East Kootenay Zone of the Canadian Ski Patrol is operated and managed by the Fernie Volunteer Ski Patrol Society — a registered non-profit society in British Columbia.
The Canadian Ski Patrol is a registered charity under the Canadian Revenue Agency and has been providing volunteer first aid training and services since 1941.
The Zone provides winter patrol services at Fernie Alpine Resort (FAR) in Fernie and at Wapiti Ski Hill in Elkford. Both areas have separate patrol schedules and agreements with the respective resort management groups.
Wapiti is staffed mainly by our volunteers, and their on hill presence is required during the scheduled opening hours in order for that hill to operate.
Members patrolling in Fernie do so Friday through Sunday (plus peak holiday periods) during the winter in teams of six on a prearranged roster. The daily duties are assigned by the FAR patrol leaders on a daily basis. The numbers of days members are expected to patrol will vary from hill to hill. All activities undertaken are on a volunteer, unpaid basis.
Members provided over 3,000 hours of volunteer services in the last year.
To become a patroller, we offer a 60-hour advanced first aid training course, which includes CPR/HCP. Passing the practical, written and diagnostics exam is required in order to qualify. One rewrite is offered to new members for the exams component. Courses generally run from October to early December, mainly on weekends. We recognize pre-hospital care and other training in assessing course content and attendance requirements for new members on a case by case basis.
In addition to the classroom training, we offer on hill training for toboggan handling, an avalanche skills training course, Level 1 and additional on hill training during the winter season.
For Fernie patrollers, attendance is required for one weekend of lift evacuation training, Occupational Health and Safety training, FAR protocols and orientation, which is conducted by the FAR patrol staff.
Annual membership fees are $200. This covers costs associated with Canadian Ski Patrol membership, liability and other insurance for the members. It also covers the costs for members to use zone equipment, which includes a uniform, first aid and avalanche gear, radios and a few other perks covered by one annual public fund raising event in November, conducted by our members.
Our preference is for new applicants willing to make a three-year commitment to patrolling.