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Education in Emergency Services

mariomike

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Saw this in a ASHE thread.

When I read the federal Mass Casualty Commission recommended "a three-year degree-based model of police education for all police services in Canada", it reminded me of how seriously the Province of Ontario emergency services took a report, and the mandate that followed, almost half a century ago.

In Ontario, any person who would like to become a paramedic must attend a recognized college or university paramedic program. All accredited college and university Primary Care Paramedic programs are 2 years in length.

After that comes Ontario AEMCA exam.

That is mandatory to apply to a municipality in the province to become a PCP.

Then comes the departmental evaluations of the municipality they are applying to.

Once hired, there is recruit orientation, and continuing and remedial education throughout your career.

Then more to advance to ACP, CCTU - Critical Care Paramedic (CCP) , or Special Operations.

It's optional, for now. but to keep your application competitive, there is also a four-year University of Toronto Honours Bachelor of Science (HBSc) degree in Paramedicine.

I joined prior to 1975, when the mandate came into effect, so thankfully avoided it. But, later, those of us hired prior to 1975, were sent to college catch up with the mandate. "Get with the program, or GTFO."

As so-called "grand-fathers" we were also fortunate in that we remained on full pay and benefits while in college.

As far as members of our own departmental academy losing their jobs, that did not happen. Some were ( reluctantly ) forced to return to Operations.

Others found a niche in Recruiting, Orientation, Continuing and Remedial, Education & Quality Improvement (EDQI) etc.

I could see a movement to probation period being increased. Maybe some mandatory courses- distance based.

We had 12 months probation with a Field Training Officer ( FTO ). Increased to 18 in some cases. Also, in-service and online education throughout your career.

College diplomas as an application prerequisite to apply would be fine. 2 years in school. Then apply.

I think what the Commission recommended was a career specific diploma, as in emergency services. Not general or "hypothetical".

Think about a degree you obtained 15 years ago.

Ontario emergency services recruits tend to be younger. It is their first full-time job.

They graduate high school, then straight into the two-year diploma program, then the challenge the provincial AEMCA, then apply to a municipality.

I remember considerable reluctance to the mandate back in 1975. I was one of them.

But, you had to, if you wanted on the job, or keep the job you already had.

I understand this was a federal recommendation.

But, my question is, if not the federal, is there any enthusiasm in the provincial or municipal police communities?

police work is dirty blue collar work

So is crawling under a subway train with a flash-light.
 
So the difference I think, as just some guy, is that Paramedicine is science based. So it lends itself, in my opinion, more to education than people skills. That’s not to say EMS isn’t people skills- but policing is 95% talking and listening. 5% fighting empty hands and up.

You get better at people by dealing with people. Same way I get better at the latter use of force applications.

Police work is a “doing” skill. There is a medical knowledge in EMS that lends itself to clinics, classroom, and labs and then transitioning to the road.

At least when I was an EMR it was like that. Which was several decades ago. I always saw EMS as the smartest of the emergency services.

Should every firefighter get a degree? It’s a practical job that lends itself to a journeyman style education like police work. In my unsolicited and unwelcome opinion,
 

My first partner - my mentor - told me, just like in the movies - "Forget everything they taught you at the academy." "We're not effing doctors."

"This job is 90% likeability. Smile and a shoeshine".

Lazy too. Walked 'em every time if they had a pulse.

Nice thing was, enforcement was not part of our job description.

What they never show on the 6 o'clock news is what goes on inside peoples homes. This guy was one of the most - outwardly - likeable people I ever met. Very clean-cut. Found out after he passed away, and privately suspected, that he was an absolute drunken sh$t at home with his family.

I don't entirely blame him. There's all sorts of help available now. There was nothing back then.

Don't know what the moral is. Just funny things you remember. :)
 
As a complete outsider, it seems like the commission took the Western culture's standard approach, credentialism.

I fail to see how adding an education requirement would make any difference, and would likely contribute to the impression that the police are "other", particularly in places where post secondary education isn't the norm.

Maybe I'm out to lunch, but I suspect we need two level of "police":
1) Educated, and experienced people to investigate crimes. Essentially what we have now for police. Highly paid, highly trained, and focused on after the crime police work.

