Outdoor Emergency Care

Stef Costello, Region OEC Administrator

Outdoor Emergency Care, known best by the acronym OEC, is the baseline medical curriculum that every ski patroller attains when joining National Ski Patrol. The NH Region OEC program oversees the quality, consistency, and continuity of the educational curriculum and its practical application on the slopes of New Hampshire ski areas.

NH Region teaches the full 110-hour OEC course generally during the autumn months, every odd-numbered year. Entry to the course is limited to the first 20 students and often overfills ten months in advance. The best strategy for getting a spot in the course is to contact your local resort Patrol Director and become a candidate patroller during the ski season. Many member patrols teach their own OEC courses during the even-numbered years. If you want to patrol, contact the NH Region OEC Administrator and the best time to do that is in the spring to be ready for the next ski season. 

For existing medical professionals, such as EMT’s, Nurses and Physicians, NH Region holds OEC Challenge Exams. Medical professionals are required to attend orientation sessions to qualify for the challenge. Contact your local PD or EMAIL the Region OEC Administrator directly.

Patrollers looking to becoming an OEC Instructor often ask about the “mentoring” process.   National Ski Patrol has refined the process over the last twenty years.  Mentoring typically takes a committed patroller one full season of work to make it through all the steps.  Check out this “Instructor Mentoring Roadmap” to see all the steps involved and contact the Regional OEC Administrator to start the process.

OEC Module for the Senior Program

Phil Manseau, Senior Training Coordinator

or Enhancing the skills of Decision Making, Problem Management and Leadership

OEC Module of the SENIOR PROGRAM is a nation wide educational training program designed to helps existing NSP members develop management skills to aid in the performance of their duties. Completing this training is one component of the multiple components required to attain the level of Senior Patroller, or full SENIOR status as Senior Alpine Patroller, or Senior Nordic Patroller.

National Ski Patrol’s “Senior Alpine Program” is designed for members who aspire to perform at the upper levels of skiing/snowboarding, emergency care proficiency, toboggan handling and other skills used while patrolling. In addition, the program prepares patrollers for leadership roles within the NSP. Similarly, the “Senior Nordic Program” prepares patrollers specializing in nordic oriented activities. Patrollers who concentrate their focus on emergency medical management activities use the OEC Module of the Senior Program to move onward toward leadership roles.

The Senior OEC Program is a national education opportunity that allows members to participate in ski patrol-relevant exercises that are designed to develop and enhance the skills of “Decision Making, Problem Management, and Leadership” as applied to managing complex emergency care situations in a typical ski patrol environment. The purpose is to build-on but not duplicate the Outdoor Emergency Care Program. Senior level OEC training provides an opportunity for senior candidates to gain new and different perspectives on their own style of leadership in more challenging emergency medical situations.

Training is an essential part of the program. Senior candidates are expected to spend a significant amount of time reviewing senior criteria and using the required knowledge and skills to practice scenarios on challenging, senior level terrain under various conditions in the patrolling environment. Senior candidates are encouraged to take advantage of clinics in which they receive constructive and corrective feedback on their performance.

What are the training requirements to be accepted for Senior OEC Examination?
Senior OEC candidates typically prepare for examination all season long.  The Senior OEC events can be found spread out over the entire ski season, providing many choices for accomplishing the list of requirement:

  1. Review basic OEC and CPR skills using the  NSP Senior OEC Skills Checkoff form.
  2. Submit written answers to a choice of any two open-ended practice scenario problems found in the NSP Senior OEC Scenario Scoring Matrix download.
  3. Create your own Senior level OEC scenario using the matrix and submit it in written form.
  4. Attend Senior OEC “On-Snow” scenario practice clinics and satisfactorily pass four, with signatures from Trainer-Evaluator level Instructors.
  5. Petition to attend the Senior OEC PRE-Exam.  All written applications and the above forms must be submitted on Pre-Exam day.
Does NH Region offer additional optional Senior OEC training?
Since the Senior OEC exam is designed to simulate challenging multi-patient, multi-injury scenarios — it is often known as a “pressure cooker” exam.  NH Region offers a Senior OEC PRE-COURSE that delves into stress mitigation and management techniques.  Students are taught how the decision-making brain is affected by elevated stress levels and practice techniques to overcome negative effects.  However, since stress management is a skill that needs development, practice sessions are scheduled weekly every February, as nurturing indoor Senior OEC training sessions.  Look for these optional events on the Senior OEC Calendar.
Am I required to attend the Senior OEC PRE-Exam?
Yes, the pre-Exam is not optional.  It is a great practics session for shaking out the butterflies and learning the format.  NH Region has found statistically that candidate chances plummet when they skip the pre-exam, so skipping is no longer an option.
How is the Exam graded?
The training opportunities offered by the Senior OEC Staff are designed to explore the FOURTEEN grading elements that represent a passing score.  Work with your local Senior OEC TRAINER-EVALUATOR to develop your skills at:

  1. Decision Making
    1. Problem Assessment
    2. Patient Assessment
    3. Appropriate Prioritization
    4. Insures Overall Safety
  2. Problem Management
    1. Plan of Action
    2. Anticipation
    3. Resource Management — People and Equipment
    4. OEC Skill Performance
    5. Transportation
  3. Leadership
    1. Communication with Patient, Helpers, Bystanders
    2. Attitude
    3. Ability to Direct
    4. Confidence
    5. Team Interaction

OEC Skill Performance is just one of the five grades associated with Problem Management.  All participants are licenced OEC Technicians and expected to perform at grade level.  Whenever in doubt, remember the Hippocratic golden rule, “Do no harm” in the performance of your duties.  This is a central tenant in this program, as you train with the staff, you will learn the importance of all fourteen graded elements.

Exam Day is why candidates work hard to personalize a training program for themselves.
NH Region schedules the Senior OEX Exam on the second Sunday of March.  The exam is only given once per season and candidates are required to take it within the region of their NSP membership.  Most patrollers training for Senior OEC concentrate only on OEC training during the season.  The other Senior disceplines, such as Nordic and Outdoor Emergency Transportation often require as high a dedication to their style of training, that most patrollers progess from one to the next over multiple winter seasons.
Find and contact the closest Senior OEC Trainer-Evaluator -- possibly at your local mountain...

Senior OEC Module Staff

The NH Region Senior OEC Staff is available to answer questions and help customize training programs.
NH RegionSenior OEC Staff
Sr OEC Training CoordinatorPhil Manseau, Pat's Peak Email
Sr OEC T-EPete Kaufmann, Crotchet Email
Sr OEC T-EPaul Gangi, Crotchet Email
Sr OEC T-EClay Caddy, McIntyre Email
Sr OEC T-EGordon Carlstrom Email
Sr OEC T-ELee Murphy, Ragged Mtn. Email
Sr OEC T-ECarl Chaplin, Mt. Sunapee Email
Sr OEC T-EGregor Trinkaus-Randall, Crotchet Email
Sr OEC T-EMatt Fulton, Dartmouth Email
Sr OEC T-EDavid Aibel, Black Mtn. Email
Sr OEC T-EKim Baker, Ragged Mtn. Email
Sr OEC T-EDeb Brown, Ragged Mtn. Email
Sr OEC T-EWalter Hoeckele, Ragged Mtn. Email
Sr OEC T-EAlan McCartney, Crotchet Email
Sr OEC T-EBob Wright, Pat's Peak Email
Sr OEC T-E0rest 0har, Ragged Mtn. Email

Monthly Calendar

Senior OEC Events

Senior OEC

Event Registration

Improvement Feedback

OEC Questionnaire