The Mount Washington Junior Ski Patrol

Junior ski patrol program settles in at Mt. Washington

Program run through School District 69 (Qualicum) was started in 2012

Begun in 2012 in part to support succession and recruitment for the Mount Washington Ski Patrol Association, the Vancouver Island Student Ski Patrol Program continues to carry on stronger than ever.

Junior patrol members joined the larger membership group as the MWSPA held its annual pre-season training/skills assessment weekend at Mount Washington on Nov 5-6.

School District 69 (Qualicum) outdoor educator Jake Friesen first proposed a Junior Patrol Program in 2011, and the following year the MWSPA Board endorsed the Vancouver Island Student Ski Patrol Program (VISSP), which is funded by the school district. Friesen has championed the program from its inception, said Paul Vroom, past MWSPA president and longtime ski patrol instructor.

This program enables students to earn credits toward North Island College’s Adventure Guiding Program. The maximum number of new juniors has been capped at ten students per year, and the program is now open to any eligible student in B.C. between ages 16-19 through an application process.

Pre-requisites include successful completion of a B.C. occupational-level first aid course and an annually renewed HCP-CPR ticket.

Students complete a full school curriculum in addition to more than 600 hours of VISSP program requirements and students may achieve 24-32 high school elective credits. Junior patrollers, in addition to completing more than 14 full patrol days at Mount Washington, add additional patrol days at Mt. Cain, Whistler/Blackcomb, Manning Park and Revelstoke.

When not on the slopes or attending regular classes, students also add Food Safe, Serving It Right, Level 1 Avalanche training and a snowmobile safety course to their expanding skill set. Junior patrollers must team up with a senior patroller for their first year and thereafter until they reach 19 years of age.

“It is not just a one year ‘gig’ for every student, however, as reinforced by the seven juniors who returned as second-year patrollers this year,” said Vroom. “One second-year junior, 17-year-old Erica Friesen, was elected to an MWSPA Board Director position.

“With the recruitment of youth and high level professional health care workers, such as RNs, NPs, medical doctors, SARTECHs, PCP&ACP licenced practitioners, the future of the highly credentialed volunteer organization is ensured,” said Vroom.

The MWSPA, incorporated in 1981 as a non-profit society, is currently funded by membership dues and supplemented by occasional donations. Individual members bear a cost of between $600-2,000 per season.

“One might ask what motivates these volunteers,” said Vroom. “The prevalent answer is ‘service’. Members believe that they can facilitate positive impacts on another person’s well-being.”

To learn more about the MWSPA please visit online at www.mwskipatrol.com.

— Submitted by MWSPA

Just Posted

Halloween festivities abound in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

From aerial shows to trick or treating, there’s plenty of event options for all ages

Celebration of life announced for Parksville man who died following reported hit and run

Investigation still underway following death of Spencer Alexander Moore

Mushroom festival returns to Coombs

Displays, talks, mushroom identification and more

ELECTION 2019: NDP’s Gord Johns re-elected in Courtenay-Alberni

Conservative Byron Horner finishes second, with Green Party’s Sean Wood third

VIDEO: Is the stethoscope dying? High-tech options pose threat

World-renowned cardiologist believes the device is just a pair of ‘rubber tubes’

VIDEO: Chill with polar bears through an Arctic live cam

Cam reopens just ahead of Polar Bear Week

Aquilini companies deny negligence in U.S. vineyard fire that killed two kids

Fire occurred at Red Mountain Vineyard, located in southeast Washington State

Surrey cop killer gets new parole conditions

Surrey RCMP Constable Roger Pierlet, 23, was shot dead on March 29, 1974

Former Kelowna Hells Angels associate could be deported, court rules

David Revell has lost his fight against deportation from Canada

Alcohol available onboard BC Ferries starting Thursday

Beer and wine sales begin at 11 a.m. on select Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay sailings

‘Find Trevor’: B.C. man’s dog leads searchers to rescue him after fall during hike

‘I’ve had lots of intelligent dogs, but Purple is in a class herself’

15 Canadian youths to sue Ottawa for not acting on climate change

They say young people will be more affected than other groups

Most Read