OEC Program

Outdoor Emergency Care Program

The Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) program is the required emergency care standard of training for NSP members, and has been developed to ensure they have the skills to provide the appropriate pre-hospital emergency care to individuals who are injured or become ill during outdoor activities. While primarily directed toward the winter activities of skiing and snowboarding, it is also appropriate for Bike Patrols and similar activities.

Structure

The OEC program has two primary components. Patrollers must first complete the Outdoor Emergency Care course to become certified as OEC Technicians. They must then complete annual Refreshers designed to reinforce the knowledge and skills of one-third of the course curriculum. At the end of each three-year cycle, a patroller’s OEC Technician status will be renewed. Failure to complete all three refreshers within that period will mean that a patroller is no longer certified as an OEC Technician.

The OEC Course

OEC courses are offered by each patrol, taught by other patrollers who are certified as OEC Instructors by the NSP and based on the 6th Edition of the Outdoor Emergency Care textbook. There are no prerequisites, but a candidate must reach the age of 15 by December 31st of the year the course is conducted. Certification requires successfully passing both a written exam and an evaluation of practical skills at the end of the course.

  • Physicians (MD or DO), Nurses (RN or LPN), Physician Assistants, and Nurse Practitioners may “challenge” the OEC class by successfully demonstrating all skills from the Skill Guides and completing the same final written and practical exams as the course students.
  • Previously certified OEC technicians may challenge the course is the same way provided their certification has not been expired for more than one year.
  • Individuals who have the designation of Emergency Medical Technician, Advanced Emergency Medical Technician or Paramedic (NHTSA definitions), all as recognized by and in good standing with the National Registry of EMTs and/or their state EMS regulatory agency, qualify for a “modified challenge”, consisting of the OEC practical evaluation but not the written exam.

OEC Refreshers

Each year, all OEC Technicians must complete an OEC Refresher which reviews one-third of the information and skills of the OEC program. Refreshers are also taught by OEC Instructors based on the 6th Edition of the Outdoor Emergency Care textbook. In most years, there are three components to an OEC refresher:

  1. All OEC Technicians must complete an OEC Refresher Workbook each year developed by the National OEC Refresher Committee. This is normally sent to all patrollers with an issue of Ski Patrol magazine, but it is also available on the “Programs / OEC” page of the NSP website, www.nsp.org.
  2. All OEC Technicians must complete the didactic or information portion of the refresher each year as developed by the National OEC Refresher Committee. In a “traditional” format refresher this will be done along with the “hands on” portion. In a “hybrid” format, this is done through the Online Learning Management System which is available through the “Member Resources / Online Learning” page of the NSP website, www.nsp.org. .
  3. All OEC Technicians must complete a hands-on demonstration of specific skills designated by the National OEC Refresher Committee for that year. Under special circumstances, such as we saw with COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, the skills portion of the OEC refresher may be delayed until the following year.

Notes

All OEC Technicians must complete the OEC refresher each year except new patrollers who completed a full OEC course after May 31st of that year. OEC instructors, including ITs, must also complete a full OEC refresher, as must a patroller who status is “temporarily not patrolling” (previously “inactive”) if they wish to return to “active” status. “Alumni” patrollers must complete each annual refresher if they wish to remain certified as OEC Instructors.

The OEC Refresher Program does not provide a means for a person with previous emergency care or medical training to challenge the OEC course. Additionally, the annual refresher covers a third of the OEC program curriculum requirements and does not meet the requirements for certification under the full OEC program

More information about the OEC program may be found in Chapter 4 and Appendix D of the current NSP Policies and Procedures document. This is available through the “Member Resources / Governance” page of the NSP website www.nsp.org.

Questions? Contact our Region OEC Administrator Ed Thompson.

