I would class myself as an intermediate skier. I can do the blacks and double diamonds without falling – – but without total control, yet. I joke a lot about spending a fair amount of time on my arse when I’m skiing – but the truth be told, I do ok.
Couple that with being a Registered Nurse and my passion for helping people (passion or burden, sometimes it’s both 😉 ) – I inquired about becoming part of the National Ski Patrol. Chris and I talked with one of the Senior Patrol members this evening, after we spent about 5 hours on the slopes, and found out a whole bunch more about being a Ski Patrol that what we thought it was.
Being an RN suits the position quite well, actually — because it’s more about the provision of outdoor emergency care than it is about skiing. It’s a National Certification that requires classes, testings (both written and physical) and yearly refresher certification. The initial cert. classes last about a year and require about a 130 hour commitment for classes, courses, testing and practical applications.
It’s volunteer status. I never knew that. I assumed that Ski Patrol – – anywhere, was a paid position where the Patrol was employed by the ski hill. That’s not so. Being a member of the National Ski Patrol is a volunteer service. I found that there are many EMT’s, Paramedics, Firemen and Nurses who become ski patrol because it’s a natural fit with their medical and emergency care experience combined with a sport they love to do.
Classes start in July of this year – – so I gave the guy my name and number and plan on starting the courses and testing in July. Chris wants to do it, too – – however, he’s not sure he can because of the travel requirements and commitments he has to his business. When the classes start – – they are every Monday night for one semester…you get the next semester off, then it’s every Monday night for another semester. He really wants to – – and would be a natural at it, however, he’s not sure he can commit to that.
Either way – I’m planning on doing it. A big bonus is that ski patrol gets a free season pass for the entire family. A downside to that is, because Chris and I aren’t married – – he wouldn’t be included in that free family pass and would have to pay for his own.
Don’t tell my mother that, though — cuz that’ll just give her more ammunition for pressure on the whole marriage issue!