I have worked as a pro patroller for 10 seasons. I have also belonged to the NSP for about 8 seasons. At my resort we can do both and many times we hire from the NSP ranks. I started out working, as an EMT then became a paramedic about 5 years ago. We don't perform ALS on the hill, however the increased knowledge base and refined assessment skills have really helped me treat injured guests over the years. I also have a close working relationship with the majority of the medics that do transport from the resort (I went to school with a lot of them and of course have worked on the ambulance with many more.) I have to maintain my OEC cert just as everyone else and attend the yearly update to continue as a NSP member. I love the job and it is a great way to ski for free, meet new people, (captive audience on the chair lift) practice femur fracture treatment, and hang out with long time friends that share similar interests away from the "fire crowd." The ski industry is a different culture that I don't get to be part of outside of the winter months and I love the friends and experiences I have there. I have found nothing but positive things being a Pro/Volley patroller all these years and usually we all work together really well.
I have patrolled for over 20 years. First 14 as a volunteer, the last 6 as a paid patroller. I became an EMT after becoming a paid patroller. Since I live in the area I patrol/volunteer paramedic, there is a good working relationship with the EMT crew. Due to the remote location of the ski area we have a 20-25 minute wait time for a rig or helo. I agree that while I am patrolling I cannot do much more than a basic, our level of care has increased by the increased knowledge base.
I like the old school cascade tobbogon poster...we also have long wait times for MICU's to make it up the hill. on storm days or busy holiday weekends sometimes an hour plus. Other times of the season much like you with 20-30 minutes. I have always felt that this is the best job in the world it is just too bad that I never figured out how to make it full time and support my life style on the wages. Of course I do it for much more then just the pay as the paycheck pretty much pays for my fuel to get there and sometimes a little of my gear costs. It is my dream when I retire to live in a ski town and just ski whenever I want to.
We start our refresher "on the hill" training in about a month. It doesn't really start snowing in the central sierra until after thanksgiving. But maybe we will be lucky and be skiign by holloween again. We did that about three years ago and it was an awsome year.