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Quick Clip: How field training officers can make or break a new provider

FTOs are the gatekeeper to EMS and can determine if a new employee will sink or swim; how detailed is your department’s program for new hires?


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In this week’s Inside EMS Quick Clip, co-hosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson discuss the essential role of the field training officer, and stress the importance of having a detailed program.

Do you have a structured well thought out FTO system that’s objective and address your new hire’s educational needs?” Grayson asks, “Or do you simply have the guy who’s hung around longest; slap an FTO patch on him and tell him to go break the new guys in?”

Departments can have policies, practices and processes, but the FTO is the one who teaches a person coming in off the street, and determines if that person is cut out for the job. If someone “couldn’t intubate themselves out of a wet paper bag,” the FTO can either cut the employee lose, or ensure remediation is done, and help that person to become a good EMS provider.

“I’m the kind of person that believes the FTO is the most important person in the organization,” Cebollero said. “He is the gatekeeper.” 

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