OEC-IT Listing

Printable Roster

Office/AreaNameContact InfoNotes
OEC-IT Deb Endly
C055 Three Rivers
Home: 952-884-8126
Cell: 612-237-5307
Work:
National OEC
Instructor Development Instructor
OEC-IT Sue Hayes
C140 Welch Village Ski and Snowboard Area
Home: 507-281-5702
Cell: 507-421-0243
Work: 507-255-5921
Division OEC Supervisor
Instructor Development Instructor
OEC-IT Mark Cross
Home:
Cell:
Work:
OEC-IT Bob Iverson
C055 Three Rivers
Home: 763-757-6862
Cell:
Work:
Instructor Development Instructor
OEC-IT Ken Liddell
Home: 651-308-8000
Cell:
Work:
WR OEC Administrator
Instructor Development Instructor
OEC-IT Lisa Borneman
C019 Buck Hill
Home: 612-729-8762
Cell:
Work:
OEC-IT Scott OConnor
C002 Afton Alps Ski Area
Home: 612-584-1876
Cell:
Work:
OEC-IT Jake Meyer
C019 Buck Hill
Home: 651-355-4993
Cell: 612-817-4632
Work:
OEC-IT Mark Monroe
C055 Three Rivers
Home: 763-421-8954
Cell: 763-370-9378
Work: 763-422-4171
Instructor Development Instructor
OEC-IT Michelle Mouser
C098 Buena Vista Ski Area
Home: 218-368-6828
Cell:
Work:
OEC-IT Mike Nies
Home:
Cell:
Work:
OEC-IT Jeff Olsen
C019 Buck Hill
Home: 651-494-0401
Cell: 651-208-8265
Work:
Instructor Development Instructor
OEC-IT Theresa Peters
C151 Coffee Mill Ski & Snowboard Resort
Home: 507-634-4735
Cell: 507-269-6700
Work: 507-266-8121
OEC-IT Jim Ruzicka
C066 Lutsen Mountains
Home: 952-447-5799
Cell: 612-369-5109
Work:
Region Director
Instructor Development Instructor
OEC-IT Dave Schaller
C140 Welch Village Ski and Snowboard Area
Home: 507-280-8279
Cell: 507-261-9240
Work:
OEC-IT John Thomas
Home:
Cell:
Work:
Divison Director
OEC-IT Ed Thompson
C151 Coffee Mill Ski & Snowboard Resort
Home: 507-453-0463
Cell: 507-429-0228
Work:
OEC-IT Brian Ulrich
Home:
Cell:
Work:
OEC-IT Mary Helm
Home:
Cell:
Work:
OEC-IT Jim Hutchison
C197 Ski Gull
Home: 218-839-5529
Cell:
Work:
IT-Candidate
OEC-IT Aaron Hislop
C057 Spirit Mountain
Home: 218-464-1221
Cell:
Work:
OEC-IT MIST Education
Home: 303-988-1111
Cell:
Work:
NSP
OEC-IT Chelsi Low
C140 Welch Village Ski and Snowboard Area
Home:
Cell: 507-993-3559
Work:
OEC-IT Dani Rafn
C066 Lutsen Mountains
Home: 218-830-0365
Cell: 218-830-0365
Work:

Becoming An OEC Instructor

Certification of new instructors in all NSP programs, including OEC, is done through mentoring by experienced instructors. Presented below are the steps for becoming a new OEC instructor, based on the “Roadmap To Becoming An OEC Instructor” document which is available on the Instructor Resources / OEC Instructors tab of the NSP website www.nsp.org.

Requirements

All OEC instructors must be members of the National Ski Patrol who are OEC Technicians, having completed the Outdoor Emergency Care course and the annual OEC Refreshers each year. Your classification may be Patroller, Alpine Patroller, Nordic Patroller, or Alumnus.

Once you have been certified as an OEC Instructor, you are expected to actively teach in your patrol’s OEC course and/or refreshers. You must be observed by an IT teaching at least once within each three-year cycle of certification, and you must complete an OEC Continuing Education clinic within that period.

Before You Begin

Get a copy of the 6th edition of the Outdoor Emergency Care textbook if you don’t already have one. Read it. Read it again, as many times as necessary to become familiar with what it contains. This textbook presents the information and skills you will be teaching in either an OEC class or a refresher, and you can’t teach something you don’t know and understand.

