Outdoor Emergency Transportation

Don Messier, Region OET Staff Supervisor

Outdoor Emergency Transportation (OET) is the new name for the old Ski and Toboggan program. The department maintains a large staff to manage four primary programs:

  1. Toboggan Enhancement Seminars
  2. Skiing Enhancement Seminars
  3. Senior OET Training and Examination
  4. Instructor Training and Continuing Ed

Toboggan Enhancement Seminars are open to all levels of ski/snowboarding ability. The primary goal is to offer events across NH that offer a safe and nurturing environment where individual patrollers seeking to improve their skills receive guided practice and coaching. Multiple Toboggan based events are available, check the monthly calendar for seminars scheduled close to your local mountain.

Skiing Enhancement is only scheduled once per season, typically on the last Sunday of January at Waterville Valley. This event is coached by Kathy Brennen, the Examiner Development Coach for the Eastern Division of the Professional Ski Instructors Association (PSIA). All levels of ability are welcome, Kathy has a way of integrating learning for a group of 10 students into a very individualized fashion. The day is spent on mostly blue and green trails, practicing the mechanics of efficient skiing. Everybody walks away with improvements and breakthroughs.

Senior OET training is the largest of the OET programs. It revolves around multiple clinical opportunities around NH, including small ski areas, as well as the big resorts. Achieving Senior level toboggan handling and snowboarding/skiing criteria become the goal. A large contingent of NH Region OET staff members attend the clinics to lower the student to coach ratio. Senior Candidates have an opportunity to receive personalized attention from multiple trainers over the season. The examination is held on the first Sunday of March.

NH Region OET is also charged with managing the development and continuing education of all the OET Instructors spread out across the state. The local OET Instructors are required to upgrade their teaching skills, improve their performance skills and attend various Continuing Ed modules. NH Region OET often schedules several events per season for both new and refreshing Instructors.

Most of the events are deliberately scheduled around the state to provide student convenience. Check out the calendar and the Course Registration page for event availability. The OET Staff is always available to Patrol Directors who might need a customized course to meet specific local needs. Feel free to contact the Regional OET Supervisor to discuss customizing a course.

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Senior OET Program

What are Senior Candidate's requirements to qualify for the Senior OET Exam?
Attend a minimum of one Senior OET Clinic to review the grading performance criteria. Submit a Senior Program Application form signed by your local PD and attend the Senior OET Pre-Test one week before the official exam.

What is the typical training commitment for successfully passing the Senior OET Exam?
The bulk of Senior training can often be done as an independent study. The OET Trainer-Evaluators (T-E’s) on-staff are available to advise students along the way. Most Senior Candidates find that it is beneficial to attend more that one of the clinics. The primary benefit this creates is to expose students to multiple different T-E’s. Many T-E’s have different ways of coaching, some performance breakthroughs are only possible when skills are coached from multiple different approaches. Most Senior Candidates attend more than 50% of the scheduled clinics when training for the Senior OET Exam.

What is the best way to find out about the details of becoming a Senior OET Candidate?
Every year, both the OEC and the OET programs host an evening of information about applying for the Senior Program. It is typically held at McIntyre Ski Area in Manchester just prior to Thanksgiving. Check out the OET Event Registration page, Senior Info night is typically the first Senior event on the list.

Do I really need to attend the Senior OET Pre-Test?
Yes, the Senior OET Pre-Test is required. This is your last opportunity to receive coaching from the staff T-E’s. You will receive a realistic critique of your performance against the Senior standard. This is your best opportunity to receive a final assessment for last minute training. Those who are not performing at the Senior criteria will not be able to secure a spot at the Senior OET Exam.

After I pass the Senior OET Exam, am I considered a Senior Alpine Patroller?
No. Becoming a Senior Alpine Patroller requires passing the Senior OEC exam AND collecting a minimum of three NSP educational electives. Many Senior Candidates work on the most difficult aspects of becoming a Senior first and are often planning on taking electives last. Furthermore, the Senior OET Exam is actually considered to be two separate exams given on the same day. Many Candidates succeed at the Snowboarding/Skiing portion but fail the Toboggan Handling part — or vice-versa. Many Senior Candidates are required to return the following year to complete the second part of the exam.

Find and contact the closest Senior OET Trainer-Evaluator -- possibly from your local mountain...

