Life of a Patroller
Information for Prospective Candidates
Ski/Snowboard and bicycle patrolling at Willamette Pass is a lot of fun. It is also a lot of work. We are largely a volunteer patrol with some paid members who are also employees of the Willamette Pass Resort (WPR). We take a lot of pride in our performance and work hard to maintain the high standards expected of us by area management, the public, and most importantly, ourselves. We appreciate your interest in becoming a member of our patrol and hope the following information will help you understand what we are looking for in our candidates.
Candidate Selection for All Patrollers
The criteria for selection of candidates will include positive attitude, skills appropriate to the position applied for (skiing/boarding, or bicycle patroller), first aid experience, as well as the ability to complete the required training and carry out all required patrol duties. Selection will be made on the basis of the written application, interviews, references, and, for candidates for the skiing/boarding patrol, skiing/boarding ability. Paid patroller positions are filled until further notice. Bicycle patrollers are expected to have excellent mountain biking skills.
For Skiing/Snowboarding Patrol
A ski/board test is administered at the Pass, normally near the end of February or the first of March. The ski test dates for 2013 will be conducted in the Fall. Please check back later for specific dates. An interested skier/boarder need come only to one or the other of these dates. An application to test must be requested from our recruiter before the date of the test. Some years there is a need for weekday patrollers, and it is possible for candidates who have passed the classroom portion of Outdoor Emergency Care training to test and complete their on-hill training in early winter.
- For Bicycle Patrol
A cycling test will be given at a date to be announced, but prior to the start of Outdoor Emergency Care training outlined below. Watch this website or contact our Summer Coordinator, Ed Feil send e-mail.
- For Patrol
When patrollers (those whose primary duties are in the aid room, rather than on the hill) are needed, applicants who already have advanced medical training (paramedics, physicians, and nurses with emergency room experience), can apply until Oct. 1 for the year in which their patrolling will begin. Others wishing to join the patrol should apply at the same time as those wishing to become skiing patrollers-end of February. Contact our recruiter for more information and an application. Contact information is at the end of this document.
Candidate training will include the following:
An Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) course, required by the National Ski Patrol system. This is an intense first aid course taught by patrollers and medical professionals, and requires a significant commitment of time and energy. All candidates who have passed their ski/board test or bicycle test and have been interviewed, and patrol candidates who have been interviewed, must take this course. A challenge is possible for applicants with advanced medical training.
Candidate training for skiing/boarding patrollers will begin with the start of the winter season at Willamette Pass, and will cover all aspects of patrol operations including history, safety, rescue toboggan operation, communications, chair lift evacuation, first aid, map and compass orientation to the ski area and surrounding terrain, avalanche and search and rescue (and probably some additional topics as well). Patrol candidates will not need to learn the operation of the rescue toboggans, but will get most of the other training. Training will be at the ski area on most weekends and will last well into the ski season. Bicycle patrollers will have one or more days of on-hill training after completion of their OEC class and when the gondola at the Pass is in operation.
Candidate expenses in the first year will include a one-time fee of approximately $125 to $150 to cover OEC books, Ski Patroller's Manual and OEC registration fees. In addition, all patrollers must pay annual National/Division/Regional dues, currently $63. New patrollers will be expected to provide their own personal equipment including first aid pack, with supplies, and navy blue or black pants for sking/boarding patrollers. Uniform coats for all winter patrollers are provided on a cost-sharing basis (currently a $50 charge for patrollers) upon completion of training. All Nordic candidates are expected to provide their own search and rescue overnight pack. All patrollers are required to have personal medical insurance.
Upon successful completion of required training and a satisfactory demonstration of competency in patroller skills, new volunteer skiing/boarding patrollers will be assigned to a duty patrol and will be required to be on duty a minimum of every third weekend day during the ski season. The patrol is also expanding its services to cover some summer activities at the Pass, and patrollers will have the opportunity to help out then as well. Patrollers (those whose primary duties are in the aid room, rather than on the hill) will be assigned duty days, which may include weekdays when their personal schedules permit. This works out to approximately three days per month. Winter duty days start at 8 a.m. and continue until released by the Hill Chief at the end of the day, usually about 5 p.m. All patrollers are required to remain on duty in the event of a search and rescue mission unless excused by the Hill Chief. Paid patrollers will have workdays scheduled by WPR. All candidates and patrollers are expected to attend in-town patrol meetings during the season and to participate in other off-hill activities and other patrol administrative functions. A minimum of 10 hours service is required at the annual Ski Swap, which is one of our fund-raising events. The Swap is the last weekend of October. Not withstanding the personal demands and initial costs, patrolling at Willamette Pass is fun and rewarding. We will do our best to see that your experience with the patrol is both.
Information for prospective Ski Patrollers (those with on-hill duties including toboggan handling)
Information for prospective Patrollers (those whose primary duties are in the aid room)
Information for prospective Summer Patrollers
Willamette Pass "SPY" Ski Patrol Youth information page
If you have any questions or are interested in joining the patrol send email to our recruiter.