An emergency medical services (EMS) instructor provides professional education to people involved in emergency services. EMS instructors teach people how to handle medical emergencies and offer everything from extensive training courses to prepare people for certification as paramedics to refresher courses for people who need to renew certification or meet continuing education requirements. They can also provide specialized training modules, such as terrorism response training or training for people assisting special weapons and tactics (SWAT) teams.
To become an EMS instructor, it is usually necessary to be a fully qualified EMS provider such as a paramedic and to complete a training program designed to prepare people for work as instructors and trainers. The training program provides people with information about how to organize a curriculum, meet curriculum requirements set by the government, and make material interesting and accessible to students. It may be necessary to pass an exam to get certification in order to start work as an EMS instructor.
EMS instructors can work for training facilities, offering education to firefighters, police officers, and medical personnel. They can also work as freelancers, providing mobile trainings. For each training, the EMS instructor must confirm the curriculum meets standards and guidelines set by the government, obtain equipment and supplies for students, including textbooks, and provide high level instruction. One on one contact is usually needed to provide people with physical skills, as well as the knowledge, to offer emergency medical care.
In addition to working in the classroom, an EMS instructor can be involved in setting up training scenarios. These are used by people who are in training to provide emergency services, as well as by emergency services agencies interested in testing their personnel and preparing for hypothetical events ranging from car accidents to the detonation of nuclear bombs. Emergency scenarios can involve coordination with multiple agencies to create a realistic simulation, as well as a post-event breakdown on how well everyone performed.
Work as an EMS instructor involves preparing people to offer the best possible care while training people to assess and secure scenes, work with other emergency services personnel, and provide support in a variety of settings. Many EMS instructors rely on their personal experiences to provide object lessons and potential scenarios for students. They can also supervise testing of students applying for certification, administering written and practical tests to see if students have qualified to provide emergency medical services.