Fédération Internationale des Patrouilles de Ski (FIPS) is a corporation made up of ski patrol organizations representing ski patrollers and ski safety in their respective countries. These organizations are comprised of ski patrollers, physicians, lawyers, engineers, technicians, ski equipment instructors, ski area managers, etc., who are involved in the multi-disciplinary activities of ski patrolling.
The concept of FIPS can be traced back prior to 1979 when the first meeting was held in Calgary, Canada. Although there were many ski patrols in existence at that time, there was very little communication between them. Patrollers who had the opportunity to ski in other countries noticed differences and some commonality in procedures and standards relative to their own. In addition, accident prevention programmes were being implemented in some countries but not in others. A number of countries did not have a national ski patrol organisation.
FIPS was created as the world forum for ski patrollers to meet, exchange ideas and compare the latest in patrol techniques on a regular basis. FIPS is supported by national patrol organisations, both large and small, to provide the necessary input and to offer potential solutions to patrolling issues.
Not all patrols gain the same benefits from FIPS. Indeed there are many that give a lot more than they receive. This sharing is the essence of FIPS. As more and more countries join FIPS, the interchange of ideas can only improve the effectiveness of ski patrolling and, in turn, benefit the snow sports public.
FIPS exists due to the combined efforts of interested patrollers, individual ski patrols and national patrol organisations. With their help, FIPS will continue to grow in size and stature, and will continue to ensure patrollers deliver the best services possible to the skiing public.
FIPS, incorporated in Canada, has a Board of Directors representing the member countries and a supporting volunteer secretariat of Secretary, Treasurer and Legal Adviser. There are Vice Presidents who assist with coordination within particular regions of the world as well as appointed Vice Presidents who take responsibility for specific aspects of the FIPS organisation. FIPS funding is from organisation membership fees and by patroller attendance at the biennial Congresses.
Specific FIPS Projects
Over the years FIPS has initiated a number of specific projects of interest to patrollers:
- Issues of legal aspects of ski patrolling
- Investigation of injuries to ski patrollers while on patrol
- Documentation of member country’s training, qualification and recognition together with comparison of the training modules
- Recommendations of medical approaches to some specific ski injuries
- Consideration of a standard Skiers Responsibility Code (Safety Rules)
- Establishment and maintenance of the FIPS web site – www.fips-skipatrol.org
- FIPS Yahoo special interest groups focusing on Medical and Avalanche
Since its inception, FIPS members have gathered approximately every two year for a Congress at a ski resort in one of the member countries. These congresses provide an opportunity for ski patrollers from around the globe to learn from each other, grow together and benefit from each others experiences.
Congresses have been held in Canada, USA, Chile, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Sweden, Scotland and France.
At the congresses there are formal presentations, workshops, demonstrations and discussion groups that have targeted specific areas of patrolling. Some of the topics covered have included skier safety, training and education, medical aspects, innovations, statistics, injury types, disabled skiers, avalanche, evacuation techniques, administration of drugs, cross-country and downhill patrolling, snow board injuries, legal aspects, search and rescue, extended care, avalanche, updates from the various countries, etc. The FIPS Board of Directors also meets during each congress.
- Scotland (UK)
- New Zealand
Associate Members – Patrolquip, Tyromont Alpine Technics, Swiss Cableways, NSPS European Division, NSPS Rocky Mountain Division, NSPS Eastern Division, NSPS Pacific Northwest Division, NSPS Intermountain Division, NSPS Southern Division
Upcoming FIPS Congress in 2014
The next congress will be at Siverstar Canada from 29 March til 5 April 2014. When available, congress information will be circulated to all Australian Patrols and an invitation extended for registration of patroller attendees.
It is expected that some financial assistance should be available from ASPA to assist patrollers who are prepared to make a considerable contribution to the ASPA participation in the Congress. After the event patrollers are expected to assist with dissemination of the results of the congress to Australian patrollers.
The application form is available by clicking here and the process finalised by November 2013 so that bookings can be made.
VP International Liaison
Require More Information?
Check the FIPS Website www.fips-skipatrol.org
Email the President
Phone the President +1 514 484 6141 (Canada)
VP International Liaison Rik Head