Tuesday, January 18, 2011

On a Roll

Went over to the Fire Academy last week to return a book to the library.

The librarian- who is the best librarian I've ever met- pointed me towards some books that she just got in, from another library that closed.
I found several that looked interesting, but only brought one of them home, since my reading time is somewhat limited.
Turns out that the one I brought home was of enough interest that I started looking to buy a copy.
Ended up also ordering the other two I had looked at, and some others I found online. I'm on a roll.

Here's the thing.
The fire department I'm in offers no EMS training at all. None. I think they think they do, but they don't know enough about training to realize that what they are doing isn't training, at all.
A prime example occurred just this week.
The scheduled training was for the EMS Director to give a presentation on cold weather emergencies. He has no training to teach, at all. (I could write a whole post about that.) His "presentations" are last minute rambling about some subject, with little to no preparation.
But if that isn't bad enough, what actually happened is that he didn't show up.
He handed on old EMT textbook to another person, who also has no training to teach, and told him to "cover this."
So that person read from the old textbook.
And that is what happens when they even attempt to provide training. Often, it just gets canceled.

For a long time, I felt some sympathy for both of these people, who are being asked and expected to do something for which they have no training, and less skill. They do "the best they can." But the longer this goes on, the more I realize that it is their responsibility to step up and say "I do not have the training or ability to do this; let's bring in someone who does." And they don't. I don't know whether they are embarrassed to admit they can't do it, or whether they don't realize they can't. Either way, it's bad.

And this isn't good enough. Not even close.
So after three or four years of this, now that I have SOME experience, as little as it is, rather than NO experience, I'm doing the only thing I can reasonably do.
I'm finding training opportunities elsewhere, as much as I can, and I'm organizing training for myself and the other EMTs, without relying on the fire company to do so. I have years of teaching experience, and training people is what I do. Shifting those abilities over to include EMS is inevitable, although I didn't intend to be forced to do so this early. I won't be attempting to teach new skills; that is beyond what I can claim to be able to do. But I can run drills, and I can go through scenarios, and we all can learn a lot from a wide variety of sources.

Why am I mentioning this?
These books I've started accumulating are mostly EMS education books.
Some, clearly designed to be used as such, and others, perhaps written more for sharing experiences, rather than outright teaching, but they can also be used to great benefit.

As I read through them, I'll share here what I find interesting and/or educational.
It might be medical information that I didn't know.
Or it might be about teaching, itself, more than about EMS, in particular.

I would also welcome recommendations for resources other people have found useful, both on the EMS front, and about teaching.