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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Category: Maintenance Trades & Labor


Supervises an avalanche control and observation team operating on a major mountain pass. Develops and disseminates instructions and information to crew personnel. Organizes, conducts and facilitates crew meetings.

Typical Work

Plans, enacts, and reviews an operational program to manage avalanche hazards affecting Washington State Highways;

Acts as liaison to DOT management and outside agencies regarding policies, procedures, and operations; Conducts training and/or presents information regarding avalanche phenomena, control, and effects;

Organizes and supervises weather data collection and avalanche control missions;

Prepares crew schedules providing for necessary ongoing hazard management; prioritizes and assigns work outside of normal shifts, schedules materials and equipment as needed;

Assigns projects and responsibilities to crew; monitors performance, productivity, and work habits;

Coordinates data transmission with other agencies and mountain passes;

Coordinates and develops plans for control operations;

Supervises construction of snow study plots;

Monitors storm activity and plots avalanche trends;

Supervises the installation and maintenance of all equipment used by an avalanche control team;

May supervise lower level staff.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: principles of weather instrumentation and data gathering; general cause and effect of weather variables and their impact on avalanching; use, handling, firing and storage of ordnance weapons and explosives; cold weather safety and survival techniques; highway maintenance operations; radio equipment operation; techniques of supervision.

Ability to: work effectively under difficult physical and environmental conditions; coordinate activities with other supervisors; ski in difficult terrain with loaded back pack; interpret weather data and maintain records; handle ordnance weapons and explosives with safety and discretion; operate snow vehicles and other heavy equipment.

Legal Requirement(s)

A Washington State Explosives Users License with certification for Avalanche Control must be obtained within the first six months of employment.

A valid driver's license is required. A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Class B, with endorsement H and without air brakes restriction must be obtained within the first six months of employment.

A valid Washington State Explosives User's license is required.

Desirable Qualifications

Two seasons assigned full-time avalanche control technician work, or a Bachelor's degree with major study in a physical science and one season as a full-time avalanche control technician. Must have satisfactorily completed the U.S. Forest Service National Avalanche School and U.S. Army Gunnery School courses. Satisfactory physical condition as indicated by an agency approved physical examination and physical fatigue examination is required. Must be able to ski advanced terrain in heavy snow and adverse weather, making parallel turns while carrying a loaded pack weighing not less than 25 pounds; must be able to work at heights and when suspended by ropes. Must provide personal skis and cold weather clothing.

Class Specification History

New class, replaces 69020 Avalanche Control Supervisor, effective January 1, 2006.
Revise class. General revision; adopted May 10, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.

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