In 1940, Dr. Douglas Firth was asked by the Canadian Amateur
Ski Association (CASA) to organize and train a first aid
rescue group to patrol the ski hills. The Canadian Ski Patrol
System was originally a standing committee of the CASA with
independent patrols in different areas. During the years
between 1941 and 1948, the war restricted expansion, but
the Toronto and Montreal Patrols united to form the nucleus
of a national organization. During the next five years, the
System expanded in Ontario, Quebec and the Vancouver area.
Skiing mushroomed in the years 1955-59 and the CSPS grew to
408 patrollers. This in spite of the Vancouver area seceding
from the System because of a breakdown in communications.
The increased size of the organization made some form of
representative government necessary, so in 1957, the By-Laws
were amended to have the National President elected by the
In the spring of 1961, the CSPS was accredited as a National
Charity and became independent of the CASA. Registration had
grown to 650 patrollers with expansion into the Lakehead,
Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton, In August of 1962 we received
our Letters Patent which incorporated the System as a national
Non-profit Corporation and we raised our registration to
approximately 1,000 patrollers.
In 1963, the first Board of Directors was elected by the
Zone Presidents at the Annual Meeting. The National Executive
was restructured into departments with a National Vice-President
in charge of a group of departments.
In 1964, the registration was 1,570 patrollers. By this time
skiing had become a family sport with approximately 500,000
participants in Canada. It was decided that we could no longer
operate without a paid secretary, so in November of 1965, the
System opened a small office and employed a full time secretary
to take care of the ever-mounting requirements for
correspondence and communication.
The first national First Aid competitions were held in 1963,
1964 and 1965.
During 1965-66 we continued to expand both east and west,
opening an Atlantic Division and a Zone which covers a very
broad area in the interior of BC. In 1966, approximately 2,200
patrollers were registered.
In 1969, registration of the CSPS was 2,500 patrollers.
Saskatchewan Division was formed in 1970. The Atlantic
Division split into Atlantic East and West Divisions in 1974.
By 1975, registration had reached 4,200 patrollers and now in
2004 we have over 5,000 patrollers across Canada.
The Management Committee was established in 1978 to handle
the operation of the System. The following year the CSPS
moved its Head Office to a location purchased in the National
Capitol Region and expanded its permanent staff to improve
record keeping, administration and continuity at the National