I’ve always been an advocate for EMS education, not necessarily training (or if the new standards are to be considered, then below the level of Paramedic it’s still considered “training” in my mind) and I’ve been a mechanism for access to education within my own personal sphere of influence. I can’t believe how many times I’ve sent people to Tom Bouthillet’s blog or some other blog that’s had a significant impact on spreading the word as it were.
When I first moved to Memphis, the education system was very formal and extremely centralized. I predicted (accurately, I might add) that the day is coming where there would be too few staff to deliver the training and education that, as an EMS providing organization, we would need in order to provide the access to advanced skills and to practice those skills. I thought that the Field Training Officer program would have done enough of that, expanding the role of a few FTO’s to train everyone else. Once again, thanks to budget cuts, we have made changes to the FTO program that I don’t necessarily agree with, but the alternative was far worse.
So, decentralization of the education system is underway. Volunteers have been solicited for the formation of a corps of field personnel to become educators in the field, with content delivered on the spot. This essentially reduces or eliminates the load on training center staff to produce training for field personnel, allowing them to focus on educating the students in our paramedic program and our recruits becoming Basic and Advanced EMT’s.
Incentives offered to personnel that volunteered included CEU’s every year for refresher training AND teaching hours that apply towards Tennessee Instructor Coordinator and Associate Instructor.
Yes, I volunteered.