Pay it forward
My unscheduled career path change earlier this year provided an opportunity to reflect on what I really liked to do.
In the last dozen years I went from teaching five classes a semester at a community college to one class a semester at a university.
The rest of my university time was eaten up by meetings and committee work. Important, but not my primary passion.
Stand and Deliver
Originally certified as an EMT/Ambulance, I obtained my state instructor credential two years into the job.
Our department was rapidly expanding. I was part of a cadre system of instructors detailed from the fire station to teach recruit and refresher classes.
With other young and excited first generation medics, we built ems training programs through trial and error. Not much formal education or experiences beyond our vocational craft and state regulations.
Four years after recruit school graduation, I returned to the academy as a new company officer to be the EMT Programs manager. The position was created to support an effort to teach EMT to 300 some incumbent firefighters … all the way to the Fire Chief.
This week I returned to the Academy, part of the Training911 cadre of contract EMT instructors.
It felt fantastic.
A rewarding experience
When the department contracted-out EMT training the first lead instructor was Glenn Ludetke. A fellow first-generation medic and volunteer chief, Glenn provided a reflection on his experience:
… it was one of the most rewarding and fun experiences of my entire EMS career. Having the advantage of teaching the new recruits to be thinking, skilled EMT's and then being able to see them apply the training in the field was my definition of instructor heaven.
Preparing for success
One of the most interesting changes was implementation of the incident management system as part of every training day. The students are broken into companies. Each company has a leader who is assigned a portable radio.
Every time the company moves, they report their status change over the radio to the division commander. Before the start of each activity, the group leader provides a PAR check to the instructor.
Captain Chester Waters Jr. points out that when suppression training starts, the students will be familiar with the ICS system and portable radio operations. Watched academy staff provide feedback to a team leader on radio technique during a break.
Mike "FossilMedic" Ward