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Ski & Safety Patrol

Holiday Valley ski patrollers have completed a thorough, demanding training program. We further refine our skills annually through ongoing training in skiing or snowboarding, toboggan handling, first aid, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automatic external defibrillation (AED), lift evacuation, and snowmobile operations. For more information about the Holiday Valley Patrol, click here.

Holiday Valley has a highly experienced patrol, with members averaging 18 years of ski patrol service. The skill level of Holiday Valley patrollers is so high that 35 of 113 members hold National Ski Patrol instructor certification qualifying them to train and evaluate patrollers. Every year, Holiday Valley hosts first aid, skiing & snowboarding, and toboggan-handling training events for patrollers from other resorts.

Sixty-nine of the patrol’s members have completed a National Ski Patrol supplementary training program to achieve the level of “Senior” patroller. Senior training involves complex patient care situations and extensive handling of rescue toboggans on expert mogul terrain.

Many members of the Holiday Valley Ski Patrol have received NSP awards for their individual contributions to safety, patient care, training, and program administration. Twenty-nine members hold the National Ski Patrol’s prestigious National Appointment. The award is given only to those who have completed the demanding Senior program and have demonstrated extensive leadership in NSP programs.

In addition, ten members of the Holiday Valley Ski Patrol currently hold officer or staff positions within the National Ski Patrol, beyond the level of our own patrol. Two of our patrollers continue to work at the NSP National level: Jim Decker was elected to the twelve member NSP National Board in 2007 and Dr. David Johe was appointed NSP National Medical Advisor in 2008. Randy McNeil just completed over two years as NSP National Transportation Director. Our Patrol Director, Dan Meess, and Assistant Directors, Greg Boberg, Eric Bowen and Kevin Lizak, have over 73 years of combined patrol experience.

The Holiday Valley Ski Patrol is a self-sustaining rescue organization composed almost entirely of volunteers. Each member pays annual dues and training fees. Members also purchase and maintain their ski equipment and first aid packs and pay part of the cost of our easily recognized red and black uniforms.

The Holiday Valley Ski Patrol purchases and maintains radios, rescue toboggans, specialized splints, oxygen, and other first aid supplies and training materials. Although our patrol raises its own funds to support operating expenses, our services are always provided free of charge.

We are proud of the prompt, professional services provided by the Holiday Valley Ski Patrol. We hope that you will enjoy your visits to Holiday Valley more just knowing that we are skiing and snowboarding with you and your family.

We appreciate your support at our sausage & beer tent at the Ellicottville Fall Festival and our pancake breakfast on the slopes at Winter Carnival. Your tax-deductible contributions are also most appreciated, and inquiries about membership are welcome. Visit the Upper Ski Patrol Room at the base of Yodeler, contact the Holiday Valley Ski Patrol, P.O. Box 370, Ellicottville, NY 14731 or email us.

Volunteering for the Holiday Valley Ski Patrol - Is It for You?

"How do you become a ski patroller?" As patrollers, we've all answered that question dozens of times, usually while riding chairlifts. Most of us will gladly talk your ear off about our training, our duties, and our pride in being a part of the Holiday Valley Ski Patrol.

Regardless of the weather, our volunteers patrol two scheduled shifts each week. While much of our time is spent enjoying the slopes, our first priority is to respond to persons who may be injured. Requests for assistance are communicated by radio, and patrollers respond on skis, snowboards, and snowmobiles.

We consider it part of our job to give information or a friendly hand to anyone at Holiday Valley. We also staff our first aid room, search for missing persons, complete reports, and assist with the opening and closing of trails.

Training is something we do continuously. Members of the Holiday Valley Ski Patrol participate in continuing education each year in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automatic external defibrillation (AED), first aid, patrol room procedures, skiing and/or snowboarding, toboggan handling, snowmobile operations, and chairlift evacuation techniques.

The greatest amount of training occurs during the "candidate" year with the patrol. From September through November, new candidates participate in an 80-hour National Ski Patrol first aid course in Hamburg, NY. The Outdoor Emergency Care course includes written and practical exams. From December through February, candidates fine-tune skiing or snowboarding skills, develop toboggan handling capabilities, and practice first aid in the snow. Upon passing final on-snow exams, a candidate becomes a ski patroller and can proudly wear our red-and-black uniform with the white cross of the National Ski Patrol and the circular insignia of the Holiday Valley Ski Patrol.

