Thank you to everyone that participated in Refresh 2021, this program is no longer available. Prodigy EMS continues to offer more great free and paid training, check out our catalog today.
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.