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How EMT education has changed to engage newer generations

Brian Hathaway shares the Spirit EMS approach to attracting and retaining new recruits

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In this EMS Week episode of Inside EMS, Cohosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson welcome Brian K. Hathaway, president/CEO of Spirit EMS, in Greenville, Ohio, who offers a free EMT training program. Hathaway shares his perspective on how EMS education has changed, and the creative ways Spirit is attracting, engaging and retaining recruits – from 2-year agreements, to giving away a car during training.

Together, they discuss:

  • Why Hathaway is the Oprah Winfrey of EMT education
  • How to engage and motivate the workforce
  • What Hathaway is looking for when he evaluates student patient assessments
  • How we deliver education to the newer generation

Memorable quotes from this episode

“As we educate in the classroom and make sure that people are comfortable and confident in their skills, and we’re making sure that we’re doing that good head-to-toe assessment on the patients – that that’s the ultimate important thing.”

“Memorizing 43 things on a skills sheet to make sure that we’ve touched everything is not necessarily applicable to every patient that we’re taking care of.”

“My concern is we’ve got to get people involved and we’ve got to continue to change with the times or it’s going to be a competition when I’m in the nursing home 25-30 years from now as to who’s going to get out of bed and respond to the call if we don’t do something now.”


Additional resources

What skills should we test?
A simple framework for an EMT skills competency portfolio

Whatever will we do without the skill sheets?
NREMT is discontinuing the ALS psychomotor exam. That’s a good thing, if you let it be

About our Guest

Brian K. Hathaway is president/CEO of Spirit EMS, in Greenville, Ohio. Brian has been actively involved in Fire/EMS since 1996. Aside from his duties as an owner of Spirit, Brian is a 27-year veteran of the Union City Fire Department and continues to work part-time as a 911 dispatcher at the Darke County Sheriff’s Office where he has worked since 1999. Brian is a certified Advanced EMT, EMS continuing education instructor, volunteer firefighter, Certified Ambulance Coder, Certified Ambulance Compliance Officer and Certified Emergency Medical Dispatcher. Brian serves as education chairman and is a board member of the Ohio Ambulance and Medical Transportation Association, a member of the Four County Career Center advisory board, a member of the Darke County Chamber of Commerce, and attends the EUM Church in Greenville. Brian enjoys spending time with his wife Audrey as well as their daughter Naomi.

The Inside EMS podcast is a regular expert discussion of hot topics, clinical issues, operational and leadership lessons for EMTs, paramedics and chiefs