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Hey All,

I'm the acting training coordinator for a volunteer corp in CT. We're currently re-vamping our current precepting program and creating a type of "academy", if you will. We want to come up with a final evaluation. Something that eliminates the personal predjudices and ideals of the FTO making the evaluation, but creates a stable and consistent process to determine that each trainee is competent and reliable.

I've come up with a few details, but I'd like something to compare them to. This is new for our corp as training has never been taken to the highest level of seriousness in the past. How is training where all of you work/volunteer? What are some of the things they require for a trainee to prove themselves of their abilites? What are some methods that your organizations employs in obtaining that goal?

Any comments or ideas would be extremely helpful and appreciated.

-Justin-

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I am not exactly sure what you are looking to develop. Skill sheets that are different than the ones already used for training?

To remove personalities and possible bias you might consider skill sheets where the skill to be proven and/or scenario has no variables. You can check the NREMT skill sheets for examples. That is what I base our evaluations on. Some guys have developed their own skill sheets to meet particular equipment or local needs.

EDIT: Programs I have been involved in did not particularly "test" students. The proctoring were more was focused on some overall abilities that students had already been tested on either by their school or NREMT. Students who could not pass their theoretical and skills portions of their course could not qualify for student ride outs. The "working evaluation" was more general pointed toward other aspects like attitude, willingness to follow orders, and generally how the student handled himself in a real work environment.

Edited by DFIB

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To get rid of the bias and favoritism of the preceptors, you need to use a completely neutral preceptor which at many services that's nearly impossible to do as preceptors talk.

If you cannot get away from the bias then I would suggest contracting out or putting together an agreement with another similar department near you, to have one of their preceptors (FTO's) come out and do the evaluation.

That would eliminate all the bias that your department has to offer.

You would have to pay for that FTO's time and travel. YOu could do a reciprocal agreement with that agency as well.

But if you are having that much problem with Bias, then you have a deeper problem with your FTO problem than you think.

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I've been an FTO for many years and have actually received formal training as such. I would love to pass it on. email me at croaker260@gmail.com and I will send you some of our forms, I would love to chat with you as well because I was our "Reserve Coordinator" (We have a reserve officer program too) for many years and had to incorporate a poorly defined volunteer program into our rather robust and detailed FTEP for our career department.

I would love to share my lessons learned and brain storm, but I dont want to get typers cramp doing it. So email me and I'll drop you a line. I am also attempting to do an EMS FTO blog (link below in my signature line) but as I am new to blogging it is an learn as you go experience.

Steve

Edited by croaker260

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I would love to share my lessons learned and brain storm, but I dont want to get typers cramp doing it. So email me and I'll drop you a line. I am also attempting to do an EMS FTO blog (link below in my signature line) but as I am new to blogging it is an learn as you go experience.

Steve

What a great idea. Does your blog have a link yet?

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However you choose to do it I would like to suggest the the trainers status/advancement is tied directly to those that they train. But fair warning, you will get resistance to this as it's much easier to blame than to improve.

In my opinion too often a failure of the trainer is blamed on the trainee. The trainer, who sucks, continues with their chest puffed out while the trainee skulks away in shame. The exact oposite of how it should work.

When I rode with AMR in the Spring years ago each of their FTOs got training in that job. They were paid a small bump in salary to do it, but much more importantly they were tied to their students for, I think, the next year. Once completing the FTO process the new hire was evaluated monthly on attitude, appearance, documentation skills, etc. When the new hire got jammed up, the trainer was called in off of the street and both were evaluated to try and determine where the weakness lay. I think that it was an amazing system and you constantly heard FTOs talking about the 'spirit' and confidence of those that they were training. Training by humiliation was almost instantly humiliating for the trainer as that attitude just couldn't survive in this system.

I believe that every month that a new hire met their minimum requirements then the trainer recieved a small percentage bump in pay. I don't think that that mattered though as having the process set up this way the giant paramedic egos were on the line to constantly prove that they were the best, and that was much more motivating.

Anyway, any process that you use that judges students, but doesn't judge the program and it's instructors at the same time is hypocritical and pathological...in my opinion. Don't waste all of the valuable information that every new recruite has to offer you.

Just a thought.

What a great idea. Does your blog have a link yet?

...(link below in my signature line) ...

...my attempt at blogging: http://croaker260ems.blogspot.com/

Do you mean that one? Should he have said in in Spanish or something?

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Do you mean that one? Should he have said in in Spanish or something?

Oh that one. Thanks.

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LOL

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When I rode with AMR in the Spring years ago each of their FTOs got training in that job. They were paid a small bump in salary to do it, but much more importantly they were tied to their students for, I think, the next year. Once completing the FTO process the new hire was evaluated monthly on attitude, appearance, documentation skills, etc. When the new hire got jammed up, the trainer was called in off of the street and both were evaluated to try and determine where the weakness lay. I think that it was an amazing system and you constantly heard FTOs talking about the 'spirit' and confidence of those that they were training. Training by humiliation was almost instantly humiliating for the trainer as that attitude just couldn't survive in this system.

This is similar to my own agencies approach, though by the time they enter the final phase of their program they have had 3-6 different FTO's (they rotate every 6 weeks). There are a number of reasons for this, not the least of wich is after about 6 weeks you begin to develop a comfort level with eachother that is closer to a partner relationship instead of a FTO/mentor type relationship. On the opposit end of the spectrum this prevents personality conflict from having undue effect on the process. EVERY FTO will eventually run into a PO whome they just cant get by with. Sooner or later, it will happen. By having the additional FTO's, compensates for this.

All of our FTO's get a shift diff. for every shift they have a trainee. Not much but equilivent to about 5% roughly.

The FTO's pay here is not related to the probationary officers success however, though by the time the PO has gone through 3-6 different FTO's, and all 3-6 have been unable to effect change or success, then a very careful evaluation is undertaken complete with remedition and discussion. If this is unsuccessful, the PO is let go and all agree that every effort was typically made.

I do not know if the OP's agency is big enough to facilitate this depth of a program, but the point remains that having different FTO's through out the process is a valuable one.

Edited by croaker260

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I don't have a very long winded or super fantastic idea, but why not have 2 seperate fto's evaluate the candidate at the same time on the same day without communicating with one another about the evaluation. Therefore if the evaluation is similar you know it was reasonable and lacked prejudice.

For the scond part of your post, I would say most agencies i've ever worked for have had some sort of variation of the state exam before, during, or after precepting. The other thing most agencies do is they have a checklist of skills and duties they must preform while precepting before they can move on. This is verified by their FTO's. The agency I'm currently working for made you do these things and do a shift with the director of operations and another with the CEO. This felt like overkill but it was not without its merits, they get to really know how their employees work and what they can expect, and can easily decide if you need more training time or not.

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