National Ski Patrol was originally organized and directed by Charles Minot “Minnie” Dole as a committee of the National Ski Association. Through Dole’s efforts as the first national director of the NSP, the organization spread its esprit de corps across the country's emerging ski community. Upon his retirement in 1950, Dole had built the NSP into an organization of 4,000 members serving 300 ski patrols.

During World War II, Dole was responsible for establishing  the famed 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army. Applicants for this remarkable military unit, which saw much of its fighting activity in Italy, were screened by NSP. Many individuals who were responsible for the establishment of ski areas in the United States served in the 10th Mountain Division and contributed significantly to the sport. Thanks to this distinguished legacy of altruistic service, the NSP was recognized with a federal charter by the United States Congress in 1980.

National Ski Patrol's Role

The National Ski Patrol (NSP), founded in 1938, has followed its creed of “Service and Safety” since the establishment of skiing as a popular sport in the United States. As snow sports and guest services at resort areas have evolved, so has  NSP --- from  a service organization to a professional education and membership association. Other snow sports, such as snowboarding, tubing, and snow-skating, introduced new equipment and new terrain, which in turn required developing and teaching new safety and emergency care training methods. Increased access to the backcountry beyond ski area boundaries has also meant new training regimens for NSP members.  NSP’s most recent endeavor has welcomed bike patrollers as members, in response to the increasing development of summer and year-round outdoor recreation operations.

Today, the organization is composed of more than 30,000 members serving over 650 patrols. These individuals include patrollers who are paid, and patrollers who volunteer their time. While most of NSP members are in the U. S., the organization also has members in Canada, Europe and Asia.