Refresh 2021 Origin Story
Tom Bouthillet, Battalion Chief of EMS, Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue
Like many EMS Chiefs across the country, one of my primary responsibilities is keeping all of my EMTs and paramedics certified and licensed. To that end, we adopted the NREMT’s NCCP Program several years ago. To recertify through the NCCP program our staff need a certain number of “national hours” which you can think of as “butt in seat hours” where students have an opportunity to directly interact with the instructor.
Obviously, with COVID we are doing our best to socially distance so it wasn’t clear how we were going to accomplish our EMT and Paramedic Refresher training for this recertification season. Fortunately, the NREMT waived its limits on Distributive Education (DE) due to the pandemic. So, that solved one problem but it created another. How was I going to convert 30-hours of educational material into an online course? I think I’m a good instructor but I’m fairly certain few people in the world could endure 30 hours of listening to me talk!
So I thought to myself, “Hmmm, maybe Peter Antevy, M.D. would be willing to do the lecture on Pediatric Cardiac Arrest!” If you’ve met Peter you know he’s one of the nicest people in the world, so of course, he agreed. Then I thought, “I wonder if the Center for Patient Safety would help me put together a lecture on EMS Safety Culture?” and it turned out that Brian LaCroix was willing to help out with that. So then I thought, “What’s the most difficult topic to make interesting, and who could do it justice?” Well, that would be EMS Research and I could think of no better person than Dr. Remle Crowe.
By this time, Peter said to me, “Hey, Tom, why don’t we make this available to everyone?” and he introduced me to James DiClemente from Prodigy EMS who agreed to certify and host the course! How amazing is that? The best thing about this project is that every single person involved is participating out of the goodness of their heart! What an incredible and inspiring pick-me-up in what has otherwise been a long, drawn-out, demoralizing, and exhausting year! All of us are just happy to be spreading some good in the world and giving back to the EMS profession.
Now the pressure was on! So many good things were falling into place that I just knew we had to double our efforts. We put together a Steering Committee and together we recruited some of the best minds in EMS. Paul LeSage agreed to teach Crew Resource Management. Peter reached out to Paul Pepe, M.D. and that helped open the door to many other highly respected EMS physicians. Some of them said they were honored to be chosen!
It just goes to show that it’s possible to crowdsource an all-star lineup of subject matter experts when you assemble the right team! I can understand why the NREMT wants students to have the opportunity to interact with instructors in real-time, but perhaps we’re better off as a profession when “national hours” are taught by national experts. That’s what I’m hoping comes out of this experience. There are other ways to engage our employees in a dialogue, and that conversation should be related to our EMS system’s specific opportunities for improvement.
So on behalf of the steering committee, thank you for your interest in #Refresh2021! We hope you enjoy it.
How does it work?
There is no catch, the NCCR is completely free. After you complete all of the modules you will receive 30 CAPCE F3 (distributive) hours for you to use towards your recertification.
This training is designed to meet the entire NCCR for all level of providers. For EMRs, EMTs, and AEMTs you can use the remaining hours towards your local or individual.
Frequently asked questions
What’s the vision for Refresh2021? Why is it needed, now?
Refresh 2021 is an opportunity to do something nice for the EMS profession during what has otherwise been a distressing and disorienting year for our profession.
What will it actually provide? Is it CACPE accredited and will the NREMT accept it?
Refresh 2021 will provide 30 hours of CAPCE accredited education that will be accepted by NREMT. Because of the waiver on limits to Distributive Education (DE) during the pandemic the course can be used to satisfy the National hours for EMT or Paramedic recertification. Any additional hours can be used to satisfy the Individual training hour requirements.
Who’s the leader of this initiative and who else is involved?
The Steering Committee consists of Peter Antevy, Kelly Bouthillet, Tom Bouthillet, Remle Crowe, Brian LaCroix, Paul Pepe, Mike Taigman, James DiClemente, Rob Lawrence, and Keith Griffiths. We’ve assembled an exciting lineup of subject matter experts for each topic in the NREMT’s National Continued Competency Program (NCCP).
What differentiates the program and faculty from other virtual CE programs?
Not to disparage anyone else’s work but we’ve done our best to pick just the right person for each topic. Many are EMS physicians involved with the Gathering of Eagles and other clinicians considered to be experts in their field.
Who is funding this?
Everyone involved is donating their time and expertise. Prodigy EMS, a national Learning Management System is hosting all of the recorded and curated content on its platform and additionally is underwriting the cost of CAPCE credit for each individual that completes the requisite 30 hours.
When does it start and when does it stop?
We anticipate the program will be live by December 15, 2020 and the content will be available at least through the end of the recertification period for 2021.
What platform is it on and how easy will it be to use?
Prodigy EMS is taking care of hosting and CAPCE accreditation as a public good during the COVID-19 pandemic, for which the Steering Committee is very grateful.
Can individuals as well as organizations participate?
Yes, although each individual will want to have their own account so we can track course completion.
Where can I get more information and sign up?
Follow the #Refresh2021 hashtag on Twitter and visit Prodigyems.com/Refresh2021!