Now, amid the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19, online and hybrid training models have become an exceptional solution to keep firefighter and EMS training on track. Fire and EMS departments have been using these training models for some time as a response to budget cuts and staffing challenges, but now, they are more important than ever! Online courses help you to continue with needed education and the mandated training requirements of your personnel during these difficult times.
Not only is online training cost-effective, it is time-effective too. Action Training Systems interactive courses are available 24/7 and can be used across multiple devices. Personnel can complete on-going training requirements at their own pace, on their own schedule. And, instead of presenting lengthy lectures or PowerPoint presentations, instructors and training officers can better use the time when a crew is all together for hands-on skill building.
Using the “Flipped Classroom” Model
Mike Simmons, Director of Kilgore College Fire Academy in Texas started using ATS Online Interactive courses over three years ago. He recognized the need to get more innovative and creative with the time he needed for training. Then, as it turned out, when schools started closing due to Covid-19 he was already ahead of the game. Using the “flipped” classroom model, he was able to assign the online courses to students to view ahead of time, take tests, and designate reading assignments from the manual he teaches from. Then, when it is safer for everyone to be together, he will schedule the hands-on skills practice. This will allow students to complete the Firefighter I course!
Not only does Simmons find the hybrid training model flexible, he discovered that test scores for the state fire exams had improved! He found that “Initially students thought that the online courses would be easier, however, coverage of the NFPA Standards, the focused content and the amount of information that is presented in each course, forced them to pay attention”.
Testing, Verification & Support
Action Training Systems Online courses include interactive questions and section quizzes that confirm understanding of the content before students can advance to the next section. Simmons stated that “[Online training and testing] also allows instructors to identify those students, early on, that may be struggling with some concepts.” He said that when this is the case, they can provide more support or additional training to help the student.
For any EMS agency, fire department or training academy looking for an effective online training platform Action Training Systems is the answer. The courses are engaging, with full motion video (NOT narrated PowerPoints). With a wide variety of topics and learning objectives based on nationally recognized standards, ATS training will help you meet your initial and annual certification requirements, (including CAPCE, NREMT, and some state fire certifications).
Watch Mike Simmons testimonial – The success of Action Training Systems’ Interactive Online Courses