All ski patrollers provide two things to the skiing public: emergency first-aid care and transportation from the site of an injury to a location from which the patient can be transported to a site where additional medical treatment can be obtained.
First aid is provided by a curriculum developed and maintained by the National Ski Patrol (NSP). The protocols developed by this organization are referred to collectively as the Outdoor Emergency Care program. It is an EMT-B level curriculum, and the teaching, evaluation, and assessment of it are closely monitored by the NSP organization.
Extrication and transportation from the site of an accident to a place where the EMS system or private vehicles can move a patient to a site of further medical treatment is taught using protocols developed by the NSP. The curriculum, testing, evaluation and assessment are also closely monitored by the NSP organization.
Members of the NSP have successfully demonstrated competence in minimally the first aid curriculum. Most members have demonstrated competence in both areas, and are called "alpine" patrollers. Those who have only first aid training are called "patrollers". Others who have still higher levels of demonstrated competence are called "senior" or "national" or "certified" members.
Some members patrol at alpine (downhill) areas. Others patrol at nordic (cross-country) areas. A few members have demonstrated competence in both settings.