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FAQ-About Patrolling

Questions About Ski Patrolling

We offer a Winter candidate class from December – May and an off-season program class from June – November.  There are also online assessments and learning assignments each Candidate is required to complete.  The OEC/Candidate fee is ~$300 which includes NSP dues, the OEC course fee, books, candidate vest.  You will pay $150 of this fee directly to Ski Patrol and the remaining is paid directly to NSP when you set up your account online.

The OEC classroom course covers the Outdoor Emergency Care text book with practical hands on application.  There is also training on snow that you will go through on skis or snowboard during the actual ski season.  The entire candidate program will take approximately 1 1/2 ski seasons.


Candidates are required to complete the classroom and online course work – classes generally meet one day a week for several hours (the day of the week is determined based on student and instructor schedules).  Once Candidates successfully pass the OEC and Practical tests (they become OEC Technicians) and are required to work a regular shift and Mid Mad shifts just like Patrollers.

A Basic Patroller must provide an average of 8 hours of shift time per week during the normal ski season at the Mad River Mountain Ski Resort.  There are also requirements to help cover some Midnight Madness shifts.  Mad River Mountain may also host off season events where they will ask patrollers to help provide first responder services.

On the Off-Season, time is required to keep current with your Outdoor Emergency Care, Chair Lift Evacuation, and CPR requirements by refreshing or re-certifying.  There are also fund raising and non-skiing activities at the area that are needed for the normal operation of our patrol.

Feel free to ask questions as you consider the time commitment required.

The standard of care that is required at Mad River Mountain Ski Area is the Outdoor Emergency Care program. You still need to be certified as an OEC technician to patrol at Mad River Mountain.  With an EMT certification, it is possible to challenge the OEC course and become OEC Technician.

When you challenge the course, there are several critical classes that will you will be required to attend and you are still required to obtain sign-off of each OEC skill prior to testing.


All (NSP) ski patrollers are required to be certified as Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) technicians.  This is the program endorsed by Mad River Mountain Ski Resort.  This ~80 hour course starts at the end of March and ends around November, with a summer break.

A high level of skiing or riding is not required to become a candidate.  We have a team of instructors that will help with your skiing/riding/tobogganing skills.  While you don’t have to perform skiing/riding skills at an expert level, you do need to be certified as an Outdoor Emergency Care technician, regardless of your medical training.

To let us know your are interested, you should fill on a candidate application.  Every season, we always schedule 1 or 2 ski alongs were you have the opportunity to learn about us and ask questions.  While not required to start the candidate program, it does help provide you a way to get all the information about our organization before making the commitment to start the candidate program.  Stay tuned to our calendar for upcoming ski along dates.

The MRM Ski Patrol is responsible for opening the ski hill in the morning.  This is a time to prepare toboggans for easy access, watch for hill hazards, and notify management of any equipment issues that may have been found.  During ski area operational hours, patrollers are expected to cover the slopes and watch for skiers/riders in need of any kind of assistance, provide safety awareness, and provide emergency care when needed.  Shifts at the end of the ski area operational time period are responsible for putting equipment away and ‘sweeping’ the hill, being the last off the hill.

Rescue activities provided by the Ski Patrol within the Mad River Mountain Ski Resort are provided without charge.The Patrol has significant equipment needs in high cost items such as sleds, radios, resuscitation equipment and splints. In addition to these items, the Ski Patrol adheres to strict health protocols which require the use of single use, sterile bandages, gloves, and equipment which means that assistance provided has a significant cost associated with it.

The Mad River Mountain Ski Resort provides these supplies and equipment for benefit of their guests.  Donations are gladly accepted by the Mad River Mountain Ski Patrol to fund our education programs and training activities.  These types of programs help improve the service provided to the Guests at the Mad River Mountain Ski Resort.

All patrollers pay National, Division, Region, and for some, Local dues on an annual basis.  Patrollers are also responsible for acquiring their own ski/snowboard equipment, clothing, parkas, and First Aid packs.  Mad River will provide the First Aid Supplies and other area equipment.  Candidates will have various course fees and equipment rental.

Mad River Mountain Ski Patrollers acquire First Responder, Ski, and/or Snowboard training as part of the ski patrol program.  Other benefits vary from season to season.  To get more information on each seasons benefits, you should attend one of our ski alongs.If you ask a MRM Ski Patroller what benefits they most cherish, most likely you will find that they will not recite any of the benefits provided by the ski resort.  Some of the top benefits will most likely be the camaraderie, fun, and satisfaction of helping out their fellow snowsport enthusiast.  This is not a quick way to get a free ski pass.

The Mad River Mountain Ski Patrol is an extremely diverse collection of volunteers who share a common love of the outdoors, snowsports, and helping others in need. Patrollers range from doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, to firemen, teachers, lawyers, engineers, programmers, accountants, builders, and business people of all stripes. All are brought together by a willingness to help the public spend time on the snow in a safe manner. Our patrollers — all students in the “work hard, play hard” school — are outgoing, friendly, and work well as a team.

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