First Fill out the an interest form, available below or in our patrol
room at Cataloochee.
Take the Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) course, published and maintained
by the National Ski Patrol. It is an approximately 80 hour
course, offered at the Cataloochee Ski Area and in
OEC is also offered as a college course at WCU and other colleges,
where it is a 4 credit hour PE course.
OEC may also be challenged. To challenge, you must have at
EMT-B credentials. The challenge is taken on the same day as
final for the OEC class. OEC may be challenged only
failure on a challenge will require you to take the course before
In addition, CPR for the Professional Rescuer is required.
Once you have completed OEC, you have the same medical credentials that
every other ski patroller operates under. While patrollers
in medical experience from OEC to M.D.s all follow the same protocol of
After OEC, Candidates do Ski and Toboggan (S&T)
Cataloochee is fortunate in that it has very experienced S&T
Instructors, including several PSIA certified instructors.
S&T training usually takes around a full ski season to
although it may be shorter, or much longer. Training sessions
occur every weekend after the holiday season. Once a
passes their S&T examination, they become a Basic Patroller
of running a Toboggan (the transportation device for injured
skiers/snowboarders), and entitled to wear the National Ski Patrol
After a person reaches the Basic Patroller level, there are several
avenues for growth, including the Senior Program, which builds off of
already established skills in S&T and takes a much more
look at OEC.
For a ski
patroller, there are many reasons to contribute as a
people outside the medical field, there is the insight into a new
career and background knowledge that is applicable in almost every
situation. For developing skiers, there are free lessons
Sundays for S&T. As a patroller, you will gain
friendships within the patrol, as well as the knowledge that what you
do really has a significant positive impact on people's lives.
15 years old by the start of the Ski Season
Desire to help others
A willingness to learn and grow
Be on duty every 3rd weekend during ski season
Advanced-Upper level skiing/snowboarding skills (our instructors and
other volunteers will work with you at wherever you may be, but
entering at a higher level of skiing/snowboarding will help facilitate
Own Ski/Snowboard Equipment (Rentals are offered at a discounted rate,
but with the frequency of your visits, it is much more affordable and
advantageous to have equipment that is conducive to your skill level,
it also saves time in the morning. As a patroller, even a
candidate, it is possible to receive a reduced price on equipment.)