Forrest Philpot

I hope you’re doing well and apologies if this is your first official communication, we tried to call and touch base with as many people as we could. Thank you also for your patience during this difficult time; the loss of Forrest on August 9th still weighs heavy on my heart as I know it does for you all. We have worked hard to pull together details on some of the follow up that we hope will help everyone begin to heal.

Forrest Memorial Fund

In the past weeks we have been trying to help Megan, June, and Edie as much as we can and are happy to report that the Epic Promise Foundation has pushed through an emergency relief grant for more immediate needs, which we are hoping will get the final approval early this week. We also know that there are many people who would like to contribute as well, so we have set up a dedicated account through the Northstar Avalanche Rescue Dogs 501C3. Below are the ways to donate:

  • Mail checks to the treasurer of our non-profit, make checks out to “NSNSP” with the Memo of “Patroller Relief Fund – Forrest”

Karen Trolan

Attn: Northstar Avy Dogs

PO Box 412

Los Gatos, CA 95031

  • For smaller amounts up to $500 you can use the Dog Fund PayPal account: Forrest Memorial Fund . There are constrictions to the total amount we can push through PayPal and it is a business account that will charge 2.5%. If possible, check is preferred.
  • If you bank with Wells Fargo, you can make a Zelle transfer using the acct number: 6454888840. Unfortunately, because it is a business acct they do not accept outside bank transfers.

Celebration of Life

We have also been getting a lot of questions regarding a celebration of life, and while nothing is set in stone yet we are tentatively planning on doing a bonfire gathering on October 24th at Boca Springs Campground. We will have music, food, skis to burn, and plenty of room for people to camp out. Due to COVID concerns and fire bans things might change in this uncertain time, so keep this date in mind but please wait for further confirmation. Having a fire is very important to Megan and to us, and we just need to make sure that conditions permit. Sometime this winter we will also be doing a 21 bomb salute, and Megan along with a small group of friends are going to hike out to Philpot Peak and spread his ashes. Dates for that will depend on conditions.

Photo Album

Help us gather all the Pho Photos you have! We know there are a ton of great memories out there and we’d like to get them collected in one place for friends and family to enjoy. Upload them to this shared google album:

Please reach out any time with questions, concerns, and feel free to forward this email.

Pho’s legacy will live on through us,

Kolina Coe

OEC Cycle A Refresher 2020


All NSP Patrollers are required to be current with OEC and refresh every year.

This is especially important as we have made the transition to OEC 6.

This year due to COVID for Cycle A, there is no on hill practical  refresher  but you must complete the Online Cycle A to remain in good standing with NSP and our Patrol.

Since we provided CPR last year at our refresher, the majority of you are in the 2 year cycle.

If not, you are responsible to maintain and provide a copy of your updated ( CPR AHA card) to Karen prior to the start of the season 11/15/2020.

Mike Krueger is responsible for the Cycle A portion of the 2020 Refresher and Karen Trolan will handle registration instructions at a later date.

Please see Mikes instructions below:

Log into the website, sign in, click on “Course Schedule

Under Course number  enter F073200006  and click “Find.”  When the course appears, make sure Mike Krueger is the IOR, Begin Date is 08/05/2020,.

Then click on the “Course Title” (in blue).

Click on “Register Myself,” and then “Submit“.

 When you see the “OEC Refresher A” page, select “Proceed to Checkout”.  At the Shopping Cart select “Submit Order” You will be sent to the order confirmation page. No need to send a copy to me. As IOR I I will get confirmation of your enrollment.  You will also receive a confirmation email to the address you have on file with NSP.  Please keep this confirmation email for your records.

Once you have registered for the class you can then take the Cycle A online learning program.

 Go to member resources and click on Online learning.

“Click here to enter the online learning management system”.

At theWelcome to NSP online coursesclick on Courses. Under explore courses click on 2020 OEC Refresher A – Online Module & Workbook exercises.

When you complete the course email Mike Krueger,  a copy of your  certificate of completion. We must maintain these on file and you cannot patrol without a completed certificate.


If you have any questions, please contact Mike Krueger directly.


OEC Instructors OEC 6 update

As you all know already, we are starting the transition to a new OEC curriculum, OEC 6th Edition.  In order to keep all the instructors on the same page, literally and figuratively, National has mandated that all current OEC instructors go attend two classes.  The first being the OEC 6e Navigator course that some of you have already attended and the second being the OEC 6e Instructor Rollout which has not yet been scheduled.

To attend the Navigator course you will need to pre-register for one of the sessions being put on by JBL, the publisher of the OEC 6e text book.  To register go to  Unfortunately, most of the sessions have so far been scheduled in Eastern time zone so they are not ideal for those of us in Pacific time.  They have said they are going to schedule some for our coast but I do not know how successful or often they will do that.  It has also been suggested that JBL will be changing the training sessions once the OEC 6e comes out to focus more on the OEC content rather than examples from another EMT class.  I appreciate all the emails I have received indicating which session you intend to attend but I really need to track which session was actually attended.  If you already sent me an email, please confirm that you were able to attend as planned.  

The Instructor Rollout course will be an NSP course with a registration like everyone is used to using through the NSP website.  All Far West Division instructors must register for the course F057200016 to receive credit for the Instructor Rollout.  Additionally, when you complete the course requirements, please email the certificate of completion to me so that I can have a tally of the ESR instructors.  The course registration is already open, but we do not have a date for when the class will actually be available or exactly how it will be taught.  We should have more information coming to us in the next couple weeks.  Hopefully this is where we will learn the content differences between OEC 5 and OEC 6 rather than the organizational differences that we have seen so far.

Thank you all for working through this.  I know there are a lot of steps and still quite a bit of uncertainty but we will make it through and hopefully all get a boost in our teaching capabilities.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to get you an answer.

