April 1, 2006
Vail, CO - (News Release) - If the urge to join the ranks of Vail's best has struck, prepare to provide plenty of proof on Friday, April 7, 2006. This date marks Vail Ski Patrol's annual testing opportunity for new hire candidates and offer those who aspire, and pass muster, a chance at donning a white cross-emblazoned patrol jacket for the 2006-2007 season.
"The testing day offers interested skiers and tele skiers the opportunity to come out, test their skills on a variety of terrain and show us what they're made of prior to the end of the season, said Vail Ski Patrol Director Julie Rust. "We'll be evaluating each candidate's abilities in a variety of conditions, including steeps, crud, and powder. We're looking for men and women with strong, solid abilities in all conditions, not just finesse.
Testing includes an opening meeting and explanation, the ski test, which consists of three-to-four runs taken in variable conditions and evaluated by four or five members of Vail's current patrol team, and a closing meeting. Those who pass the physical test will be invited to attend the four-day Ski Patrol Academy on April 8, 9, 15, and 16. Skiers must successfully complete all four days of the academy to be considered for the 2006-2007 Vail Ski Patrol Staff. At the academy, participants will learn about and get hands-on experience in first aid, toboggan handling, lift evacuation, avalanche rescue, beacon searches, and CPR. Hiring of patrol positions takes place each fall, prior to ski season.
Each season, the Vail Ski Patrol has a handful of openings on its staff. The Ski Patrol is charged with opening and closing the mountain each day, providing emergency medical care, skier responsibility, education and enforcement, mitigation of avalanche hazard, guest relations and assistance. It is a highly sought-after position, and one that those chosen never take lightly.
"This is a way of life for most patrollers, added Rust. "We have a great team and everyone works hard. To work outside, be first on the mountain and last off, helping people - it's a pretty great job.
Anyone interested in joining the Friday, April 7 test day should contact Vail Ski Patrol at (970) 479-4610. Reservations are required and should be made in advance of the test date. Participants must be 21 years of age prior to testing. Potential applicants will meet for testing at 8:30 a.m. at the Lower Patrol Room in Vail Village near the ticket office.