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A field training officer is a seasoned member of an organization that provides leadership and training to probationary, new and junior members the organization. This role is used in law enforcement, fire departments and emergency medical services.
The function of a field training officer is to provide mentoring and guidance to new EMTs, keep seasoned EMTs current and provide refresher and remedial training as needed. In addition to carrying out the routine duties of a paramedic, the field training officer also serves as a leader in his EMS team.
The duties of a field training officer will vary based on state laws and local governing agencies, however some of the basic duties are attending continuing education classes relevant to field training officer employment, participate in the pre-screening and hiring process of new EMTs, providing orientation to new EMTs, train mentor and evaluate EMT staff, develop remedial training exercises for EMTs and serving as a mentor and role model for EMT staff.
Education and Experience
Educational requirements and certification preferences are determined by state and local standards. Typical training includes an associate’s degree or higher, paramedic-level training and experience, experience, 2 to 5 years experience as a paramedic or EMT with the service provider you are applying to be a field officer at, participation in continuing education units geared towards field training officer instruction such as classes offered by the American Heart Association and a clear work history review.
Knowledge and Skills
Field training officers act as supervisors to new EMT students and EMTs. Field training officer candidates are expected to possess a deep understanding of emergency medical service regulations, policies and procedures, knowledge of equipment used in emergency care, current knowledge of emergency medical procedures and techniques, ability to maintain EMS credentials, ability to communicate and gather information from bystanders and patients, and the ability to attend to medical emergencies at accident and disaster sites. The formal education of a field training officer does not end with paramedic certification. Field training officers are expected to participate in professional development training exercises and remain current in emerging trends in the emergency medical services field.
The median wages for a paramedic is $14.10 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Considering that a field training officer is a supervisory position, the salary of a field training officer is generally expected to be higher. The Journal of Emergency Medical Services estimates the average median salary for field training officers is about $45,000 a year, however this figure varies greatly.
Kara Allison received her bachelor's degree in English and comparative literature from the University of Cincinnati and her master's degree in library and information science from Kent State University. She is currently employed as an academic librarian in Cincinnati, Ohio. Allison has been a contributing writer for various websites since 2007.