My OEC (then WEC) course was minimal training at best, maybe 60 hours tops. I have learned tons over the years and am still thankful everyday that I took the course and entered the National Ski Patrol System. My mountain also requires that every patroller take a classroom OEC course, then an on the hill practical course (8 weekends, all weekend) with a second exam at the end. Our refresher is annual, however, our patrol is so small, the majority of us end up teaching it for other patrols that don't have refreshers.
NSP bylaws do not regulate the number of hours that an OEC course must be, nor do they say how long a refresher must be. Fortunately, steps are being taken for better QA/QC of courses and refreshers, as well as continuity in evaluations.
My EMT course, sketchy at best. I've learned a lot over the years. Sorry to sound like a broken record.
I don't feel that OECers should be allowed to be dubbed EMT at the wave of the hand. I had heard rumblings in my division of a bridge course, kind of like when EMT-A's became EMT-Bs, but haven't heard anything recently about it.
One of the things I did think was good with OEC that I wish EMT (at least in WV it's this way) would adopt is the method of the practical exam. With OEC, it's like a real life scenario, you don't know what's going on until you get to the scene. My EMT test, I knew exactly what to expect walking into each room, which I don't feel is very realistic.
Obviously, I was not taught any type of ambulance ops in OEC. That will definitely be a weak point for any OECer who is interested in EMT, unless they run as aides on their local squad (which is what I did for added experience).
One thing I would like to see from both organizations is a meeting of the minds on lingo! We do the same freaking surveys but we HAVE to call them something different. That frustrates me.
Enough rambling, sorry to butt in. I've been doing both for a long time (EMT and OEC that is, not rambling and butting in)
Rather than making this a turf war, why don’t we look at the commonalities between Woofer, OEC and EMT?
As far as I am concerned you should draw a Venn diagram and you will see that large parts of the education and training overlaps. Review the areas that don’t overlap and you will be able to develop some bridge course type education to help transition from one to the other.
The obstacle that I see is that EMT training is regulated at the state level (NREMT is a testing standard and not a practice standard). So finding standards and language that is acceptable to all regulating entities will surly be a big hurdle to overcome.