The Patroller School online course, Stress Injury Preparation for Patrollers or SIPP, launched in September and profiled in the December issue of Trail Sweep, has had a greater than anticipated impact both in terms of response and reaction.


Since the course was launched in September, more than 150 patrollers and mountain hosts have requested access to it. Granted this isn’t a viral number but, for Patroller School, it’s quite significant.

According to Orest Ohar, Eastern Division’s Online School Administrator, “the SIPP course has become the division’s fastest growing online course. It has the highest student count, more than double any other courses taught by the MTR, Avalanche, or OET programs.”

More than half of these students have started the course and more than a third have completed it, while many others are still working their way through it.

Many patrols and every region are represented. Some more than others:• Ski Sundown (CT) 6 students

• Okemo (SVT) 5
• Mad River Glen (NVT) 5
• Camelback and Spring Mountain (EPA)  5 each, and
• Gore (ENY) 4

There’s even been interest from the Central, Far West, Rocky Mountain, and Intermountain Divisions.


The ED Course Improvement Questionnaire, used for all Patroller School courses, is built into SIPP. And students are strongly encouraged to use it to provide feedback.

40% of the students who have completed the course, also provided feedback via the Improvement Questionnaire. This too is quite significant: a good survey response rate ranges between 5% and 30%. An excellent response rate is 50% or higher.

As noted below, student reactions are very positive. All responses average in the “Agree” (good) to “Strongly Agree” (very good) levels. Indeed, there have been no negative survey responses whatsoever. (Scoring Levels: 3=Neither Agree or Disagree 4=Agree 5=Strongly Agree)

4.3 – I enjoyed the program
4.6 – Recommend to others
4.3 – Feel I benefitted
4.1 – Felt involved in the event
4.3 – Well organized
4.5 – Well-prepared teacher

When respondents made the effort to provide narrative feedback, what they had to say was also overwhelmingly positive.

For example:

• Well organized, full of factual info at just the right level.
• Was extremely helpful in understanding this issue that so often goes undetected until it is too late. The use of the videos was very good.
• Self-paced. Appreciated learning about various stress responses and reflecting on my own. How to stay or return to “green.”
• Overall the course was well presented and covered the material well. The course made the important points and repeated them enough to have the student understand the goal of the program and when it is important. This is a difficult topic, and each person will react differently to what is presented.

The course is important and should be appropriately worked into the basic training of all patrollers so that it gets to every new patroller in some way.

What It Means

The better-than-expected response to SIPP and the very positive feedback is more than just numerical values and percentages. They represent the voices and opinions of those who matter most to our organization – our members.

Each student registration documents the importance of the topic of stress injury. Each respondent to the feedback survey represents an individual perspective. Collectively, they paint a mosaic of opinions and experiences. Together the metrics demonstrate the success of Stress Injury Preparation for Patrollers and advocate for wider use of the course throughout the Eastern Division.

To sign up for SIPP click: Stress Injury Preparation for Patrollers.