2) More people in uniforms, with badges, guns, and marked police cars to provide presence, and mass when mass is needed. Less well paid, but lower education entry standards, with more emphasis on the talking and fighting.

Obviously there is more to be sorted, and maybe the experts can weigh in, but I suspect the current model of Constables earning $100K+ a year after OT is likely not affordable/sustainable if we want/expect better coverage and response times.
 
I would agree with most of that. I believe the same root sickness is involved in the thinking- that if a female officer deals with a spousal violence file they would be more empathetic- when the reality is- all genders burn out on the incredible volume and poor success/followup in court of the files, it is a system issue that we keep trying to find the right person for.

The recommendations have a lot of interesting ideas and lots of them are worthy of the money to implement. But the “if they are educated and the right gender/colour” this won’t happen- is hubris. It is a systems issue. That we refuse to look in to.
 
As a complete outsider, it seems like the commission took the Western culture's standard approach, credentialism.

I fail to see how adding an education requirement would make any difference, and would likely contribute to the impression that the police are "other", particularly in places where post secondary education isn't the norm.

Maybe I'm out to lunch, but I suspect we need two level of "police":
1) Educated, and experienced people to investigate crimes. Essentially what we have now for police. Highly paid, highly trained, and focused on after the crime police work.

2) More people in uniforms, with badges, guns, and marked police cars to provide presence, and mass when mass is needed. Less well paid, but lower education entry standards, with more emphasis on the talking and fighting.

Obviously there is more to be sorted, and maybe the experts can weigh in, but I suspect the current model of Constables earning $100K+ a year after OT is likely not affordable/sustainable if we want/expect better coverage and response times.
Every #1 comes from a #2. The 'strong back-weak mind street enforcer copper', stereotypically of Irish background, whistling down the sidewalk swinging a truncheon went out a few decades ago. Virtually all of the police-public interactions that go either bad or good happen at this level.

Like probably everyone else on here in their particular profession, I've worked with university grads that were absolute dolts, and high school grads that were shining lights. Ignoring that both law enforcement and education are provincial matters, I see neither the need nor benefit of a national standard undergrad requirement.

I am a product of an Ontario 1960s law enforcement community college program, just a few years after they became a thing. All of the faculty, including program coordinators, were retired coppers, some better instructors than others, but the entire program was geared towards public law enforcement (private security as other than a minimum wage/no qualification job was in its infancy). We were expected to attend an autopsy, toured the forensic lab, sit in on trials, all that good stuff. Many years later, the missus (an ex-member) went to teach at the same college. Things were changing. The staff was swinging to 'professional educators'. They really didn't care where you ended up so long as you paid tuition. There was no connection to law enforcement agencies. From what I hear now, it is even further along that road.

It used to be encouraged that recruits attend one of these programs, many of which now offer a degree option. Now, they have fallen out of favour, at least with the OPP. They simply aren't producing quality applicants (don't ask me to define that). They now seem to come in with a diploma in their pocket, a chip on their shoulder and virtually no life skills because they've been in school since they were six. In-house recruit training is so toned down now that it is unable, or unwilling, to knock that chip off and introduce them to the world.
 
Every #1 comes from a #2. The 'strong back-weak mind street enforcer copper', stereotypically of Irish background, whistling down the sidewalk swinging a truncheon went out a few decades ago. Virtually all of the police-public interactions that go either bad or good happen at this level.

Like probably everyone else on here in their particular profession, I've worked with university grads that were absolute dolts, and high school grads that were shining lights. Ignoring that both law enforcement and education are provincial matters, I see neither the need nor benefit of a national standard undergrad requirement.

I am a product of an Ontario 1960s law enforcement community college program, just a few years after they became a thing. All of the faculty, including program coordinators, were retired coppers, some better instructors than others, but the entire program was geared towards public law enforcement (private security as other than a minimum wage/no qualification job was in its infancy). We were expected to attend an autopsy, toured the forensic lab, sit in on trials, all that good stuff. Many years later, the missus (an ex-member) went to teach at the same college. Things were changing. The staff was swinging to 'professional educators'. They really didn't care where you ended up so long as you paid tuition. There was no connection to law enforcement agencies. From what I hear now, it is even further along that road.

