This past fall, one of our staff members, Mariah Summers, took the Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) course at Michigan Tech. The OEC course is required to become a member of the National Ski and Bike Patrol, and was held at a local ski hill, Mont Ripley — which is owned and operated by Michigan Tech. Mariah took the course in order to increase her knowledge and skills to be better prepared for accidents around the Lodge, Copper Harbor, and the Keweenaw.
Mountain biking in Copper Harbor has grown significantly in recent years, as well as winter activities. These types of outdoor activities are full enjoyment, but also have a level of risk where accidents can happen. As such, having individuals certified to help in the case of an accident has become more important for Copper Harbor. Adding to the list of qualified people to help patrol the trails and ensure riders are staying safe while having fun improves the outdoor experience.
The OEC course was 14 weeks and taught the students how to manage and stabilize injured guests in an outdoor environment until they can be transported to a higher level of care. The class consisted of learned skills and scenarios where different injuries were simulated.
After completing the class, students are eligible to join the National Ski and Bike Patrol, under their local patrol. Note: The class is not a recognized level of EMS, however, students are trained to the level of First Responder.
It will also be good to have qualified staff for winter outdoor activities.