Senior Outdoor Emergency Transportation Staff

The NH Region Senior OET Staff is available to answer questions and help customize training programs.
NH RegionOET Staff  
Sr OET SupervisorDon Messier, Waterville Email
Sr OET T-EEd Berry, Pat's Peak Email
Sr OET T-E0rest 0har, Ragged Mtn. Email
Sr OET T-EPaul Kelly, Ragged Mtn. Email
Sr OET T-ESue Kelly, Ragged Mtn. Email
Sr OET T-EDeb Brown, Ragged Mtn. Email
Sr OET T-ELisa Kling, Ragged Mtn. Email
Sr OET T-EJake Jacobson, King Pine Email
Sr OET T-EJeff Hayes, Waterville Email
Sr OET T-EGregor Trinkaus-Randall, Crotchet Email
Sr OET T-EKaren Keane, Dartmouth Email
Sr OET T-EPhil Manseau, Pat's Peak Email
Sr OET T-EMike Techiera, Loon Mtn. Email
Sr OET T-EMike Webber, Loon Mtn. Email
Regional OET InstuctorJohn Riley, Pat's Peak Email
Regional OET InstuctorWalter Hoeckle, Ragged Mtn. Email
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...Becoming an OET Instructor (formally ATI)

Do I need to be a Senior Patroller to apply for OET Instructor?
No. An OET Instructor is about becoming the best teacher and coach possible. You still need to be able to perform the skill maneuvers at the proper performance level, but most of your training will revolve around teaching.

What are the prerequisites before I can begin mentoring?
Every trainee is required to submit an application form sponsored by their local PD along with a signed Mentoring form from the NH Region Instructor Development staff. Instructor Development is an all-day course that lays the foundation for becoming an Instructor. Check out the course offering available from the ID department.

What is the mentoring process like?
Mentoring often takes longer that one season for most aspiring OET Instructors. Teaching alongside mentors allows Trainees to model their own teaching against the performance standard of other Instructors. During this time, Trainees are required to develop lessons for every performance criteria in the Toboggan Handling and Patroller Skills CPI list.

OET teaches all lessons in progression 15-minute in length, strung together to teach students all required skills. Learning how to teach this effectively often takes enough time to be able to cover the entire OET curriculum. Your Mentors will decide after several teaching evaluations when you have mastered the curriculum and can instruct at the required performance level. When you are ready, you will get to perform several randomly chosen lessons in front of an Instructor Trainer who had no involvement in your mentoring.

Is there a test for becoming an OET Instructor?
It is officially referred to as a Trainee’s “Final Observation.” Certifying an Instructor Appointment is officially not a test. It can be requested on an individualized basis by your Mentor. However, in NH Region, most OET Trainees are not ready to teach their Final Observation until late March.

NH Region OET schedules an annual “OET Final Observation” on the third Saturday of March. This gives trainees a goal to work towards as they prepare to show the lessons they’ve created.

What is the best type of preparation for making it to a Final Observation?
Managing your Mentors to get the most out of them is key! Don’t wait around for your mentor to create a training program. Do it yourself. Manage the mentors available so that they teach you, observe you, and constantly evaluate your teaching performance with constructive immediate feedback. Watching Mentors teach and then teaching others under the watchful eye of experienced Mentors is the only way to become successful at a Final Observation session.

How can I find a qualified Mentor?
The easiest way to find mentors, because you should seek out more than one, is to contact members of the NH Region OET Staff. In a section found above is a directory of all available staffers. Look for Instructors that might patrol at your local mountain. The Region OET Staff members are dedicated to helping in all aspects of OET training. They receive regular continuing education on toboggan handling and patroller skills, they teach at Senior Clinics and Enhancement Seminars. You are welcome to join them at the regional events as an observer. Most Mentors will begin assigning you small lessons to teach on day one. Being exposed to lessons being taught by others as well as yourself is the only way to prepare for becoming an instructor.

Once I am appointed as an OET Instructor, do I need to return for refreshers and Continuing Ed?
Absolutely. Every NSP Instructor is required to attend a Toboggan Trainer’s Workshop once every three years. The workshop is a combination of Lesson Planning and teaching performance rolled up into one long day of activities. In addition to the OET teaching performance, the workshop includes ID Continuing Ed credits for lesson planning and Positive Immediate Student Feedback. Every NSP Instructor is required to obtain CE credits from the ID department.

Lastly, for Quality Assurance purposes, every OET Instructor must be re-observed by an IT while teaching a minimum of one lesson in three years. Once you become an NSP Instructor, it is best to teach as an IOR or at least appear as an Assisting Instructor on multiple courses per three-year time frame. This provides you with a track record of teaching, which NSP will be tracking in the new computer database.

Monthly Calendar

Senior OET Events

Senior OET

Event Registration

Improvement Feedback

OET Questionnaire