It used to be encouraged that recruits attend one of these programs, many of which now offer a degree option. Now, they have fallen out of favour, at least with the OPP. They simply aren't producing quality applicants (don't ask me to define that). They now seem to come in with a diploma in their pocket, a chip on their shoulder and virtually no life skills because they've been in school since they were six. In-house recruit training is so toned down now that it is unable, or unwilling, to knock that chip off and introduce them to the world.
Just so Much truth in this post.
 
As far as education in emergency services goes, as a potential future - hopefully far distant - client, I am confident the PCPs of today have more than when they unleashed us on the citizens of Metro.

Life on Earth: Unifying Principles
Introductory Chemistry I: Structure and Bonding
Introduction to Biological and Cognitive Psychology
Life on Earth: Form, Function and Interactions
Introductory Chemistry II; Reactions and Mechanisms
Introduction to Clinical, Developmental, Personality and Social Psychology
Cell Biology
Anatomy
Pre-Hospital Care 1: Theory and Lab
Therapeutic Approaches to Behaviour in Crisis
Professional Issues, Research and Leadership
Molecular Aspects of Genetic Processes
Alterations of Human Body Function I
Pre-Hospital Care 2: Theory, Lab and Clinical
Pharmacology for Allied Health Pre-requisite
Animal Physiology
Alterations in Human Body Function II
Pre-Hospital Care 3: Theory, Lab and Field
Medical Directed Therapeutics and Paramedic Responsibilities
Microbiology
Human Physiology II
Pre-Hospital Care 4: Theory, Lab and Field
Primary Care Practice Integration and Decision Making
Vertebrate Histology: Cells and Tissues or Human Physiology
Introduction to Developmental Psychology
Abnormal Psychology
Comparative Animal Physiology
Pathologies of the Nervous System
Fungal Biology and Pathogenesis
Directed Research in Paramedicine
Advanced Data Analysis in Psychology
Seminars in Cellular Microbiology Animal Movement and Exercise Pathobiology of Human Disease


There's a lot of talk about "life experience" these days. Recruits tend to be older now. But, our recruits take their two-year diploma straight out of high school. They are considered to be more "moldable" to the sub-culture of the profession, as it is their first career.

Also, the younger you are enrolled in OMERS, the younger you can GTFO with a "maxed-out" pension. You don't think about that much when you hire on, but do as you approach the finish line.

Personally, at least from my experience, as was customary at that time, I think it is a good thing that it is not their second career.
No partner to wants to be cooped up with a "know it all" lecturing you about, "This is how we did it at my last place of employment."
Nobody GAF why you quit your last job, and chose this one.

Saw this in an ASHE thread,

- the only folks we take on with high school only - are veterans - who are on the whole - excellent cops with a ton of training/discipline and in some cases operational experience. super valuable and something Ontario was talking about disallowing ie) no diploma/degree - not getting hired. I hope this never happens as some of the finest officers Ive worked with started out with the CAF.

FAQ of "the largest municipal police service in Canada",

Q: I am currently/past member of the military. Do I get special consideration?

A: Although we appreciate your service in the military, all current and past members of any military service will proceed through the Constable Selection System like any other candidate.



















 
As far as education in emergency services goes, as a potential future - hopefully far distant - client, I am confident the PCPs of today have more than when they unleashed us on the citizens of Metro.

