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Ok, I am looking for some help from my fellow buzzards...

I am currently enrolled in an EMT-B course through Colorado Mountain College set to begin next week. I know I need additional medical training with all the outdoor activities I do, but the real reason for the course is that I want to get into kayak instruction/ski patrol.

Unfortunately back in a previous life I was convicted of a felony drug possesion, and I am currently in the process of having it expunged. However, the EMT-B course requires a background check be done in the first 2 weeks of class, and it's looking like I might not have the expungement done in time.

My question is, what advantages does having an EMT-B certification have for working in the outdoor industry, or should I just withdrawl and put my refund towards WFR? If so, any recommendations on who I should take it through?

Thanks
 

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Ok, I am looking for some help from my fellow buzzards.
My question is, what advantages does having an EMT-B certification have for working in the outdoor industry, or should I just withdrawl and put my refund towards WFR?
Thanks
I would suggest the WFR. The EMT-B is a good course if you plan to get into the emergency services field. However, for the outdoors, many of the techniques need to be adjusted to account for the potential long delays until the patient reaches definitive care. In addition, the skills of an EMT tend to be use-it-or-lose-it techniques. If you aren't planning to function on a regular basis as an EMT, many of your skills will fall off quickly. The wilderness first responder seems more appropriate to your application.
 

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Ski patrols don't recognize WFR. If you're really trying to patrol, get the EMT. I'd imagine that CMC would let you take the course regardless of your background. Being certified by the state of CO is another matter, but not until the end of the course. The EMT course is an actual serious medical course, if you're just running around in the woods with your buddies, go WFR - you'll get more out of it. If you need it for a job, definitely EMT.
Joe
 

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Ski patrols don't recognize WFR. If you're really trying to patrol, get the EMT. I'd imagine that CMC would let you take the course regardless of your background. Being certified by the state of CO is another matter, but not until the end of the course. The EMT course is an actual serious medical course, if you're just running around in the woods with your buddies, go WFR - you'll get more out of it. If you need it for a job, definitely EMT.
Joe
Cass, the head of ski patrol at Monarch said WFR is their minimum, but EMT training is looked at favorably.
CMC requires a background check be completed within 2 weeks of the course beginning - and I don't think my expungement will be completed by then, @ $900 with tuition and fees I am leaning toward getting my refund while I can and going WFR this year...

It seems like WFR would be more appropriate for ski patrol and kayak instructor, since you would have to deal with injuries in backcountry situations, as opposed to on an ambulance with all the appropriate equipment...
 

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hey logan, i have had a wfr for 10 years now and quite satisfied with it. have guided rafts, snowmobiles and safety kayaked many places and it is exceptable and looked at favorable. i have heard that many resorts won't except wfr for ski patrol, monarch being the exception. don't know if that helps.
 

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hey logan, i have had a wfr for 10 years now and quite satisfied with it. have guided rafts, snowmobiles and safety kayaked many places and it is exceptable and looked at favorable. i have heard that many resorts won't except wfr for ski patrol, monarch being the exception. don't know if that helps.
It does, thanks! Who did you take yours through? I'm looking at NOLS/WMI, and a few others online, but would like some suggestions :confused:
 

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originally took mine through cmc, not very good, since then i took one with wmi and definitely recommend going through them. i almost took the emt class that you are talking about but could not make room ini my schedule and several emt friends suggested against it if not going to be working on ambulance. kind of like jckeck said, use or lose.
 

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you need to check w/ emt national registry about your history. I'm pretty sure cmc won't care, its the national registry test you take at the end that you'll be concerned with. once you pass the national registry than you apply w/ the state you want to work in. I passed the national registry but never did anything mine. Just wanted it for the resume.
 

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I'm an RN that worked in the outdoor industry for 20 years. Unless you are thinking of working pro ski patrol I can't think of a typical outdoor job that would require an EMT over a WFR. Employment aside, the WFR is much more appropriate for wilderbum types. The EMT course emphasizes using lots of equipment that you won't have (O2 and such). WMI does a great job and is highly recommended.
 

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EMT is a buttload of work,and you gotta recertify in 3yrs--flys by way to fast. Lots of hours in the classroom and Practicals,seemed like the whole semester was devoted to that class. Not just class time but spare time....so much reading and studying for those final tests. That National test is a doozy...

Worth it though. I came close to using my skillz once.
Never hurts.
 

