Once again, Lake Mountain Ski Patrol (LMSP) has begun recruiting for volunteer ski patrollers in time for the onset of the snow season.

With national Volunteer Week occurring from the 8th to the 15th of May, the call is especially timely.

To prepare for the season, LMSP is holding its annual training session at Lake Mountain on the 3rd and 4th of June for existing patrollers to refresh their skills and to provide information to anyone interested in joining the weekend roster of volunteers.

Captain of the LMSP, Tim Hatten, said ski patrolling was a unique way for people to volunteer, as it draws on a novel combination of skills in first aid and skiing.

“It offers a great opportunity to help out with the general public at Lake Mountain, providing first aid support as well as assisting visitors to ensure that they have a safe and enjoyable experience when they visit this amazing alpine environment,” said Hatten, whose day job is managing the Millgrove Outdoor Education Centre.

“I can’t over emphasise the value of volunteering, whether it is with LMSP, or any other community organisation. The sense of satisfaction gained from helping out, for no other reason than the desire to ‘be of assistance’, is priceless.”

The closest alpine resort to Melbourne, Lake Mountain attracted 130,000 visitors last winter alone, highlighting the importance of ski patrol in keeping people safe and helping educate them about alpine environments.

The resort is heavily reliant on volunteer ski patrollers to ensure they have enough patrollers on busy weekends.

“Volunteer ski patrollers come from diverse backgrounds but they all share a love of the outdoors and skiing as well as a keen interest in helping others,” Hatten added.

Wearing highly visible red ski patrol jackets and first aid packs, a typical day on the mountain sees patrollers rotate between the LMSP base, the extensive network of ski and snow shoe trails, toboggan slopes and other resort facilities.

Yet becoming a volunteer ski patroller isn’t easy, with would-be candidates needing to be 18 years or older, already competent at skiing and also carry specific first aid qualifications (HLTAID003 and HLTAID001 minimum).

While volunteers also need to be available on weekends throughout the snow season, they do benefit by gaining free entry to Lake Mountain Alpine Resort as well as a subsidy to gain Australian Ski Patrol Association (ASPA) certification.

In previous years, the volunteer program has been popular with school leavers seeking to take their experience to international ski destinations.

If you or someone you know is interested in attending the LMSP training session, please contact the group’s secretary, Bronwyn Howell via email or on 0409 212 307.