Ramstein Ski Patrol wants you

Nate Cairney
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***There are no boulder-strewn glaciers in the KMC, and
snowboarders rarely cry ‘dude!’ anywhere near Vogelweh or Sembach.

But there are a lot of American skiers and snowboarders in Europe.
There is also a little mountain range known as the Alps a few hours
south of the KMC that contains some of the best slopes in the world.

And because of these two facts, the Ramstein Ski Patrol exists. As one
of six patrols in the European division of the U.S.-based National Ski
Patrol, the Ramstein Patrol is a group of local volunteers trained to
NSP standards in accident prevention, ski safety, and the
administration of rapid emergency medical assistance to outdoor

As a volunteer-based organization, the RSP is always looking for more
help. In fact, they are hosting an information booth from 10 a.m. to 2
p.m. Saturday at the Vogelweh BX.

Angela Blohm, RSP emergency medical technician instructor, said all are welcome.

“People who complete our Outdoor Emergency Care course become certified
to work for ski patrols during the winter,” she said. “During the
summer, people can also work in hiking, rafting and other adventure

The Outdoor Emergency Care course is held Sept. 7 to Dec. 12 on Tuesday
and Thursday evenings. It consists primarily of classroom training,
including CPR certification. A $250 fee covers books, patroller manual,
course materials, dues, and NSP registration fee.

Additionally, there are eight on-the-hill sessions in Garmisch, Germany
and Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. These sessions, held January through
March 2007, allow participants to learn the ropes of helping in snowy
Trainees will spend two full days each weekend working in small groups
with highly specialized instructors to learn rescue and sled maneuvers.

According to Ms. Blohm, the RSP is very flexible in helping to accommodate future patrollers.

“Last year, we had 14 people complete the class,” she said. “We’re very
willing to work with different schedules: if your goal is to pass the
class, we’ll make every effort to get you through it.”

Any skier or snowboarder who possesses strong intermediate ski skills
and the desire to learn and improve has the potential to validate as a
basic patroller.

However, life as a member of a volunteer ski patrol isn’t just for
extreme athletes. According to Ms. Blohm, beginners can become
certified as auxillary patrollers, and help with medical and radio
support for on-slope patrol members.

Those who become certified can spend their winter weekends in the
mountains of Europe. Many members of the RSP patrol Garmisch and other
ski areas. Once certified, ski patrollers are often eligible for other
benefits, including pro gear discounts and “free” volunteer sessions at
ski areas.

In addition to Outdoor Emergency Care and the Auxilary Patrol program,
the NSP offers opportunities for advanced certifications.

The RSP also offers avalanche training in the spring, where patrollers
chopper in to a mountaintop glacier, live and train for a week, and
then ski a full day out.

For more information, contact Scott Sloane, Patrol Director, at 06371-619014 or by e-mailing scott.sloane@us.army.mil.