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I almost never recommend this, but you should be doing OEC. This gives you the best certification for a ski patrol resume without the background check of EMT. It's enough to get on with virtually any patrol, volly or pro, although less desirable than EMT by some pro patrols.

I'm shocked that Monarch would take WFR as their basic cert level. I think very highly of the WFR program, but it is not a professional certification suitable for ski patrols. There's enough lacking in EMT and OEC! WFR is great for advanced recreationalists, backcountry guides, SAR, etc.

OEC is more respected by patrol than WFR by far. Outside of ski patrol, OEC is regarded as a little more than than a WFR. The outdoor industry will be happy with WFR or OEC. They'd rather see those than an EMT. Of course, they'd probably like a WEMT, but extremely few operations place much weight on having a WEMT.

I think that CMC Timberline teaches OEC. You should definitely take OEC if you can. Take this recommendation seriously. I haven't recommended an OEC in lieu of a WFR or EMT to anyone in years.

(for the record I help instruct WFR, EMT, and WEMT classes for CMC)
 

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I gotta go with SummitAP on this one. OEC is your best option if you want to patrol, but keep in mind many patrols require either a basic or advanced level of competancy due to their authority. Some of the larger resorts even have paramedic patrollers. That said some resorts are only OEC and therefore it makes no difference if you have your EMT or not. It that is the case you will have to challenge the OEC test and drop down. Think about where you want to patrol and then decide what level you should shoot for...

Good Luck!
 

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I took WFR and EMT Basic at SOLO, NH = WEMT. I remember the WFR is more information, and more protocols, and the EMT-B being mostly about decision making (should I stay or should I drive them in now?) and proper packaging. I do not agree that it was a buttload of work, or that it was at all hard. I took them both in a month residency program. The downside of the EMT is that, once you are certified, you are locked in to protocols that might keep you from performing a different standard of care. e.g. - you can perform an emergency tracheostomy, and be legally defensible under good samaritan laws; but not if you are an EMT. not a likely situation.
 

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What you should also look at is the OEC (outdoor emergency care). It's sorta like a Wilderness EMT course. I was talking to some ski patrollers today and they were telling me to get that or the EMT.

I am actually in the same decision process you are in right now. I'm signed up to take my EMT-B through Front Range CC this spring, but was wondering the same questions about if it would work for guiding and patrolling. I'm still going to get my EMT-B since I'm set to go in that, and will look to get some work in that field. But I'm going to keep working for my outdoor cert's and get into the field.

Good luck to ya in whatever you decide though.
 

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I took a WEMT class from WMI. It was a month long and was a lot of work. I took the class for a few reasons. 1) I want to make more money raft guiding and 2) possibly ski patrol. 3) I wanted to further my medical knowledge to posibly go back for a nurseing degree someday. I did not make more money from guideing but i did get a patrol job (take my NSP test in two weeks) and gained alot of medical knowledge.

When i started patroling as a cadet, i was able to wear the cross because i was an EMT. some other cadetes can not b/c they are not EMTS. Also i am taking a OEC bridge class b/c NSP (i think) only reconizes OEC (could be wrong here, but i am having to get my OEC for some reason.)

i am pretty sure that they do the back ground check for the national reg. They make an account for you early on for record keeping. My teachers checked stuff off through out the course using the National Reg website.

hope this helps some.
 

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There is no background check for national registry. States like CO do background checks for the state registry. The reason his school (CMC) does a background check is that as part of your EMT class, you will do clinical rotations with ambulances and hospitals. Those entities require the background check. OEC and WFR have no clinical rotations.

OEC is only required for NSP volunteers or if a particular hill wants OEC no matter what else you have (eg Loveland). Otherwise OEC and EMT are generally equally accepted though some hills require EMT be acquired after one year (eg Vail Resorts) and some require EMT no matter what (eg Copper).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all the comments and advice everyone, especially SummitAP...I will look into the OEC this evening.
 

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Ok, the CMC OEC course starts Monday and is Monday, Wednesday, Friday - from 1-3pm. Which I can't do and still work...I am having trouble finding any up-to-date information about anyone else offering the course.
Any ideas for an OEC educator?
 

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Try calling the Ski Patrol's of various mountains. Since they are the main users of it they often also have certified instructors. I took my OEC with Vail Ski patrollers who also were raft guides at Timberline Tours. As said before most people outside of Ski Patrol have no idea what OEC is, some places I have guided don't recognize it as an equivalent to a WFR.
 
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