Training program

CBS2 Gets Exclusive Sneak Peek at FDNY’s Paramedic Training Program – CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNew York) – A paramedic is one of the most critical first responders in an emergency, and the training they receive prepares them for the job.

This training is always evolving and taking on new life to meet the ever-changing world we live in, especially now.

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CBS2’s Thalia Perez got an exclusive preview of the Fort Totten FDNY Paramedic Training Program.

For a responding FDNY paramedic, any call given could mean a life or death situation for the person in need of assistance.

The FDNY Paramedic Training Program prepares students for the education and practice to face all of this.

Once accepted into the elite program, students spend approximately nine and a half months at the EMS training academy in Fort Totten and in the field. This represents approximately 190 days of training.

As experience is gained, the modules advance and become more difficult, including an emergency simulation.

“We try to make everything as realistic as possible,” said lead instructor and paramedic coordinator Bruce Funaro.

During the emergency simulation, the instructor is in the next room, grading the students on their skills. The instructor also uses the voice of a mannequin and creates a dialogue for the urgency.

“It gives them the reassurance that they have finished it here, that they can finish it on a real job,” Funaro said.

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Work is all about teamwork, and simulation is the most tense example of part of the skills exam that students need to pass to finally become a paramedic.

Cesar Escobar is the head of the academy and has 28 years of service. He says when the pandemic started, the training abruptly stopped.

“For a few weeks we had to put our program on hold and send all of our students back to the field so that they could help EMS operations in the field,” he said.

It helped keep the city going.

A few months later, training resumed. They turned to virtual conferences and modified in-person labs because students still did not have access to hospitals – an essential part of their training. Navigating through these uncertain times, they created a laboratory of corpses. It was something they had never done before.

“We’re bringing in corpses so that our students can do endotracheal intubation, intraosseous insertion, needle decompression, which are skills that you actually have to do on a human to become good,” Escobar said.

The laboratory was set up in one of the classrooms. Small groups are brought into the lab in addition to the doctors, anatomists and instructors who run each station.

There, the students put into practice the same skills as in a hospital environment, only on human tissues.

Definitely a career path that not only helps people but is inspiring.

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Thalia Perez of CBS2 contributed to this report.