Steps To Become An Instructor

  1. Complete an Instructor Development course

    This can be done as a one-day workshop consisting of academic (didactic) presentations, discussions and practice presentations, or it can be done partially online using information available through the NSP webpage followed by a hands-on demonstration of specific skills. More information is available on the Programs / Instructor Development tab of this Western Region website.

  2. Identify an experienced OEC Instructor to be your mentor

    This is usually a member of your patrol. You will be working closely with him or her throughout this process, so make sure the two of you can work well together. You will discuss such things as

    • the NSP Guide to Mentoring New Instructors which is available on the NSP website www.nsp.org
    • how to create and register courses, and how to close them,
    • how to effectively design and teach lessons using the OEC textbook and online course materials,
    • effective and ineffective teaching strategies
    • problems which may arise while teaching an OEC course or refresher, and how to deal with them
    • how to complete the Instructor Application and the Instructor Trainee Mentoring Completion Form,
    • both of which are available on the Programs / Instructor Development tab of the NSP website www.nsp.org
    • course and teaching resources which are available through the NSP website,
    • the OEC Quality Management program.

  3. Complete the NSP Instructor Application Form

    This is available in the Members / Document Library / General Docs tab of this Western Region website, or Member Resources / Forms and Documents / Education tab of the NSP website www.nsp.org Hold on to this form and give it to the IT who observes your presentation at the end of the mentoring process.

  4. Meet with your mentor and observe other instructors

    Discuss with your mentor such things as what those instructors did well or not so well, different learning styles you observed among the students, methods you could use to engage students, and challenges you might face (experienced teachers and instructors might be able to skip this step).

    Be sure you record the dates you complete each of these steps in the appropriate boxes of the Instructor Trainee Mentoring Completion Form.

  5. Mentor Observation of Trainee

    Prepare some lesson plans, review these with your mentor, and teach at least two lessons for your mentor to evaluate. Use the tools and techniques you learned in your Instructor Development course such as the “six- pack.” Think about what might go wrong and ways to deal with these issues. If possible, practice each lesson a few times to get comfortable with the material and your delivery. After each one, discuss with your mentor how it went and get their feedback.

    Record the dates and topics in the appropriate boxes of the Instructor Trainee Mentoring Completion Form and note if it was successful or unsuccessful. Your mentor may ask you to teach additional practice lessons if necessary, and when they think you are ready they will complete the “Post-observation Conference with Trainee” information and recommend that you be observed by an Instructor Trainer for final approval.

  6. IT Observation of Trainee

    Have your mentor or the IOR of an OEC class arrange for an Instructor Trainer to observe and evaluate your performance as an instructor. You may select any topic from the OEC curriculum and develop a ten- to fifteen-minute presentation which will be observed by your mentor and the IT. This can be part of an OEC course (but not a refresher), or it may be scheduled for a different time.

    Record the date and topic of your presentation in the appropriate boxes of the Instructor Trainee Mentoring Completion Form and note if it was successful or unsuccessful.

    After your presentation, meet with your mentor and the IT to discuss it, and if both of them agree that it was successful you will be recommended for appointment as an instructor. You, your mentor, and the IT will sign in the appropriate places on the Instructor Trainee Mentoring Completion Form and record the date.

    The Instructor Trainer will make sure that your Instructor Application and Instructor Trainee Mentoring Completion Form are complete and accurate, and is responsible for submitting them to the Region OEC Administrator. After review, they will forward them to the Central Division OEC Supervisor who will then instruct the National office to update your records. You should see a change in your member profile within a few weeks.

Notes

Because your instructor application and mentoring are how the NSP trains and certifies new instructors, they take the forms very seriously. Be sure to complete ALL of the parts of the Instructor Application (up to the “IT Evaluation Completed” box) and of the Instructor Trainee Mentoring Completion Form. Missing even a single piece of information on either of those forms can result in your application not being accepted.

Things can go wrong, so it is highly recommended that you keep a copy of both of those forms.

Questions? Contact our Region OEC Administrator Ed Thompson