Tanya Thomas, NSP Women's Program Advisor

NSP:When did you become a patroller, and what led you to start patrolling?

Tanya:I took my OEC in the summer of 2002. It was a hybrid (beta?) course, if you can believe it -- 16 years ago! My dad is a patroller, so I had been on the mountain with him. I think I wanted to get some medical training and it looked fun. Man, have I learned a lot!

NSP: What did you find most challenging about patroller training prior to becoming a patroller?
Tanya: Our mountain had weekly Sunday S&T training. We had to be there every weekend. The course work was the most challenging for me -- course down/hike up/course down/hike up ... it was exhausting! I was doing a lot of horse training back then, and everyone jokes it took me forever to pass my "basic" [alpine] because I kept breaking bones riding horses.

NSP: How many cups of coffee do you drink during a patrol shift?
Tanya: I normally have one before ... but if it's a cold day there's no telling how many hot chocolates!

NSP: Powder or groomers?
Tanya: Groomers, but only because I'm still working on conquering the PowPow!

NSP: What have you learned the most about yourself from patrolling?
Tanya: I am better at it than I think I am? I have a bit of "impostor syndrome" and think I can't really handle a certain accident/situation. But then I find myself in the situation (for example, a critical patient), and the training takes over and it just comes naturally.

NSP: What do you find most rewarding about patrolling and being a member of the National Ski Patrol?
Tanya: I love working with all things toboggan. There's something about the magical place where a student finally "gets it" and can masterfully handle a Cascade down any terrain.

NSP: As the new NSP Women’s Program adviser, can you tell me what you love most about the Women's Program?
Tanya: I love how a group of women getting together to learn and share ideas can be so low-stress. There's something about the nurturing environment and encouragement the women in NSP can be for each other, whether it's toboggan or leadership training or boot fitting.

NSP: Why do you think women patrollers should get involved with the NSP Women's Program?
Tanya: There is something for everyone to learn. It's so educational talking to women from other mountains about protocols, ideas, concerns, you name it! It's not all "kumbaya" and wine and cheese. There's a lot of learning going on!