There are two types of EMS training, certification and continuing education.
Certification is granted through New York State Department of Health. Levels of certification are: Certified First Responder, Emergency Medical Technician – Basic, Emergency Medical Technician – Intermediate, Emergency Medical Technician – Critical Care and Emergency Medical Technician – Paramedic. Certification course are sponsored by various Course Sponsors that are contracted with NYS DOH.
CVRS hosts certification courses regularly. Generally one EMT-Basic and one EMT-Intermediate / Critical Care course are offered annually. In addition, four CVRS members are certified NYS EMS Instructors. Mark Spiezio (Captain and EMS Manager) is a Certified Instructor Coordinator, Regional Faculty Member and Program Coordinator. This allows him to instruct instructor development courses and evaluate other instructors. Will Moses and Elizabeth Pimpare are Certified Instructor Coordinators. They are lead instructors for certification courses. Scott Sacala is a Certified Lab Instructor. This allows him to instruct hands-on laboratory sessions and coordinate practical skills exams.
Once certified, members enroll in a program called, Renewal of Certification through Continuing Education. This allows recertification through continuing education. The EMT is required to take seventy-two hours of continuing education during the three year certificaiton cycle to renew. Education must be in a variety of topics.
CVRS has joined forces with Easton-Greenwich and Salem Rescue Squads to form a training collaboration to improve the quantity and quality of continuing education. Since the establishment of this collaboration in 2009, the three agencies have worked to greatly improve education. Continuing education classes are offered a minimum of once per month at each agency’s station.
Members also attend a variety of educational conferences including, the Southern Washington County EMS Education Weekend (held right here in Cambridge), the West Glens Falls EMS Symposium, Initial Assessment Conference (Mtn. Lakes Regional) and Vital Signs (NYS EMS Conference).
Training is taken very seriously by CVRS. Over the past five years, CVRS members have averaged 2,400+ hours of education per year.