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Caroline Elliott

Caroline Elliott

Female Fire Fighter, French trained Ski Patroller and Avalanche Dog Handler

Caroline’s acclaimed talks explain how strong motivation combined with determination and, most importantly, self-belief, can help your pupils to identify their dreams and move constructively towards seeing them realised. For Caroline, the key is passion: if you are passionate about what you do, you can achieve the impossible!

Caroline is one of only a few women working professionally in an area still dominated by men. Drawing on her own experience, she explains how resilience, leadership, communication and teamwork enabled her to successfully follow a unique career path and how the lessons she’s learned can apply to anyone – male or female – that aspires to an equally unusual or challenging career.

But her talks don’t just cover the professional world. Her experiences also demonstrate how learning a language and engaging with other cultures can open a myriad of doors – both professional and personal. Ultimately, this demonstrates how the learning opportunities pupils have at school can lead the way to an extraordinary and exhilarating life.

Caroline was first enticed into the winter wonderland when she embarked on a ski trip to the Alps at the age of 10. Since then, she has spent every possible opportunity to return to the mountains and their snowy folds, working as a ski rep for PGL, then ski instructing children's classes in Austria. She even had a quick flurry in the world of freestyle skiing, training in the disciplines of both ski ballet and aerials.

She soon realized after her Bachelor’s degree in German and Spanish that she needed to search for a ‘serious job'. After some soul searching Caroline realized that she held a deep desire to do something which had meaning: helping others outdoors. Upon this realization Caroline channeled her energies into becoming a ski patroller. Her proficiency on skis helped her to progress quickly and made learning a pleasure, completing her first training course in Thredbo in the Australian Alps.

In 2007 she embarked on the long and complicated journey starting with the ski test until the final examinations to become a French ski patroller, and only 4 years later attended the Ecole National de Ski et d'Alpinisme (Chamonix) in 2011 to gain the pisteur secouriste 2éme degré. Furthering her knowledge she continued to take courses including 'Observateur NivoMétéo' with Météo France to study weather systems and snow environment along with the qualification to detonate potential snow masses as an 'Artificier' with the ANENA. However the crème de la crème of moments has to be when Caroline entered the French Fire and Rescue specialized Mountain Rescue unit to become a Search and Rescue dog handler in 2010 with Fjord her French Flat Coated Retriever.

Passionate about imparting her knowledge to keep children safe in the snow, with the help of Fjord, she delivers a talk that will capture the imagination of her young audience. Caroline helps impart the essentials about the mountain environment and also provide an insight into the fascinating life of an avalanche search and rescue dog.

Caroline also offers an interactive workshop to help familiarize students with specialized mountain safety equipment whilst at the same time guiding them through the techniques used for searching those caught in an avalanche and how working as a team is paramount for being effective in such a stressful situation.

Testimonials from Teachers

"The young people loved meeting Fjord. Caroline is friendly and passionate about her work, it is always nice to show young people what the industry they are newly into is all about."

– Gavin Hanmer, Programme Director, Snow Camp Charity

"Caroline doesn't need much introduction, her talk is very interesting, everyone loves it, and there's a lovely search and rescue dog, called Fjord!"

– Liam Londsdale, Base Camp Presentator, Kendal Mountain Festival

"Meeting Caroline and Fjord in Gourette is a highlight for the snow classes, especially learning about the work ski patrol do and watching a search and rescue dog demo."

– Philippe Padelli, Chargé de Communication, Gourette, EPSA. France

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