Appendix E: Proficiency Requirements

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PROFICIENCY REQUIREMENTS Candidates or transferring patrollers are expected to demonstrate proficiency in the following skill areas before they will be registered as basic Nordic patrollers:


Skiing/Snowboarding Skills

Skiing Skills: Proficiency to an intermediate level (good balance with consistent smoothness and reasonable efficiency and confidence) in each of the following aspects of Nordic skiing:

  1. Level travel: sound diagonal stride with good kick & glide using single pole technique;
  2. Uphill travel on a moderate slope using all of the following techniques: diagonal stride, herringbone, climbing traverse with kick turns, and sidestepping;
  3. Downhill travel on a moderate slope using sidestepping and sideslipping;
  4. Downhill travel on a moderate slope using traverse ending in a stop;
  5. Downhill travel on a moderate slope using telemark, step, stem, or skate turns;
  6. Straight downhill running on a moderate slope, controlling speed by snowplow;
  7. Straight downhill run on a moderate slope. Candidate must show stability and confidence; and
  8. Travel across varied terrain over a considerable distance to demonstrate the stamina and moderate speed necessary for patrolling.

Skiing ability will be rated throughout the period of candidacy and tested on a specific day. In situations where the Patrol Director is uncertain whether a candidate has developed the necessary skiing skills, the candidate will be asked to obtain private instruction at the candidate's expense. Each skiing skill must be learned to a reasonable proficiency, but we don't require advanced levels in any aspect of skiing.

Snowboarding Skills: Proficiency to a strong intermediate to advanced level of backcountry snowboarding is required. Specific skills are being developed. In the interim, proficiency will be judged on a case-by-case basis by experienced backcountry snowboarders in the patrol. Proficiency requirements parallel the levels indicated for skiing.

First-Aid Skills

Proficiency in all aspects of Outdoor Emergency Care, with special emphasis on the following:

  • assessment
  • shock
  • hypothermia
  • severe bleeding
  • use of oxygen
  • mid-shaft femur fracture (KTD and ski pole traction splint)
  • chest injuries
  • shoulder separations
  • all fractures
  • knee and elbow dislocations
  • spinal fracture
  • bent-knee ski-pole splint
  • heart attack
  • choking
  • unconscious patient
  • medical emergencies
  • patient loading in sleds
  • CPR patrol infection control procedures

Patient Transportation

Proficiency in all aspects of patient transportation, including decisions regarding method of transport procedures for requesting snowmobile or helicopter portable sled construction improvised sled construction patient packaging and protection procedures sled operation ­ patrollers (demonstrate controlled sled hauling) sled operation - patrollers and non-patroller assistants (assist sled control) sled raising and lowering on steep slopes helicopter precautions and procedures

Miscellaneous Subjects

Proficiency in the following:

  • map & compass, including all grid coordinate systems and navigation, proficiency rapidly use map & compass to find current location by taking bearings and resectioning
  • knots, (see Appendix G, Knots, in TBSP manual)
  • patrol search and rescue initiation procedures
  • radio codes and procedures
  • avalanche precautions and procedures including transceiver proficiency
  • bivouac procedures and survival skills
  • field repair of equipment
  • NSP history and administration (selected)
  • patrol administration use of patrol forms

Incident Management

Proficiency in any role required during management of an incident, including: Team Leader (= Incident Leader) OEC Leader Assistant (Locator, Communications, Shelter, OEC, etc. as assigned by Team Leader) Tahoe Backcountry Ski Patrol Manual

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