Deane Studer (left)

Deane Studer (left)

Patrolling the slopes since 1941

The Canadian Ski Patrol is busy recruiting and training volunteers for the upcoming ski/snowboarding season

With Sovereign Lake  and Silver Star set to open  this month, the Canadian Ski Patrol  has been busy recruiting volunteers.

The new recruits took part in a recent training session at Polson Park in preparation for the upcoming season.

“The newest members of the team have been training in advanced first aid techniques since early September,” said Rob Despault, patrol leader for Sovereign Lake.

Gavin Mcgregor, assistant patrol leader at Silver Star, said volunteers are recruited throughout the ski season.

“We recruit people throughout the ski season while on the mountain,” he said. “While riding on the lift we often talk with people and invite them to ski or ride alongside us to various parts of the mountain.”

Despault said in March, the recruits are  invited to take part in four days of on-snow toboggan training.

“Come September, those newest recruits are ready and eager to focus on first aid,” he said. “We get them outside and in the elements as soon as possible.”

This season there will be nearly 40 patrol volunteers at Silver Star.

The Canadian Ski Patrol (CSP) has provided first aid services to the skiing public for almost 75 years. A longstanding member of the Canadian snow sports industry, the ski patrol is made up of dedicated volunteers, committed to providing excellent first aid to winter sport participants.

In 1941, a young Toronto osteopath named Dr. Douglas Firth was asked by the Canadian Amateur Ski Association to organize and train a first aid and rescue group to patrol the ski hills. He had already spent a few seasons in the 1930s hauling injured skiers from the trails of the Toronto Ski Club, so, wherever there was skiing, he mobilized people to provide rescue service to injured skiers — thus forming the CSP.

Today, CSP membership is 4,500 volunteers strong and offering services to more than 230 ski areas from coast to coast, including alpine and Nordic. Still adhering to the same root mandate of excellence in “safety, injury prevention and service” that Firth instilled nearly 75 years ago, this non-profit/charitable organization has continued to grow along with the Canadian snow-sliding industry. (Source: CSP)

For more information about the CSP at Silver Star and Sovereign, call CSP leader Brent Kisilevich at 250-545-3653 or e-mail cspsspatroll@gmail.com