EMS Evolves: NCSP's Course Development and Delivery

20 February, 2013

The National Center for Security & Preparedness (NCSP), in conjunction with the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) and the NY State Preparedness Training Center (SPTC), is at the forefront of EMS training development and delivery. The limited nature of high-end EMS training across the country has led to the development of several courses at the SPTC. The NCSP is incorporating new venues available at the SPTC to expand EMS training and fill this significant gap in first responder training.

Currently, there are two EMS courses in the pilot phase- EMS Special Situations and EMS Triage and Multiple Casualty Incident Management (TMCIM). Both courses use a blend of classroom based learning, skill development lanes, and scenario-based learning activities to engage students.

EMS Special Situations: Winter Version was delivered on January 29th and 30th, 2013. When students arrived at the SPTC, they quickly found that the cold and icy climate, along with a heavy fog that initially limited line of sight to only a few feet, was built in to the delivery of the course. Subject matter expert instructors discussed how adverse conditions, such as winter weather, affect EMS incident management. In the scenario-based activities, which were largely conducted in outside training venues, students focused on preventing the onset of hypothermia and other seasonally affected issues in their patients.

EMS TMCIM was delivered on February 2nd and 3rd, 2013. Students practiced scene orchestration & management and triage methods in many of the venues at the SPTC. Students were taught to rely on each other just as much as they relied on the tools and equipment brought to each response. Most students found the course essential, preparing them to coordinate more effectively in multiple casualty incidents.

An essential aspect of these trainings was the use of role players. Having role players as patients enriched the training experience exponentially, with EMS providers able to interact with humans rather than handling mannequins or other lesser alternatives. The makeup and moulage (mock injuries) applied to the role players enhanced realism even further. Some wounds were so authentic and gruesome that the individuals looked as if they had just walked off of a professional movie set. The NCSP and SPTC are expanding the makeup and moulage responsibilities for future trainings based on the great reception from the students.

Both courses also utilized the newly developed Field Operations Building (FOB) in their deliveries. Students practiced skill lanes in the classrooms throughout the FOB. They also staged and dispatched to responses from ambulance bays in the garage, adding an element of realism to the trainings that heightened the student´┐Żs experience. NCSP instructors and staff found the space to be particularly useful for overall coordination of the courses and look forward to incorporating the space into future training development.

With the success of these trainings, the NCSP is moving forward with development of more EMS courses, including EMS High Threat and Tactical EMS. These courses will be piloted in Spring 2013. The NCSP and SPTC continue to develop and provide world-class performance level EMS training, addressing a critical need for EMS providers throughout the nation.