Enhanced Patroller School

August 25 thru 27, 2023

Hello to all,

      We are pleased to announce that the Enhanced Patroller School is coming up in August.  This year we will return to a multi day format, August 25th-27th.  Hunt Hollow, in the Genesee Valley Region, has graciously agreed to host the event, and allowed us to use their facilities.  I ask that you please forward this information to each of the patrols within your respective Regions.

      For those that may be unfamiliar with this course, We have been putting this course on for 10 or 11 years.  This course is open to any current registered member of the NSP, Auxiliary, Basic, Senior Candidate, Senior, Certified Candidate, Certified, and Mountain Host.  This course also counts as a Senior Elective.  We  work on skills that make all of our patrollers better, and make them more of a resource for our respective mountains.  In the past we have workd on OEC topics, Avalanche topics, Chair Evac topics, Low Angle Rope Rescue, Hill Safety/Risk Management topics, EMS interaction, and Mass Casualty Incidents  In the multi day format, we start on Friday afternoon with several stations.  Friday evening we have group discussions regarding many Ski Patrol related topics.  Saturday is a full day of hands on station work, where the modules we choose for the year, have lots of time to work on knocking the rust off old techniques, possibly learn some new techniques, look at gear that may be different from what we would typically use at our home areas, and have an interchange of ideas from patrollers all over the Eastern Division.  For instance, last year we had a one day version of the course, we had patrollers from six states, 10 Regions, and 25 different patrols.

      The framework of this course is that everyone has something to offer, different viewpoints, different gear, different skill sets, different life experiences that could be a benefit to us in our patrolling careers.  We have brought in talent from the EMS community, to learn from them and look at ways of better interacting with that community as we ship our patients to that next level of care.  We have had paramedic trainers, fire departments, ambulance corps, law enforcement, and rope rescue teams, among some of the outside groups that have assisted over the years.  We don't look at those agencies as different, but as a larger group that we as patrollers are a part of.  We can learn what works for them and how to better interact with them.

      Our weekend always culminates in an MCI drill, this year on Sunday morning.  In the past we have done catastrophic lift failures, avalanche aftermaths, and an active shooter drill to name a few.  Our drills are always full moulaged and as realistic as we can make them.  We have used explosions, smoke, broken bones, and blood to enhance this drill.  We look for topical areas to include in this course, such as the active shooters, unseated passengers, lift related incidents, etc.  Things that will make patrollers more valuable to area management.

     Ski Patrollers do not survive on blood, broken bones, and abrasions alone.  We also feed everyone that comes to this course.  We have always made sure the food is good, and that there is plenty of it.  We tell the course participants that if they go home hungry, it's their own fault.  There is downtime in the evenings to sit around the fire pit with a beverage, and meet and talk to patrollers from all over the Eastern Division.  It is a networking event.  It's an idea sharing event.  It's a learning event.  There is no pressure.  No tests.  We want patrollers to learn things, and bring ideas back to their patrols.  Maybe your area has had an issue with something.  And at this course you see the way another patroller or patrol handles a similar situation, or had a discussion about it.  Maybe this idea kernel could be used to solve this issue that you and your patrol are struggling with.  This is how our system evolves and improves.  We learn from each other.

      This course has always filled up and closed out.  If anyone within your Region patrols is interested, I would urge them to register quickly.  If they any any questions, please have them reach out to me.


Thank you for your time,

Tom Wallin
Swain Ski Patrol