Blackhawk has an active ski patrol, an affiliate of the National Ski Patrol. Membership requires commitment, but the rewards are great. Members learn outdoor emergency care skills and toboggan handling, provide a valuable community service, develop skiing and outdoor skills, and have fun at the same time.
Ski Patrol Benefits
First Aid Training
The National Ski Patrol’s “Outdoor Emergency Care” course provides training at a level approaching an EMT-B, with focus on non-urban settings. This course is run jointly with the four ski patrols in the Madison area.
Enhanced Ski/Snowboard Skills
Members receive training to improve ski and boarding technique and learn sled and toboggan handling.
Community Service and Fun
The Ski Patrol is a volunteer based organization providing emergency care to active members of our community, and the skills one learns can be useful in many situations on and off slope. Patrollers train and patrol with other members, meet new people, learn new skills, and, of course, play on the slopes.
Ski Patrol Requirements
All patrollers must be members of the Blackhawk Ski Club. Patrollers provide their own jackets, skis/snowboards, and maintain patrol belts with basic first aid supplies. Candidates must pass initial coursework to join the Ski Patrol, and must then meet annual training requrements.
Candidates must complete both the Outdoor Emergency Care course, and the Ski/Snowboard and Toboggan training requirements.
- The Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) course starts in mid-July and continues for approximately 16 weeks, ending in November, in time for the ski season. This course meets once a week for approximately 4 hours. At the end of the course, all candidates must pass the written exam provided by the National Ski Patrol, and a practical hands-on exam. Candidates also purchase books for their OEC class, including Outdoor Emergency Care book, Student Workbook, and the Patroller Manual. This is a one-time fee.
- The Ski/Snowboard and Toboggan course will run one night a week for eight weeks starting in December at Blackhawk.
Annual Training, Patrol, and CPR Requirements
Requirements include an OEC refresher (one full day in November) and a brief toboggan handling skills refresher (usually held the first week in January). During the season, patrollers are assigned a regular shift that typically is once per week, December through mid-March. Each patroller must update their CPR certification annually; courses are offered through several sources in the Madison area.
Annual dues are required for all patrollers including those in the candidate program. The cost is approximately $57.00 and covers National, Divisional and Regional dues.
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