paramedic services week profiles
Hi, I’m Ben, one of Toronto Paramedic Service’s field training officers (FTOs). We are also certified paramedics. We all strive to improve our work environment and to provide the best patient care for the citizens of Toronto. We do it because we know that medicine is constantly evolving and improving and we want paramedics in Toronto to always be up to date with the latest medical care. FTOs are heavily involved in all phases of the training process.
An FTO’s role is broad in nature, from providing mentoring to paramedic students who are enrolled in either a two year college or four year university paramedic programmes with their “road training” from day one on an ambulance, to continuing medical education training for seasoned paramedics within our Service.
Key members in the service’s intensive recruitment process and orientation program, FTOs are partnered with a senior FTO as they begin their career. This mentorship program has seen great success throughout the years, easing the transition from ‘recruit’ to paramedic. The values instilled in new recruits creates a positive environment for both paramedics and their future patients.
The education doesn’t stop there as FTOs provide the annual mandatory 24-36 hours of continuing medical education (CME) to the Service’s paramedics. CMEs help ensure that paramedics are trained and certified in all aspects of our constantly evolving and improving profession.
For me personally, I have been involved with the Field Training Officer program for several years and have had the privilege to be directly involved with the training of both college and university students, and in the Advanced Care Paramedic Certification Program that we run at Toronto Paramedic Services. I can honestly say we train the best advanced care paramedics. We have a great intensive program including eight weeks of didactic training in the classroom, followed by six weeks of clinical training in GTA hospitals learning with some of the best physicians and health care providers in the world. The training all comes together with 18 weeks of on the road preceptorship with an incredible team of senior Advanced Care FTOs.
Toronto is privileged to have so many dedicated paramedics and FTOs who provide the best pre-hospital care possible. I am proud to be a part of the team at Toronto Paramedic Services as an FTO and advanced care paramedic.