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EMS leaders, doctors partner to provide free online recertification program

More than 23,000 EMS providers have completed Refresh 2021, a free offering of CAPCE-approved lectures and NCCP curriculum hours

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The all-volunteer instructors for #Refresh2021.

This article, originally published December 9, 2020, has been updated with current information

By Laura French

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A free online continuing education program developed by EMS leaders and doctors, has surpassed 44,000 enrolled EMS providers from throughout the United States, Canada and around the world. Those users have watched more than 1 million individual presentations and more than 23,000 users have completed the full program.

The program, launched in December 2020, helps EMS providers maintain their certification during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Refresh 2021 program, hosted by learning management system Prodigy EMS, provides CAPCE-approved lectures and presentations, based on the National Continued Competency Program (NCCP), in an online format, according to a press release. Refresh 2021 aims to provide a completely free package of continuing education to meet local EMS operational needs.

“NREMT waived the limits on distributive education for this recertification season due to COVID-19. That means we have a unique opportunity to crowdsource a spectacular education experience for EMTs and Paramedics around the world,” said Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue Battalion Chief of EMS Tom Bouthillet, who spearheaded the project.

Bouthillet brought together a steering board to advance the project and provide guidance and technical expertise, consisting of Drs. Peter Antevy, Paul Pepe, Kelly Bouthillet and Remle Crowe, and EMS thought leaders James DiClemente, Keith Griffiths, Brian LaCroix, Rob Lawrence and Mike Taigman.

Several “household EMS names” have created streaming video content for the program which is available free for EMS providers to earn NCCP curriculum hours. Prodigy EMS also signed on early to host Refresh 2021 and administer CAPCE credit at no cost.

“It took a pandemic to allow EMS leaders from around the country to join forces to provide high impact education, free to anyone, anywhere,” said Antevy, who was the first to join Bouthillet on the Refresh 2021 steering group. “As educators, this will be the silver lining of 2020 and it’s something that will propel us into a more promising 2021. We are humbled to do this for all those risking their lives each and every day.”

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Dr. Peter Antevy was the first to join Battalion Chief Tom Bouthillet on the Refresh 2021 steering group to provide guidance and technical expertise.

Photo/Courtesy of Prodigy EMS

Registration for Refresh 2021 is open for all interested EMTs and paramedics, regardless of their need for continuing education credit.

#Refresh2021 is an online learning community

Many Refresh 2021 participants are using the hashtag #Refresh2021 to share their progress, discuss favorite courses and connect directly with the course instructors, steering board members and other participants.

“I’ve probably attended a dozen capnography CE courses at half-a-dozen national & regional EMS conferences. Robert Murray’s is the best I’ve completed,” wrote Greg Friese, EMS1 Editorial Director in a Tweet about Refresh 2021.

Refresh 2021 course participants include paramedics who have only been certified a few weeks and paramedics with decades of experience.

“I have been a medic for 30 years and an EMS educator. Worked from inner city to rural EMS,” Karen Moleterno, Firefighter/Paramedic wrote in a Tweet. “Watching #refresh2021 has been educational and enjoyable. Thanks to all the presenters.”