Fairbanks Ski Patrol Helps Keep Adventure Seekers Safe

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The long winters in Fairbanks give residence plenty of opportunity to play in the snow.
Skiing and snowboarding are a favorite winter pastime of many Fairbanksans.

Every weekend the ski slopes around Fairbanks are filled with adventure seekers.
These snowboarders and skiers spend the day enjoying the hills and hanging out with friends.
Ski Patrol volunteer their weekends to help make sure everyone has fun and stay safe on the slopes.
"I also get to help a lot of folks who want to ski and have a good experience skiing, so on days where maybe things go a little rough for folks whether they get injured or just get in over their heads, it's a really great feeling to be able to help people out and hopefully encourage them to come back and have another good day on the hill," said Heidi Strader the Fairbanks Ski Patrol Representative.
Last Sunday the Ski Patrol at Skiland were practicing toboggan runs and working with candidates who are studying to become patrollers.
Hannah Sallee, Veselina Yakimova and Chandra Denherde have spent the season doing book work and practicing scenarios so they can get their patrol certification.
"Skiings always been kind of a part of my life so I wanted to something on the mountain," Denherde said.
Part of their training is inside, but they also get to practice on the hill.
"I think it gives you great skills not just for while you are ski patrolling, but when you are on your own personal ski trips you are just a little bit more confident what to do when there is a bad situation," Yakimova said.
While the candidates were training inside, other patrollers where practicing taking toboggans down the mountain.
Patrollers are trained to help treat wounds, bring people safely off the mountain and retrieve skiers from the lift if they are ever stuck.
"Smiles on all the faces, but then also reassuring people that if they do get into a situation where they don't feel comfortable or they are uneasy or they are injured being able to help them as much as possible and get them to the next level of care if necessary," said Shane Wiegand one of the patrollers.
The all-volunteer patrol is always looking for new members and anyone can ask a patroller about joining.
"Ski patrolling is a lot of fun if it's something that someone is interested in doing we would love to have them come and join us,” Strader said.
At the end of the day the patrollers help make sure everyone has made it safely off the mountain ensuring that all the winter thrill seekers have had a great day in the snow.