Frequently Asked Questions - Public
They love the sport, have a strong desire to help others, possess good people skills and want to be a part of an exceptional team. They often have many years of alpine snow sports experience and want to give back to the sport that has given them so much recreation enjoyment. Many have medical skills and backgrounds that they wish to share in both helping patients as well as in training others. All of them feel that Ski Patrolling will take them to a new level in the sport. And they are correct. They also enjoy the opportunity to open and close the mountain and know that cutting fresh tracks in the powder is one of the greatest perks. And again, they are correct.
The BBSP has approximately one hundred members. Over 80% of these are the volunteers that Patrol on weekends. There is no typical patroller background. What we invariably share in common is a love of the sport, a genuine sense of community commitment and the finely tuned skills to be the best prepared to render emergency care in and outdoor alpine and Nordic ski environment. Our patrollers come from a broad array of backgrounds: Doctors, teachers, mail carriers, technical professionals, construction & landscape, sales, nursing, paramedics, EMTs, CEOs & executives, engineers, and retired individuals – just to name a few. These are often busy individuals who find the spare time to devote a significant part of their lives to the Ski Patrol’s success. Our typical patroller has over five years patrol experience. Our most senior has sixty and three of them alone have over 140 years combined experience.
Over the last few years the patrol has successfully trained and added 8 to 15 new members each year. At the same time, a percentage of our members leave the patrol -- generally due to outside commitments including out of area relocation. Some of our patrollers transfer to Bogus Basin with an existing membership and training from another area patrol. Similarly, some of our patrollers, originally trained at Bogus Basin, have moved and joined other ski areas across the nation. Over the past decades the Bogus Basin Ski Patrol has continuously trained new recruits to become Auxiliary, Alpine and Nordic Patrollers. Every year we welcome new individuals to pursue their interest in patrolling. Many find it highly rewarding.
Ah, and so true that is. The ski patrol is a very tight organization. We are a family. Our roots are deep in history and tradition. We hold in high honor the extraordinary and exemplary individuals before us that built the foundation of what we have become. We learn to think alike, communicate succinctly, and act appropriately on the needs of our fellow patrollers and patrons without apprehension. This is one of the most amazing benefits of patrolling. We have fun and enjoy almost unlimited skiing opportunity. And we have a sense of belonging that is, in our belief, unparalleled in our lives activities elsewhere. Yes, we are a proud tribe that looks after and teaches its own, always endeavors to do it better, and expects and receives a “Team” oriented commitment from every patroller.
Yes. Mountain Area Management approved that a limited number of Patrollers could be snowboarders. The Bogus Basin Ski Area has a great deal of flat terrain that Patrollers must efficiently traverse in the conduct of their service. This includes toboggan handling considerations as well. Snowboards do not have the ability to “skate” like skis so this has been a justified concern. However, newer, application-specific binding equipment has improved a snowboarder’s ability to handle the flats in a patrol environment. Many other ski resorts have successful snowboarding patrollers. The Bogus Basin Ski Patrol is now able to incorporate snowboarder-only riders into the patrol. To do so and successfully demonstrate to mountain management that this can work we will be seeking only a limited number of the very best and capable snowboard candidates. You could be one.
In a word: no. But if you desire to be on the mountain as an alpine patroller you will need to bring strong skills in this regard. You must be able to ski or board on any part of the mountain without difficulty. During training, you would need to participate in toboggan handling and equipment carries. Lesser skilled skiers and riders will slow down the instruction progress of other more skilled trainees. Therefore, selection to participate in on-the-hill training will require that you adequately demonstrate advanced to expert ski or rider skills in a ski or snowboard skills evaluation. To pass this test you will have to demonstrate very solid and technically competent ski and/or snowboard abilities. At a minimum Alpine Patrollers must meet advanced or expert criteria:
Advanced: able to proficiently and safely ski or ride any and all in bounds terrain at Bogus Basin. Will demonstrate very solid stance and technique. Adaptive to skills and habit improvement from instructors.
Expert: able to proficiently and safely ski or ride any and all in bounds terrain at Bogus Basin, with ease, under all conditions. Will readily demonstrate very solid stance and all required techniques. Adaptive to skills and habit improvement from instructors.
Possibly. We have Aid Room Patrollers in the Ski Patrol Program. These are selected individuals who chose to provide service off-the-hill (or the actual slopes) and among many duties, primarily help staff the aid room for incoming patients and handle high volume radio and telephone communications from all over the mountain as well as EMS dispatch communications. They must have a very high level of familiarity with the mountain's operations, geography and run names. Staffing the Aid Room is a critical function and we have several patrollers that serve in this capacity. Accordingly, these patrollers do not require the on-the-hill ski & toboggan transport training. However, they must have intermediate or above alpine skier/rider skills and equipment to participate in practical on-the-hill OEC training scenarios and evaluations. In addition, these members become very familiar with the aid room documentation and equipment and manage aid room efficiency.
No. The patrol training program begins with the Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) training course. This is a comprehensive class and practical training program that has been developed and refined over the years by the National Ski Patrol. It is intense and requires good personal study habits. You must, ultimately, successfully demonstrate that you have learned the knowledge and are able to perform the treatment skills that this course covers in a series of written and practical tests. So while prior experience is a benefit the curriculum requires only that you make a strong commitment to learn – and succeed in doing so.
No, you are definitely not alone on this. We would be concerned if you felt otherwise. Every patroller experiences the rush of adrenaline every time they respond to a call. The uncertainty of what they will encounter, the severity and the time available to treat effectively, the resources available . . . It’s a big deal. We know that. We assign new patrollers to patrol with seasoned and experienced patrollers as they learn their craft and improve their skills. Patient contact experience is a critical factor in becoming confident in the successful application of your skills. Proper supervision is even more important. We want you to become proficient and proud of what you will do regardless of the ever-present butterflies in your stomach. Take a deep breath – we’ve got your back!
No, and yes -- maybe. We are primarily volunteers. So the vast majority of the patrol is comprised of volunteers and serves the mountain on Saturdays and Sundays. The Mountain does have a portion of the patrol that is staffed with paid professional patrollers. These are selected and hired by the BBMRA through its seasonal employment and serve the mountain generally on weekdays, nights and some weekends. However, many of the paid patrollers began their patrolling careers as volunteers and pursued the opportunity to become paid patrollers later.