An accident has occurred and you're in the back country and rescue is hours away, do you have the skills to save your friends life? What Medical Certification Should You Get? | EMT vs. OEC vs. WFR | Unofficial Networks

What Medical Certification Should You Get? | EMT vs. OEC vs. WFR

OEC Course Work

What Medical Certification Should You Get? | EMT vs. OEC vs. WFR

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What Medical Certification Should You Get? | EMT vs. OEC vs. WFR

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patient on backboard

You and your friends are out in the back country for a day of epic powder skiing.  After a couple laps your best friend losses control and hits a tree.  You ski up to him and see his leg is broken at the femur.  Rescue is hours away, do you know what to do to prevent further injury and deal with the effects of blood loss?

There are many different medical certifications that you can get, but which one will suit your needs the best?

EMT-Basic

Emergency Medical Technician

-Curriculum follows National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations guidelines

-110+ Hours of class (CPR required before)

-Areas of Education Include:

  • Basic Anatomy
  • Collecting patient history and baseline vitals
  • Patient assessments: Initial, Physical, and On-going
  • Emergencies: Respiratory, Cardiovascular, Diabetic, Allergic, Poisoning, Environmental, Behavioral, OBGYN
  • Trauma: Bleeding and Shock, Soft tissue, Musculoskeletal, Head and Spine

-EMT-Basic Certification will cost about $1000 and lasts 2 years before a 24 hour refresher course must be taken (about $100)

Outdoor Emergency Care

OEC Course Work

Practicing skills during my OEC course through Snowbird Ski Patrol.

 

-Curriculum put out by National Ski Patrol

-80-100 Hours of Class (Includes CPR)

-Areas of Education are SIMILAR but not as in depth as an EMT-B

  • OEC provides more focus on packaging and transporting patients over varied terrain (Snow, Ice, Rock) to EMT’s and Paramedics

-Some classes spend additional hours working on mountain

  • Working with toboggans
  • Tree-wells and other Mountain Situations

-OEC classes are taught by individual instructors so prices vary.  ($400-$500)

-OEC Certifications last 3 years and require a yearly refresher which can vary in cost. ($100)

Wilderness First Responder

Wilderness First Responder

-Curriculum meets U.S. Coast Guard standards for First Aid and CPR

-80+ Hours of class (Includes CPR)

-As with the OEC, the areas of Education for a WFR are SIMILAR but not as in depth as an EMT-B

  • WFR provides more emphasis on transporting patients over extreme wilderness terrain
  • Improvise medical devices: backboards, splints etc.
  • If transport is not an option, how to treat an injury for hours or days.

-WFR certification pricing is also dependent on who the course is taught through. ($600-$1000)

-Once obtained, a WFR is valid for 3 years and refresher programs cost $200-$300 for an additional 18 hours of training to keep it current for 3 more years.

Typical usage of OEC and WFR certifications are applicable to ski patrol work and various guide jobs.  However many places will accept an EMT-B instead of an OEC or WFR.

***All the information above is a general overview of each certification.  Before applying for any program check all the curriculum to find the best course for your needs***

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