Life on Earth: Unifying Principles
Introductory Chemistry I: Structure and Bonding
Introduction to Biological and Cognitive Psychology
Life on Earth: Form, Function and Interactions
Introductory Chemistry II; Reactions and Mechanisms
Introduction to Clinical, Developmental, Personality and Social Psychology
Cell Biology
Anatomy
Pre-Hospital Care 1: Theory and Lab
Therapeutic Approaches to Behaviour in Crisis
Professional Issues, Research and Leadership
Molecular Aspects of Genetic Processes
Alterations of Human Body Function I
Pre-Hospital Care 2: Theory, Lab and Clinical
Pharmacology for Allied Health Pre-requisite
Animal Physiology
Alterations in Human Body Function II
Pre-Hospital Care 3: Theory, Lab and Field
Medical Directed Therapeutics and Paramedic Responsibilities
Microbiology
Human Physiology II
Pre-Hospital Care 4: Theory, Lab and Field
Primary Care Practice Integration and Decision Making
Vertebrate Histology: Cells and Tissues or Human Physiology
Introduction to Developmental Psychology
Abnormal Psychology
Comparative Animal Physiology
Pathologies of the Nervous System
Fungal Biology and Pathogenesis
Directed Research in Paramedicine
Advanced Data Analysis in Psychology
Seminars in Cellular Microbiology Animal Movement and Exercise Pathobiology of Human Disease


There's a lot of talk about "life experience" these days. Recruits tend to be older now. But, our recruits take their two-year diploma straight out of high school. They are considered to be more "moldable" to the sub-culture of the profession, as it is their first career.

Also, the younger you are enrolled in OMERS, the younger you can GTFO with a "maxed-out" pension. You don't think about that much when you hire on, but do as you approach the finish line.

Personally, at least from my experience, as was customary at that time, I think it is a good thing that it is not their second career.
No partner to wants to be cooped up with a "know it all" lecturing you about, "This is how we did it at my last place of employment."
Nobody GAF why you quit your last job, and chose this one.

Saw this in an ASHE thread,



FAQ of "the largest municipal police service in Canada",






















of course that will be the answer. have to go through the process as anyone else does......but if successful - generally will make a good copper....​

 

of course that will be the answer. have to go through the process as anyone else does......but if successful - generally will make a good copper....​


Of course. I was an MSE Op in the PRes. I found that experience helpful when I transferred to the bus and truck ( ESU / MPU ) division of our dept.
 
Saw this in an ASHE thread,

I’ve always held that police work is dirty blue collar work that needs practical people on the frontlines with strong support professionals (who should have good educations.)

I remember dirty blue collar work. Blood and guts. Heavy lifting too. Up and down stairs, out of ravines and automobile wrecks etc.

There was a height and weight ( 5'8" / 160 lbs. ) requirement. There were no women on the job.

Not sure why that was, but thankfully, it's not like that anymore.

But, even before those changes, they did embrace education. Not just for the rear-eschelon HQ,, and Training Division staff.

I mean the 9-1-1 front-line. The people they send on calls.

Not to suggest emergency service was better or worse, then or now. Just different.
 
The 'strong back-weak mind street enforcer copper', stereotypically of Irish background, whistling down the sidewalk swinging a truncheon went out a few decades ago.

Bring them back. My uncle used to pound a beat.

 
Every #1 comes from a #2. The 'strong back-weak mind street enforcer copper', stereotypically of Irish background, whistling down the sidewalk swinging a truncheon went out a few decades ago. Virtually all of the police-public interactions that go either bad or good happen at this level.

Interestingly enough, one of the most important ways that the police in Northern Ireland contributed to the end of the terrorist war was reintroducing that kind of 'beat plodding' copper.

They were actually all pretty smart, though ;)
 
Interestingly enough, one of the most important ways that the police in Northern Ireland contributed to the end of the terrorist war was reintroducing that kind of 'beat plodding' copper.

They were actually all pretty smart, though ;)
More members on foot patrol - absolutely; but I'm not sure the summary methods of days gone by would fly now.
 
More members on foot patrol - absolutely; but I'm not sure the summary methods of days gone by would fly now.

If offered the choice, I'd rather take a "summary method" and get it over with than stand tall before a judge.
 
More members on foot patrol - absolutely; but I'm not sure the summary methods of days gone by would fly now.

I just recall one beautiful moment in West Belfast when a local kid was winding up to chuck a rock at our patrol and one of the two cops wagged his finger at him and shouted "Bobby Smith! If you do that I'll drag you home to your mammy for a proper beating!"

Or words to that effect.

They really knew the people in their patches.... and it helped alot in a variety of ways.
 

God dammit Doug…

What Ford is doing is simply and explicitly lowering the standards.

Toronto Police,
Successfully completed at least four years of secondary school education or its equivalent.

