Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Assists in Improving Nationwide Paramedic Training

It takes a lot of hard work to become a paramedic. Recruits are evaluated not only on their knowledge of medical terms and maladies but also their ability to perform life-saving medical diagnostics and procedures. To aid in ensuring recruits are ready for the field, the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) is improving the way it tests for the National Paramedic Registry (NPR). Beginning January 1, 2017, the NREMT will start testing a new out-of-hospital scenario exam. This out-of-hospital scenario will place recruits in situations they may encounter through work as a paramedic. Each recruit will be provided with a trained paramedic partner and evaluated on his/her ability to manage a call, lead the team, effectively communicate, and maintain professionalism throughout the simulated encounter. Last week, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue was excited to take part in the beta test for the scenario exam. Members of NREMT spent a week at the Fairfax Fire and Rescue Academy running recruits through potential scenarios, examining the tests effectiveness, gathering feedback, and assessing the skills of FRD’s recruits.

Additionally, NREMT partnered with the National Association of Emergency Medical Services Educators (NAEMSE) to host a two day Regional Scenario Development Workshop at the Fire and Rescue Academy. The workshop was designed to assist paramedic educators in preparing for testing changes and provides hands-on experience with the scenario development process by experienced NREMT staff and instructors. Activities included scenario writing, calibration, and evaluation when recruits ran the scenarios during the workshop. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue academy staff and recruits were happy to have a part in the creation of testing that will better enable paramedics to assist the residents of their community.