How to Apply for Membership in the Holiday Valley Ski Patrol

Ski patrolling is demanding volunteer work, and at Holiday Valley, standards are especially high. Applicants must be comfortable skiing or snowboarding all Holiday Valley terrain, including moguls. They must be able to ski or snowboard under control in varied conditions. Applicants must be physically able to participate in toboggan-handling training, which includes extensive practice in the moguls.

Applications are accepted until March 1 for the following season. The membership committee of the Holiday Valley Ski Patrol will invite qualified applicants to meet with the patrol's training team for a skiing or snowboarding evaluation and an information session to be held in March. The membership committee will review the qualifications of all participants and will contact applicants later in the spring regarding available training slots for the following season.

Membership Application : print out our application and return it completed to the Holiday Valley Ski Patrol PO Box 370, Ellicottville, NY 14731. For information log on to our web site at

What is the Best Part About Being a Holiday Valley Ski Patroller? 

There are so many answers! We thrive on the challenge to constantly improve our skills. We are proud of our resort and proud to be part of a ski patrol with such high standards. With ski patrol gatherings throughout the year, we form year-round and lasting friendships. The ski patrol family becomes a part of you and you a part of it. Your deepest friendships will develop while enjoying the beauty of Holiday Valley and the rewards of assisting those who share a passion for snow sports.

HVSP Named National Outstanding Patrol of the Year 

On June 8, 2002, the National Ski Patrol (NSP) named Holiday Valley Ski Patrol the Outstanding Alpine Large Ski Patrol for 2002 in the entire United States. Holiday Valley became a finalist for this award by besting 186 patrols for the title of NSP Eastern Division Outstanding Alpine Large Patrol in April of 2002.

In April 2010, the Holiday Valley Ski Patrol was again selected as the Outstanding Alpine Ski Patrol in the Eastern Division.

The National Ski Patrol includes 600 ski patrols across the United States and certain military areas in Europe. The NSP judges patrols on training and testing of patrollers, operating procedures, members’ involvement in safety programs and community service, leadership within the NSP, awards received, and fund raising.

Regional Patroller Awards 2010 

HV Patrollers received numerous awards at the 2010 WNY Regional Banquet. Ken Kramer, Adam McInerney and Sadie Prescott achieved Senior Patroller. Andrea Carr received the WNY Region’s Ambassador of the Slopes award for her dedication to the Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program. Larry Schottke received a National Appointment. Jim Decker received a National Distinguished Service Award. Dave Stringfellow was awarded a Lifetime Service Award.  Yellow Merit Stars were presented to Eric Bowen and Larry Schottke for their roles in teaching outdoor emergency care to new patrollers.  Tom George and Mike Richter were recognized for 25 years service on this Patrol.  Our Risk Manager, Michael Brown, was awarded his 50-year NSP service award.

Congratulations to all Patrollers.

For more info, please go to


    Safety Patrol

    The Holiday Valley Safety Patrol is one of the original safety patrols in the country. The Patrol began in 1982 with just 3 members whose job it was to prevent accidents by promoting safety on the slopes. Now, 33 years later, the familiar Yellow Jackets continue to remind skiers and riders of Smart Style, Your Responsibility Code and Common Sense on the slopes.

    Interested in Joining the Safety Patrol Team?

    The Holiday Valley Safety Patrol & Host Team accepts applications for qualified candidates interested in participating in our program. If you love Holiday Valley, enjoy the sport, can commit to a minimum of two shifts per week (Day or Night) during the ski season, are at least 18 years or older, and ski-snow board-telemark at an advanced level, you may be a qualified candidate. Please complete the Holiday Valley Employee application and either drop it off in the guest services office or email to Each candidate is required to successfully complete and participate in the on snow proficiency evaluation prior to acceptance for our formal training program. We will keep your application on file until we schedule our next on snow evaluation session during the 2015-16 winter season.

    For additional information about our program, please email us at or speak with any of our team while enjoying your time at the Holiday Valley Resort.

    Safe Skiing Award

    The Safety Patrol conducts an annual program to encourage and reward young skiers and riders who practice safety and courtesy. We award prizes to kids who are "caught in the act" of safe skiing or riding.

    Young skiers and riders are cited for courteous behavior, for following Your Responsibility Code, or for anything our staff believes contributed to a safe, pleasant and fun skiing and riding experience. When young skiers and riders enjoy themselves and practice safety and courtesy, everybody wins.

    So keep on skiing and riding safely, and you just might be rewarded!