NSP: When did you become a patroller, and what led you to start patrolling?
Janie: I started patrolling in 1996. I had been very involved with high school ski racing as technical director etc., for 10 years, even after my kids were no longer racing, and I felt it was time for a change. I really like "skiing with a purpose," so I decided to try out for National Ski Patrol. I had dealt with the patrol many times throughout the ski racing years and thought they were fantastic!
NSP: What did you find most challenging about patroller training prior to becoming a patroller?
Janie: I was always terrified about being alone at dispatch during times with multiple incidences going on. All the training was fabulous, and I never experienced any "macho" challenges with anything. We were taught "finesse" rather than muscling through things, and everyone participated as a team effort.
NSP: How many cups of coffee do/did you drink during a patrol shift?
Janie: None — never enough time to use restroom. Unfortunately, I probably patrol dehydrated most of the time because of that! I am one of those females that is not afraid of sneaking behind a tree if needed.
NSP: Do you prefer to ski powder or groomers? Also, what is your favorite type of downhill bike terrain?
Janie: Well, most of the time, our deep powder at our area is pretty heavy, so unless we are lucky enough to get some really light fluffy stuff, I go for the groomers. My background is in ski racing, so hard-packed snow is what I am used to. Obviously, as a patroller, we must ski in absolutely everything without "whining too much!"
NSP: What have you learned the most about yourself from patrolling?
Janie: I have learned that I can continue to learn something different every day. Sometimes you really have to think outside the box — don't doubt yourself, rely on your training, but keep an open mind to new ways to "skin a cat."
NSP: What do you find most rewarding about being a member of the National Ski Patrol?
Janie: I just love being part of a "big family" with everyone working together for the same goal. Our "family" comes from all walks of life with such varied backgrounds, but we can join together to make a strong united effort — each person a valuable asset.
NSP: What made you want to get involved with the OEC Program first as an instructor, and how did you become the OEC supervisor?
Janie: My initial instructors sucked me into teaching from the very beginning. I was a Scuba instructor, so they used me to help teach "Water Emergencies" in my own OEC course. I realized very quickly that everyone learns so much more when you start to teach a subject, so I just kept on helping to teach OEC.
NSP: What is your favorite aspect of your role as PNW OEC Supervisor?
Janie: I think and hope they will find the new "Spinal Motion Restriction" policy less confusing than they thought it might be.
NSP: What do you think patrollers will find most valuable about the content in the OEC Refresher 2018 Cycle B?
Janie: I have always gotten a kick out of "Triage." I have had great fun setting up triage scenarios for refreshers — I can make things very challenging with fog, lots of noise, and cries and screams. It makes people really stop and think about what could really happen in a real situation and hope like crazy that they never have to really do that!