Kw-logo-smaller

Becoming a Snow Safety Patroller

Ever feel like hitting the slopes instead of going to school? Asa MacLaurin is one lucky guy cuz he gets to ski all day long and gets paid to do it. The 31 year-old is a snow safety patroller in Nelson, BC, Canada. That means he skis around to make sure that the slopes are safe for skiers and that no one needs medical attention.

Safety Patrollers - To the Rescue!

Asa MacLaurin has been working as a snow safety patroller for about four years. On an average day, he patrols the mountain before it opens to make sure there isn't anything hazardous to skiers, all the trails are marked and areas that are dangerous are closed and marked with the proper signage. One of the major safety hazards he takes care of is preventing avalanches. When there's been a heavy snowfall and areas run the risk of an avalanche, Asa and other safety patrollers start a controlled avalanche using dynamite. That way, it happens when no one is around and prevents a natural avalanche from hurting or killing someone.

Safety Patrollers - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The obvious good stuff about being a snow safety patroller is getting paid to ski all day! Working outside in nature is pretty cool too and people are very social on the slope. But when you're seeing people get badly injured or caught in avalanches, things can get scary. As well, when there's no snow on the mountain, you'll be out of a job.

Safety Patrollers - How's the $$$?

Obviously, you only work from around December to March, but a snow safety patroller can make between $10-15,000 CDN, plus get a free ski pass.

Safety Patrollers - Training & Equipment

You don't become a safety patroller with a little first aid course under your belt and a stick of dynamite in hand - there's a lot more to it. Asa took the Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA) level 1 training program where he learned avalanche rescue and prevention. He also took his Occupational First Aid level 3. Snow safety patrollers also have on the job training where they learn ski lift evacuation procedures and risk management assessment. Oh yeah, and you have to be a pretty decent skier too. If you're still in the snow plow phase - forget it!

The main equipment, aside from ski gear, is an avalanche transceiver (beacon), a shovel, a probe (used to poke into the snow after an avalanche to find buried people) and a first aid kit. He also has climbing skins for his skis that allow him to climb upwards without sliding back and rescue toboggans are used as stretchers. Helmet, goggles and a Gortex shell is what he wears to get the job done.

Related Stories:

  • Becoming a Ski Instructor
  • Becoming a Zamboni Driver
  • Protecting Our Forests From Fire
  • More Cool Jobs!
  • 1 Comment

    latest videos

    F1008958783578

    What's the Scariest?

    • Being caught in an avalanche.
    • Being buried by an avalanche.
    • Skiing off a cliff.
    • Falling off the chairlift.

    related stories

    Dear Dish-It in the forums

    ehmr
    ehmr posted in Friends:
    he probably just asked for your name y'know...
    reply 8 minutes
    Blizzardgirl76
    Blizzardgirl76 posted in Friends:
    You should ask the guy who he is then go round asking people you know if they know him. Then if they say yes you can be almost 100% sure it was them that told him your name. Hopefully this will give you an idea on who the guy is and help you keep on top of the situation.  :) 
    reply 28 minutes
    Tyler5868
    Tyler5868 posted in Style:
    Orange Oh wait that's a TV show.
    reply about 1 hour
    mimimiya13
    mimimiya13 posted in Friends:
    I was in the hallway and some guy came up to me and said, "Hi, (my name here)." I was so stunned, I thought he was a stalker because I had no idea who he was! What do you think of this scenario?
    reply about 1 hour
    mimimiya13
    mimimiya13 posted in Style:
    Black will always be the new black, just saying. Maybe silver is a little better. :) Hope that helped.
    reply about 1 hour

    play online games