Ski Patrol Keeps Kids Safe


The ski patrol at Sky Tavern is an incredible mix of doctors, nurses, firefighters, a police officer, paramedics, EMT’s, a physical therapist, engineers, teachers, students, and even an itinerant attorney. The quality of the patrollers compares favorably to that of any patrol, anywhere, on any level.

Ski patrol is involved with all aspects of mountain operations and their responsibilities include risk management and safety; medical care; skiing and snowboarding; toboggan transportation; lift evacuation and safety; and avalanche control. All Sky Tavern patrollers are members of the National Ski Patrol (NSP).

We have some patrollers with more than 40 years of dedicated NSP membership, many who began patrolling at Sky Tavern. Tom Raw, the mountain’s current risk manager (whose ‘regular’ job is with a local fire department where he serves as firefighter/paramedic/HAZMAT Captain), started his patroller career here at the age of 15. Sky Tavern patrollers have served the NSP on the National Board of Directors, National OEC Refresher Committee, National Nominations Committee, National Legal Committee, and National Bylaws Oversight Sub-Committee, as well as in myriad division, region, and local positions. A high percentage of the patrollers at Sky Tavern are also instructors who have achieved senior status.

Kids can become junior patrollers at age 15, if they can meet the same standards as all Sky Tavern patrollers. One child, along with several of his friends, was approached about becoming a patroller while in advanced level skiing classes. After Scott Shepard becoming a junior patroller, he joined the military to pay for his education, which led to medical school. Certified in emergency medicine, Dr. Shepherd joined the emergency room staff at a local hospital. He has also served as a physician through the National Guard during the Hurricane Katrina disaster and in war zones in the Middle East. Dr. Shepherd currently practices as a family physician in Reno and his children started skiing in the Junior Ski Program, continuing the legacy.

We have new patrollers join the team each season. Come join the fun!

Article submitted by Mike Balavage,  past Ski Patrol Director | Ski Patrol Website

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