The notice—that’s where the changes began.
A notice from the Rhode Island Department of Health arrived at the Saylesville Fire Department declaring that the state was adopting a new standard for EMS certifications: the National Continued Competency Program (NCCP).
When he saw the notice, Firefighter Gregg Jillson knew the adjustments would be difficult for his fellow firefighters, many of whom hold a second job. “It wasn’t going to be easy for the guys to get the exact classes and hours that they needed,” FF Jillson says.
The hospital offered a few courses that met the new NCCP requirements, but they didn’t cover all the topics the Saylesville Fire Department needed. The department began increasing training at the station, but it was nearly impossible to get shifts and schedules to line up so everyone could attend.
“It was hard to get everybody together, so we would have to conduct training multiple times a week in order to get everybody who needed the training,” FF Jillson says. “It was hard for us to get people recertified that way. You couldn’t force people to go to the training, but if they didn’t get some kind of accredited training, they would lose their EMT license.”
FF Jillson and Saylesville’s training officer quickly realized, “Our department needed to find a refresher course that works for everybody in the department, that people could remotely do from their house or do while they were on shift.”
At the time, Saylesville Fire Department already used an online continuing education provider, but the company didn’t provide the live, virtual instructor-led training Saylesville Fire Department needed to fulfill NCCP requirements.
FF Jillson began researching new options. “When I talked to CareerCert’s sales team, they knew how to answer the questions I had regarding the NCCP requirements,” FF Jillson says. “They explained everything very well— how it met every need that we were going to have for our online EMS and fire training.”
He continues, “I felt like CareerCert was the best choice for our department.”
Saylesville Fire Department personnel began to notice the ease and flexibility of using CareerCert almost immediately. “It makes it easy for every member because they can do it on the schedule that works best for them. They can do it at work, especially distributive. You can just stop and go anytime you want,” FF Jillson explains. “It definitely saves us time.”
One EMT at Saylesville Fire Department who hadn’t held a national license for several years struggled to find accredited courses that met the new NCCP requirements. With CareerCert’s accredited online classes, he was able to recertify in two months.
A paramedic with the Saylesville Fire Department noted how convenient the online classes were compared to the in-person refresher programs he usually attended. After completing CareerCert’s paramedic refresher, FF Jillson notes, “He literally got his paramedic license the next day because CareerCert’s courses are accredited, tracked, and automatically reported to CAPCE.”
Along with the speed and convenience of CareerCert’s online training, the Saylesville Fire Department appreciates the flexibility of CareerCert’s live courses.
“CareerCert puts on multiple classes a month. If you can’t make one, there is no penalty. You can just go and sign up for the same class again a couple of days later,” FF Jillson says. “The platform tracks and reports all the courses you have taken, so there is no questioning whether a class met NREMT or NCCP requirements.”
FF Jillson continues, “It’s a lot easier to stay organized in the department and you can easily print out a training report that tracks certs. The training officer can see whether everyone is taking the classes they need to meet their refresher requirements.”
In addition to the benefits of CareerCert’s streamlined tracking and reporting, FF Jillson, “It saves a lot of time from tracking down paperwork and a lot of time loading all the certs into our computer system. . . . . It has worked very well for our department. This has been a positive experience for everybody.”
The most important way CareerCert has impacted the Saylesville Fire Department is by helping personnel stay current and refresh skills in online classrooms.
“As a firefighter and an EMT, you have to constantly train or you lose your skills,” FF Jillson says. “Even the most basic thing, you’ve got to constantly be using the skills in order to be proficient.”
About CareerCert’s EMS and fire content, FF Jillson notes that the classes are informative, CAPCE-accredited, and high-quality, which helps the department refresh skills that are critical to protecting the community.
“It is always keeping those skills fresh in your mind, not just the hands-on skills, but it’s keeping the classroom knowledge front of mind as well,” FF Jillson says. By combining department training with CareerCert’s online training, Saylesville Fire Department has found a solution that helps their department meet national requirements and best protect their community against loss of life and property.