Since 1975, Toronto paramedic applicants,
Must have successfully completed a MOHLTC-recognized course for Primary Care Paramedic provided by a College of Applied Arts and Technology.

Not for me to question the wisdom of our premier regarding education in our emergency services.
Or, to suggest one way is better, or worse, than the other.

But to me, at least, I see one significant difference.

Two years in college meant you were more likely to be partnered with a younger individual beginning their first career.
Less likely to be an older and wiser type with "life experience", and possibly leadership experience, changing careers.

Typically, not always, but typically, college students tended to be younger.

The hire PARTNERS. Not leaders.
Nobody is the honcho. It's 50-50.
Partners who can tolerate being cooped up with each other for 12-hour shifts. Possibly for the rest of their careers. It happens.

A young partner simply meant you were less likely to be subjected to lectures about how things were done at their former employer.
An older partner may have come from a leadership position. Possibly, less likely to accept simply being a partner.

If their former employment was non-unionized, they might come with a chip on their shoulder about that.

Especially when assigned to a younger partner with more seniority.

These are personal non-expert opinions and generalizations based on experience. Every person is different. YMMV
 
Saw this in another thread regarding mandatory education.

I’m good with the Primary Care Paramedic two year college program being a mandatory for them.

Ontario News Release on that subject.

June 29, 2023

NEWS RELEASE

Ontario Helping More Students Become Paramedics​

BARRIE — As part of Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care and its plan to hire more health care workers, the Ontario government is helping more students who want to become a paramedic in Ontario by adding more than 300 spaces in paramedic programs at provincial colleges across Ontario this year.

“There is a significant demand for paramedics in communities across the province, and our government is making it as easy as possible for those who want to train and work in this important profession,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “In partnership with the Ontario Association of Paramedic Chiefs, we are strengthening Ontario’s paramedic workforce for years to come.”

More student spaces in primary care paramedic programs at colleges across Ontario will make it easier for future paramedics to access education and training closer to home. Expanding the pipeline of talent for the future will also help bolster the paramedic workforce and make sure emergency services are available to respond to emergencies when and where Ontarians need them.

“By expanding enrolment for paramedic programs in Ontario, our government is helping more students gain access to world class postsecondary training closer to home,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “These new spots will play a critical role in addressing the current shortage of paramedics by preparing more highly-skilled health care professionals to enter the workforce and provide the excellent care Ontarians deserve.”

The province is making it easier for people and their families to connect to the care they need, when they need it, closer to home by helping those who want to train and work in Ontario and hiring more health care workers to help communities build up their own health workforces.

  • Colleges offered expanded enrolment in 2023-24 are Algonquin College, Cambrian College, Centennial College, Collège Boréal, Collège La Cité, Conestoga College, Confederation College, Durham College, Fanshawe College, Georgian College, Lambton College, Northern College, St. Clair College and St. Lawrence College.

  • The newly expanded Ontario Learn and Stay Grant will provide students studying in the first year of a paramedic program in 2023-2024 at select postsecondary institutions with funding for free tuition, books, compulsory fees and other direct educational costs. After graduating, students will need to work in the same region they studied for a minimum of six months for every full year of study funded by the grant.

  • As announced in the 2023 Ontario Budget, Dedicated Offload Nurses Program (DONP) funding is increasing by $51 million over the next three years to support municipalities in reducing ambulance offload delays, providing funding for dedicated nurses to offload patients in hospital emergency rooms. As of January 2022, funding eligibility has been expanded to paramedics, respiratory therapists, and physician assistants in addition to nurses.

  • The province is also giving paramedics the flexibility to treat additional 9-1-1 patients – including those with diabetes and epilepsy – at home, on scene, or in appropriate community-based settings instead of in emergency departments. This innovative model of care is already in place for palliative as well as mental health and addictions patients.

  • Ontario is expanding its community paramedicine program, which enables paramedics to use their training and expertise beyond their traditional emergency response role. Through this program, which works alongside home care, primary care, and home and community care, 55 communities are already benefiting from 24/7 non-emergency support. This is also helping people with chronic health conditions live independently at home, where they want to be.
 
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