We send our paramedic students on shift days only. The time frame is about 3 years which is way too long if you ask me.It would be hard to retain all of the information they get in the first part of the class and apply it when its test time...but it can be done. If you have the staffing to do it I would advise placing the paramedic students on a 40 hour work week and make them go 5 days a week. Another option would be to send them through a fast track program like Iowa State, they have an intense 16 week course and they turn out some quality medics.
For years Dallas Fire-Rescue sent their paramedics straight through. From the time your were hired, went through fire, emt, and paramedic school was total of about 15 months. A new chief came in and decided because of staffing issues that the new recruits would go to paramedic school on their off days. This ended up being a disaster because failure rates went up and some of the recruits were showing up to school dead tired from being up for 24 or more hours before going to school the next day. The department has sinced gone back to sending the recruits to paramedic school before coming to the field which in most everyone's opinion is the best way to do it. Hope this helps
When we hire people on to the Department they have to be a Paramedic already. We used to have it that they went thru training everday for the length of the class, about 9 months here in Illinois. however we had a problem with a couple of students that didn't pass the class and now we had spent alot of money and time on their training and now didn't have a Paramedic. So we changed it to being a prerequisite for the job. It saves us time and money. Plus they are ready to go to work on the ambulance after passing our EMS systems SMO test.
We send our students through a Paramedic program at a local hospital that runs on Monday's and Wednesdays 4 hours. If the class falls on a day that they are working they are excused for the first five hours of the day, if we have enough guys we cover them or call in overtime if we cannot cover them. If manpower allows they can schedule there paramedic clinicals while on shift usually 15:00-23:00. And of coruse all of there ride time is done on shift, once again if manpower allows. The process takes about 18 months.
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