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The National Ski Patrol (NSP) System was established to provide emergency care and safety education to the skiing public. Although emergency care training for patrollers was based first on the American Red Cross's (ARC) Standard First Aid course and later on the ARC's Advanced First Aid and Emergency Care course, additional training in the types of accidents and injuries seen in a snowy, cold environment has always been necessary. Starting in 1984, NSP developed its own emergency care course, which has been used systemwide since 1987. This is based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's National EMS Standard Curriculum modified as necessary to emphasize cold weather and high-altitude illnesses and injuries, ski injuries, and the special equipment and techniques used by patrollers. Under a fulltime national education director, a system of supervisors, instructor-trainers, and instructors in each NSP division has been developed to teach and refresh the course and provide quality assurance.
National Ski Patrol, emergency care, outdoor emergency care, winter emergency care, EMS system, American Red Cross
Medical doctor, fellow of the American College of Physicians; national medical advisor, National Ski Patrol System, Inc.; president, Wilderness Medical Society; and clinical associate professor of medicine, University of WashingtonThe Billings Clinic, SeattleBillings, WAMT