Preparing New Medics
Fiscal Year 2016 was a successful year for the Academy. The Training Academy transitioned from a 6 week to a 10 week academy. The additional time was added to accommodate an EMT leveling class. The leveling class allows us to bring the medical knowledge of the cadets up to ATCEMS expectations. The leveling class along with other city specific classes comprise the first 3 week of the Academy. The remainder of the Academy covers both ATCEMS operational specific training and medical training. Some examples of the operational training include Medic Safety, in depth drivers training and water safety training. During the drivers training program, the cadets completed 24 hours of both didactic and hands on training with CEVO (Coaching the Emergency Vehicle Operator). Our medical training includes comprehensive skills evaluation and high fidelity medical scenarios.
Physical Training in the Austin-Travis County EMS Cadet Academy
Physical Training (PT) in the academy is structured and challenging for any fitness level. Cadets participate in some form of PT every day of the academy. The purpose of PT is to not only improve the health and fitness of the cadet but to also encourage team building and personal accountability that will inspire the cadet to continue physical fitness throughout their career here at Austin-Travis County EMS.
Physical training consists of a balance of aerobic conditioning as well as weight training. In the first week of the academy, a VO2 aerobic fitness assessment is performed on each cadet through a 2000m row test, a 1.5 mile run test and a muscle endurance test all completed in 3 consecutive days. That information is recorded and the assessment is repeated at the end of the academy to evaluate fitness improvement. (See Chart Below)
Each week of the academy PT consists of intense aerobic exercise including rowing, long distance runs, sprint runs, interval runs, and tower stair climbing. Weight training is incorporated in at least 3 out of the 5 days of training per week. Weight training is performed in a circuit routine with dynamic lifting, focusing on conditioning and building functional muscle groups essential in EMS. Weight training includes weight baring dynamic squats, band training, and core strength and muscle endurance routines with upper body training using dumb bells, medicine balls, and kettle bells. Callisthenic exercises are also a large part of the everyday PT routine including plank variations.
Most cadets show a significant increase in their aerobic capacity and overall fitness. The Academy continues to refine the cadet PT program to ensure the best wellness and fitness to prepare the cadets for a long healthy career.
FY 201-2017 Medic I Cadet Academy VO2 Percentages
VO2 max, or maximal oxygen uptake is a common measurement used to determine overall fitness, because it is linked to aerobic endurance. VO2 max is the measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can utilize during intense, or maximal exercise. VO2 Max score is generally considered one of the best indicators of cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance. The higher the percentage the more efficient the heart and the body are.
The Academy staff continues to play a role in the OMD ALS Academy. The ALS Academy gave our Medic I (BLS) providers the opportunity to credential into the Medic II (paramedic) position. This Academy consisted of 1-8 hour day a week for 16 weeks. AT the end of the 16 weeks, each provider then completed a comprehensive exam along with an oral interview with the medical director. In 2016, 33 EMS department candidates participated in the OMD ALS Academy.
• Graduated the largest BLS Academy in ATCEMS history
• Enhanced the overall medical knowledge for each cadet by providing a diverse educational platform to encompass all learning style.
• Transforms the cadets fitness level which allows the cadet to successfully continue a healthy lifestyle