Zach Bohard

Eastern Sierra Region OEC

NSP 2020 Cycle A Refresher

The 2020 OEC Cycle A Refresher minimum requirement will consist of completion of the OEC Refresher Workbook and completion of the OEC 2020 Cycle A Refresher Training online portion only.

QA will be completed by the assigned Instructor Trainer (IT) by verification of review of the certificates issued upon successful completion of the online modules.

Registration for OEC 2020 Cycle A Refresher will be as it has been for the past years and everyone taking the online module must also register/enroll in the OEC 2020 Cycle A Refresher.

The OEC 2020 Skills performance (hands-on skills) will be integrated into the OEC 2021 Cycle B refresher.

However, all OEC technicians are encouraged to continue to review and practice the skills outlined in the OEC 2020 Refresher workbook during the season or prior to the season as allowed. Completing any additional training is not part of the Cycle A refresher.  

The National OEC Committee strongly recommends that patrols do not try and complete face to face refreshers during the upcoming refresher cycle.



NSP leaders monitoring COVID-19 situation

NSP staff is working with the NSP Board, NSP Medical Advisor, and members of the OEC, Refresher and Medical committees along with the Bike Task Force to monitor the rapidly changing situation, along with local and national recommendations and guidance. This group is working to provide general direction for NSP members and patrols going forward with the goal of keeping our members and the people they serve safe and healthy.

NSP asks members and patrols to first consult direction and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization and American Heart Association (links and resources below). NSP direction and guidance will not contradict or override any direction from these organizations, or any state and local restrictions and regulations.

We encourage patrol directors to maintain ongoing communication with their area management, EMS and local health authorities. Many issues will need mutual discussion and agreement, from the structure and arrangement of patrol huts, to supplies and use of PPE, to transporting injured patients.

2020 Refresher Cycle A

The National OEC Committee, with input from the OEC Refresher Committee, will be making a recommendation to the National Board of Directors to set a minimum requirement for OEC Refresher Cycle A 2020. The recommendation involves use of the refresher workbook and online learning platform for the knowledge based objectives and review of some of the more important OEC 6 skills. The hands on portion of the OEC Refresher Cycle A 2020 skill objectives will be included in the OEC Cycle B 2021 refresher. The instructors guide for both the OEC Cycle A hybrid and traditional refresher will be published for those patrols or classes that can safely perform a 2020 refresher class if they so choose. Final direction will be provided after the annual Board meeting on June 13.

OEC Courses

The conditions for teaching OEC courses will vary greatly by location, but in general, determining whether and how to teach a course should be determined in compliance with local directives and consultation with local officials.

If a course location and number of participants easily lends itself to appropriate social distancing, patrols may proceed with teaching courses. However, they should continue to monitor teachers and students for symptoms and continue to comply with local directives and guidance.

Additional guidance will be provided as it is developed.

Bike Patrols

Many bike areas are opening, and bike patrollers are working in a variety of settings. NSP is evaluating the evolving situation on the ground to provide guidance and direction to keep bike patrollers safe and prepared to serve.

In addition to complying with local directives, bike patrollers should take common sense precautions to keep themselves and those they serve safe and healthy. These precautions include wearing a mask and glasses or other face coverings. Bike patrollers should also carry masks they can provide to a patient on scene. NSP also recommends that bike patrollers carry hand sanitizer along with any PPE provided or recommended by their area.

As a patroller approaches an accident scene, NSP recommends that the initial assessment should be performed at a distance of at least six feet. At this distance, the patroller should also put on any additional PPE and inquire of MOI & NOI along with any risk of airborne infection.

Hope everyone is well


Patrol Update 4/21

Northstar Patrol Team

As some of you have heard I’ve accepted a new role at Northstar as our Senior Manager of Snow Surfaces. In this role I’ll have oversight over Snowmaking, Grooming, Terrain Parks and summer construction projects. The decision to move on from patrol after 20 years was certainly not an easy one but it feels like the right time to open a new chapter in my mountain operations career. As our scheduled closing day passed this last weekend I found myself reminiscing of how good the spring skiing can be in the Sierras and how I wish that we all were closing out a season together. Kurt will continue to be your point of contact for patrol matters and when the time comes for us to get back to work I won’t be a stranger. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with this team over the years and have created a number of relationships that will last a lifetime. I hope that many of you will find the satisfaction from patrolling that I have found over the years, it may just be the best job on the planet.

Forrest Philpot

Sr Manager Snow Surfaces Northstar California Resort

Direct Line: 530.562.3285

Patrol Update 4/13

Hope everyone is doing well.

We have had many requests regarding access to the YURT and Locker room to pickup equipment.

At this  time NO ACCESS IS PERMITTED. Please be compliant with this request and we will provide more updates as the situation changes.

Patrol Chatter

It seems a little unusual in sending out a weekly chatter note based on everything that is going on and I apologize if you take exception.

We are a Team that has suddenly been separated from each other with no closure or the ability to share our thoughts, concerns, and fears about the current COVID 19 situation. It can affect us all of us in different ways, financially, emotionally or even a health risk.

We need to communicate and see how as Team members we may be able to reach out and support each others. This may be difficult for some as we are in new terriority and turmoil creates a fear of the unknown.

I am reminded of this quote:

Great teams do not hold back with one another. They are unafraid to air their dirty laundry. They admit their mistakes, their weaknesses and their concerns without fear of reprisal.” — Patrick Lencioni

As a Team, I challenge you to offer your thoughts , concerns, and a personal update as to your well being.

All you need to do is to email and it will get posted for the benefit of all.

Strong work, Strong Team

Patrol Update

We have been advised that Northstar will not reopen for this season and will keep you posted on any future access to the mountain in order to get your equipment and clean out your locker.