.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone for your responses. I'll take all the advice and look into it. Now all I need to do is figure out if I can afford to be in Vermont for the whole season.

Anyone here ski/patrol Mt. Snow?
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtski View Post
Thanks to everyone for your responses. I'll take all the advice and look into it. Now all I need to do is figure out if I can afford to be in Vermont for the whole season.

Anyone here ski/patrol Mt. Snow?
Mt. Snow, huh? Don't plan on any free skiing-you'll be very busy!
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam View Post
Mt. Snow, huh? Don't plan on any free skiing-you'll be very busy!

Ya... there does seem to be a ridiculous amount of fairly reckless skiers there.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post
EMT-B=good

As far as skiing goes, you need to be able to bring a loaded sled down the hardest run where you work, at least with a tail rope. Falling≠good.
So let's say you're a patroller at JH... YOU HAVE TO SKI DOWN ALTA CHUTES WITH THAT SHIT!?!? omg... I can't even picture that...
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiking4 View Post
So let's say you're a patroller at JH... YOU HAVE TO SKI DOWN ALTA CHUTES WITH THAT SHIT!?!? omg... I can't even picture that...
Not often, when a trails that steep, usually the injured wnds up at the bottom.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiking4 View Post
So let's say you're a patroller at JH... YOU HAVE TO SKI DOWN ALTA CHUTES WITH THAT SHIT!?!? omg... I can't even picture that...
Heh. Okay, I should have qualified that some. But you guys meant what I know.

If, as 2-turn suggested, they don't end up at the bottom, there's always low- or high-angle rescue, ie. ropes, slings and hardware...but most patrollers aren't going to call for that if most people on the patrol that can ski the shot in question with a sled. And hey, there's always the tail-rope option
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiking4 View Post
So let's say you're a patroller at JH... YOU HAVE TO SKI DOWN ALTA CHUTES WITH THAT SHIT!?!? omg... I can't even picture that...
Co-incidently, Just yesterday I was riding the lift with a customer who asked about training and such. When I got to sleds, he said the same thing as you, "You have to take a sled down XXXX"
Then I realized something, driving an empty sled is as easy as free skiing. There are some things you have to do if unexpectedly slowing down, or to make sure the sled doesn't pass you on double fall lines, hairpin turns, etc., but it's pretty easy, the sled just goes for the ride.
Driving a loaded sled is even easier. I go for the ride. I ride the sled. On ice, with the chain down, I hang onto the handles, lift when I want to go fast, push down when I want to slow down. It's as easy as driving a car.
In moguls, the path you select determines your speed and the terrain (top side of bumps) slows you down. I can falling leaf down a bump line all day long at sled speed without any stress.
A smooth ride for the patient means an easy, steady ride, no testosterone driven judging going on. Unless you F* up, and even then your fellow patrollers are pretty supportive after you buy beers.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtski View Post
Thanks to everyone for your responses. I'll take all the advice and look into it. Now all I need to do is figure out if I can afford to be in Vermont for the whole season.

Anyone here ski/patrol Mt. Snow?
I ski Mt Snow every weekend...just bought a condo there last year, son in the competition program for boarding, etc. Patrol there is about as nice as can be and for those who think its crazy, its actually anything but.

Holidays like at most mountains gets a bit overrun with yahoos, but the regulars on the mountain are generally speaking respectful and safe. I also think with them opening Carinthia as a terrain park, many of the boarders hang out there, so less boarders on the main face of the mountain.
post #17 of 24
Some of the patrol at Loveland that I have seen are fairly weak skiers, having trouble on blues on a powder (and non powder) day. My guess is they were volunteer patrol though.
post #18 of 24
you mean it isn't like Aspen Extreme...where you just need to shred a bump run and casually throw a 720 in the middle of it?....while wearing jeans and gators may I remind you. haha.
post #19 of 24

One of the nice things about patrolling;  you ski so much that you get better real fast. Another point is that you are always skiing at the same mountain, so you know well ahead of time where the hazards are, and you can ski accordingly.  I can easily ski any of the terrain at my home mountain, and I pleasantly surprised myself yesterday by skiing with a patroller at another mountain.  I followed him down one of his black diamond runs, and had no problems with it.  However, had I tried that last year at this time, the result would have been far different.

post #20 of 24
post #21 of 24

Been there! Actually had a couple 'self codes' in one day.

 

First was heading for patrol lodge for lunch, bombing down a long, flat cat track. Guest (female) was using whole width to control speed. No problem, just sidehill around her. Oh ya, forgot about the trough the felons (boarders) had created launching up the hill. (very foggy) Rt tip caught, launched ski up about 50'+, went into flat spin in front of many guests. Hard to hide the new Mountain Uniform jacket, LOL!

 

Second occured right underneath the chair and in front of ski class full of 10 yr olds. Departed chair, started 'very slow' descent while adjusting straps on my backpack. Made slow turn to left, lt ski OUTSIDE edge railed straight (ie: no turn!), dumped me right over. Again, icy and finally stopped a ways (technical term) downslope. Got up, waved to 10 yr old ski experts. Last thing I heard was the instructor commenting to the little varmits "See! Even the patrollers are not always very good!".

 

Pooh happens!

post #22 of 24

Dean nailed it.  Great instruction is part of the deal. Several of our seniors/trainers are also PSIA Level 3. They know their stuff and generally will spend all the time with me that's needed.

 

And that's a bit in my case: I'm basically in my second season back on skis after a 25-year hiatus. Both knees were shot, bone-on-bone, since early '80s so getting out once or twice a year while my kids were young was a lot.

 

Three years ago I had a double knee replacement, then found I could ski w/o pain. Been skiing 3-4 days a week since start of last season, when a I joined the patrol at a little place outside Detroit.

 

My problem was "un-learning" all my old bad habits from back in the day when we rode long skinny boards with our knees and boots plastered together, and vedeling down the chair line was about as cool as you could be.

 

Our terrain is mostly (but not entirely) pretty tame but we're a recent "Outstanding National Patrol" so the trainers don't cut you any slack and, from another thread, it seems our basic patroller standards for toboggan, incl tail rope operator, are pretty stringent (taken from a "senior" S&T manual).

 

I took myself out of our Feb. 1 on-hill exam when I self-coded and lost about a month's training.
So I'm an auxilary patroller for the time being and can't take a loaded toboggan down til I test and pass next year. Meanwhile, I continue on the receiving end of some pretty good instruction that doesn't cost a dime.


Edited by CycleBob - 2/23/2009 at 06:08 pm
post #23 of 24

Great to hear that you are back and skiing 3 days a week!  My skiing has improved dramatically in the last 6 years that I've been patrolling. Some of it is the training, some of it is the change in attitude that comes with being a "professional" skier.  In the NSP the training will only be as good as you and your team make it, there's no reason why that shouldn't be top notch on any mountain.  Taking responsibility for this changed my whole outlook.  Getting involved with patrolling started me on a path that has led to my becoming a "full time" ski instructor.  The patrol trainings that I help with have forced me to raise the bar not only on my understanding of the subject matter, but the best way to organize and present the information.  You will get a lot of great "free" instruction, but in my experience the real payoff comes as you start giving back.  Have Fun and Stay Safe!

post #24 of 24
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