Join the patrol


The Buck Hill Ski Patrol (BHSP) was organized and registered in the 1956. The BHSP operates out of the Buck Hill Ski Area in Burnsville, MN. The patrol consists of just over 80 volunteers, each of whom enjoys the winter sports of skiing and snowboarding, and have an interest in helping others on a volunteer basis. Many of our patrollers are professionals in various career fields - doctors, attorneys, and engineers, to laborers, and homemakers. The BHSP is on-duty each day that the ski area is open during the winter months.


The NSPS has developed and maintains its own training and education programs to assure that each member is equipped with the skills, knowledge and confidence to respond to, and meet the needs of, the emergency medical situations that may arise at a ski area. There are four specific areas of training in which each patroller must be proficient:

Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC)

This training program developed by the NSPS, is similar in scope to the EMT-B program. It concentrates on the skills necessary to provide emergency medical care to injured area guests, in varied terrain and weather conditions, with the limited equipment. The OEC course runs for about 80 hours and meets twice weekly beginning in early September and ending in early November, prior to the ski area opening.

Chairlift Evacuation

All ski patrollers must be proficient in the skills required to evacuate a chairlift. Training is provided by the Buck Hill Ski Patrol. This training is administered by each local ski area patrol under the regulation of the local ski area management.

Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Ski patrollers must carry a current CPR certification in two-person CPR and AED operation.

Ski/Snowboard/Toboggan Handling

People interested in becoming a Basic Patroller should be strong upper-intermediate level skiers or snowboarders prior to beginning training. The ski patrol does not teach skiing or snowboarding, but does work closely with the PSIA Instructors of the Buck Hill Ski School – one of the top rate snow sports schools in the country. The BHSP does work on developing the skills necessary for patrollers to control a loaded toboggan while transporting an injured guest from the hill.


All Buck Hill Ski Patrollers are scheduled for an average number of hours each month that the area is open. The shifts are generally once per week with some modifications based on start times.


On-going training each patroller must attend an annual OEC skill refresher, an annual CPR refresher, an annual refresher in chairlift evacuation, and an annual ski/snowboard proficiency and toboggan handling refresher each ski season.