At the Congress at Chatel, France in 2012 FIPS established medical and avalanche special interest groups. In 2014 at the Big White Congress they added the Technology group. Since conception several other SIG groups have been added. They included Disability, Risk Management, and Rescue Dog.

In their respective areas these groups will act as a conduit for the collection, assessment and distribution of world best practice information for FIPS members.

To participate in a special interest group you should just apply to the community group or groups, where the SIG coordinator will review your information and contact you with further details. Instructions to use the FIPS Communities are located here.


Moderated and Managed by Jonas Bjorklund (SLAO).



Moderated and Managed by Luca Sardelli (FISPS )


What is the Disability SIG about? The Disability SIG is about learning and improving how ski patrollers help skiers with disabilities, both physical and intellectual.

Our behaviour, from the way we approach skiers with disabilities to the procedures we follow to assist them in case of need, can improve through the exchange of experiences a knowledge.

What types of patrollers are we looking for? All patrollers interested in improving how we act on ski runs to better help this population of skiers are welcome.

What is involved with the Disability SIG between congresses? Between congress, the members of this SIG can carry out sharing information and best practices via web calls.

Local groups are welcome to work in person if feasible.

FIS – Liaison 

Moderated and Managed by Erik Hansson (FIS – Sweden)



Moderated and Managed by Terry Abrams (CSP)


The Medical SIG is an international gathering of medical and allied health professionals and non-health professionals who all share the same objective; providing the best possible patient care in the ski patrolling environments. All are ski patrollers or have ski patrolling experience in their backgrounds. We seek interested members with wide experiences and ideas, who also don’t mind doing some work.

The Medical SIG is responsible for developing, producing and delivering two days of information at the FIPS World Congresses. The material is often delivered by lecture, group discussions, demonstrations and skill stations as appropriate to the topics. Hands-on participation by the delegates gets the best accolades.

In this period between congresses, we will be developing a FIPS guideline document of the qualities and skill sets of patrollers for the benefit of other organizations and newly forming national patrols. This is in response to requests from the Olympic Organizing Committee of the Beijing Winter Olympics and from new patrols seeking membership with FIPS.

The Medical SIG meets online the first Sunday of each month at 1200 hours UTC. Typically we meet every other month until we are closer to the date of the next World Congress at which point we meet monthly.

If your interest is piqued, please contact Niels Giddins, the SIG Secretary at

Rescue Dog

Moderated and Managed by Kate Hunter (BASP and SARDA (Scotland))


Kate Hunter BASP and SARDA(Scotland)

In 2011 I began taking my collie cross Springer Spaniel Bodie to work with me and she and I started our Avalanche / Search and Rescue journey. We first trained with an Avalanche observer and forecaster from Canada who had come to Scotland with his dog for the winter. Neither of us really knew what to do but Bodie was a natural. I just wanted her to find me if I was buried.

I was invited in 2017 to train with Search and Rescue Dog Association (Scotland) along side the dog handlers from Mountain Rescue teams. In 2018 Bodie qualified as a Novice dog and we became Scotland’s first Ski patrol Avalanche dog.

Bodie is now retired and I have a new lively ginger Labrador (Mistletoe) who has just started training and hopefully will qualify next March.

At FIPS in Bariloche in 2019 we started the Rescue Dog SIG and will welcome all dog handlers to join our group.

Risk Management

Moderated and Managed by Ed Gassman (NSP)


As was put forth by the Supreme Court of Norway – if we look at personal risk management – skier responsibility code, etc. – it boils down to we should be teaching patrollers and the skiing public that risk management is simply skiing in a manner that you don’t injure yourself or others. If you do injure someone, you need to be aware that you are civilly liable for damages, and in some parts of the world you may also be liable criminally. Some states’/countries’ laws look at skier collisions as being no different than if you ran into someone with an automobile. Thus the application of the law is the same for both.

If your interest is piqued, please contact Ed Gassman, the SIG Chair at


Moderated and Managed by Mihal-Liviu Enache (Romania).


This post is also available in: French Italian Spanish

©2024 Fédération Internationale des Patrouilles de Ski


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