Becoming a Member

How To Join

First Fill out the an interest form, available below or in our patrol room at Cataloochee.

Take the Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) course, published and maintained by the National Ski Patrol.  It is an approximately 80 hour course, offered at the Cataloochee Ski Area and in Atlanta.  OEC is also offered as a college course at WCU and other colleges, where it is a 4 credit hour PE course.

OEC may also be challenged.  To challenge, you must have at least EMT-B credentials.  The challenge is taken on the same day as the final for the OEC class.  OEC may be challenged only once.  A failure on a challenge will require you to take the course before another test.

In addition, CPR for the Professional Rescuer is required.

Once you have completed OEC, you have the same medical credentials that every other ski patroller operates under.  While patrollers range in medical experience from OEC to M.D.s all follow the same protocol of OEC.

After OEC, Candidates do Ski and Toboggan (S&T) Training.  Cataloochee is fortunate in that it has very experienced S&T Instructors, including several PSIA certified instructors.  The S&T training usually takes around a full ski season to complete, although it may be shorter, or much longer.  Training sessions occur every weekend after the holiday season.  Once a Candidate passes their S&T examination, they become a Basic Patroller capable of running a Toboggan (the transportation device for injured skiers/snowboarders), and entitled to wear the National Ski Patrol backcross.

After a person reaches the Basic Patroller level, there are several avenues for growth, including the Senior Program, which builds off of already established skills in S&T and takes a much more in-depth look at OEC.

Benefits of Joining

or a ski patroller, there are many reasons to contribute as a volunteer.  For people outside the medical field, there is the insight into a new career and background knowledge that is applicable in almost every situation.  For developing skiers, there are free lessons provided on Sundays for S&T.  As a patroller, you will gain several close friendships within the patrol, as well as the knowledge that what you do really has a significant positive impact on people's lives.


15 years old by the start of the Ski Season
Desire to help others

A willingness to learn and grow

Be on duty every 3rd weekend during ski season


Advanced-Upper level skiing/snowboarding skills (our instructors and other volunteers will work with you at wherever you may be, but entering at a higher level of skiing/snowboarding will help facilitate your progress.)

Own Ski/Snowboard Equipment (Rentals are offered at a discounted rate, but with the frequency of your visits, it is much more affordable and advantageous to have equipment that is conducive to your skill level, it also saves time in the morning.  As a patroller, even a candidate, it is possible to receive a reduced price on equipment.)

Cataloochee OEC Course
    Contact: Wayne Morgan (
                 828-926-0285 x316

Thank you for your interest in joining the Cataloochee Ski Patrol.  The purpose of the Patrol is to promote safety, render emergency care and transport people off the ski slopes that have sustained injury / illness.

Join Here

Also be sure to check out our message board, designed solely for individuals interested in joining Ski Patrol.  If you have any questions that you would like to have answered by a patroller, please post them here.

Message Board