A History of the National Ski Patrol
In the 1930s, skiing was a hardy activity that required a long drive on roads that were poorly maintained.
Accidents were common, and most skiers generally accepted them.
Charles Minot "Minnie" Dole, an insurance broker from Greenwich, Connecticut broke his leg while skiing in Vermont, and experienced the difficulty of getting help.
Two months later, his friend Frank Edson, was killed in a ski race.
Dole was determined to do something about ski safety and at the suggestion of Roland Palmedo, president of the Amateur Ski Club of New York, Dole was put in charge of a ski safety committee.
In March 1938, Dole organized a volunteer ski patrol for the National Downhill Races at Stowe.
Roger Langley, president of the National Ski Association (NSA), now the United States Ski Association, asked Dole to organize a similar patrol on a national basis.
Then and there, the National Ski Patrol came into being - originally as a subcommittee of the NSA.
The National Ski Patrol started out with five geographical divisions and a small core of patrollers.
In 1941, the first National Ski Patrol Manual was published.
The manual outlined the basic NSP organizational structure and first aid qualifications that still exists.
During World War II ski patrollers were recruited to form the Tenth Mountain Division which saw service in the Alps and the Appenines.
Following WWII, members of the Tenth Division returned to and became founding members of many western ski areas and patrols.
In 1980 the National Ski Patrol System, Inc. became federally chartered under an act of Congress making it a 501(c)(1) non-profit organization.
In 1989 the National Ski Patrol rolled out its own first aid standard of care called Winter Emergency Care.
Previously, it had been using the American Red Cross' standard.
In a few years the new standard evolved into today's Outdoor Emergency Care used by most member patrols.
In the late '90's North Face, the long-time supplier of patrol parkas, decided to stop making the traditonal rust and blue parka worn as part of the patroller's uniform.
As a result, the National Ski Patrol switched to a Patagonia red parka.
Most member patrols followed suit and today, the majority of patrollers wear red parkas with white crosses.
A History of Spring Mountain Ski Patrol
Spring Mountain opened for business December 31, 1962.
It had a rope tow where the Boulder triple chairlift is located today, and one run: lower Alpine.
At first, the mountain manager kept a set of skis near the lodge door.
When a skier was injured, she would strap on her skis and go rescue them.
It was soon realized that a proper ski patrol was needed.
In January 1963, the Spring Mountain Ski Patrol was founded.
At first there were less than five members.
Over the years the patrol grew to nearly 100 members.
In 2003 the patrol celebrated its 40th year, and in 2004 it was designated the Oustanding Patrol, Eastern Division, National Ski Patrol.
In 2003 and 2004 the patrol built a new building adjacent to the Alpine patrol building to be used as a separate aid room.
At the same time the patrol room was remodeled to provide a larger kitchen and a separate changing room.
The new aid room and the remodeled patrol room made their debut for the 2004/2005 season.