Depending on your background, you may be able to waive the OEC course requirement. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, and EMT’s may not require this course. However, emergency care that is rendered on the side of a snow-covered mountain has unique challenges as compared to care rendered in a hospital or a few steps away from an ambulance. We have found that health care professionals are more successful at completing the candidate year if they take the OEC course. We would be happy to discuss this with you and create an individual plan of study. The OEC class is approximately 80-100 hours of classroom training with additional study outside of class. There is a written and a practical evaluation at the end of the class.
On the Hill Training
After passing the OEC class
evaluation, you are now competent to treat fake patients dressed in street
clothes, who are on a rug inside a warm and dry classroom, according to
generic protocols for most ski resorts. In December/January of your second
season, you will learn to perform emergency care to specific Bear Valley
protocols on patients dressed in ski/board clothing in an outdoor winter
environment (cold/snow/rain). In the 2007-2008 season, there were dryland
classes held in Milpitas two Sundays in November/December. Then, eight
more half-days of training are scheduled for training on the snow at Bear
Valley during December/January with a final evaluation in February.
Many candidates pass these
tests on their first try, but some do not. Not passing doesn't mean that
you fail or that you wash out as a patroller. It just means that you have
more work to do. Once you pass the final test, you are trained in that
specific discipline. For example, if you pass the OEC test but not the
OET test, you can practice your ski and toboggan skills and retest OET
the following season. If you don't finish in one calendar year, you will
likely finish toward the end of the second season.
Still Not Done
Once you pass the three tests (Transport, First Aid and On the Hill) you can wear the red jacket and can treat injured skiers and boarders, but only under the supervision of an experienced patroller. You won't be turned loose on your own until we have observed you leading the treatment of three patients.