Overseeing a robust EMT and Paramedic program is no small feat. Where does an EMS Education Program Director turn to ensure they are effectively tracking student progress, managing student internship schedules, and preparing students for the NREMT?
If you're Grant Goold, founder and EMS Program Director at American River College in California, you turn to Fisdap to simplify this often overwhelming workload and improve student results. Read on to learn how Goold utilizes Fisdap for tracking, scheduling, and testing and why this ~20 year Fisdap user has "a long track record of success using Fisdap as part of our curriculum."
American River College is located in Sacramento, California as part of the California community college system. The school’s EMS Education program consists of training for first responders, including EMTs and paramedics. Grant Goold is the founder of the program and has served as Program Director since its inception 24 years ago.
The Public Safety Group (PSG) team had the chance to speak with Grant about his experience using Fisdap in the college’s EMS programs.
What initially led you to consider Fisdap for your courses? What sets it apart from the competition?
I was at an EMS conference where I bumped into some colleagues of mine that were talking about Fisdap and how it was trying to help track the large amount of information we need to track for Paramedic (and later, EMT) programs, as well as
helping with validated testing. I started using Fisdap in my programs in Spring 2002, and we’ve pretty much integrated it into all phases of my department since then. The validated exams of Fisdap are excellent, and all the components of Fisdap together are key in providing transparent, student-driven data that helps us build conversations with students and plan our program’s strategy.
Fisdap has been such a great partner over the years, and I don’t plan on looking elsewhere, unless the day comes where I feel Fisdap can no longer meet my needs. It meets the tracking, scheduling, and testing needs of my program pretty well. It also helps that EMTs in our program can advance to paramedic and have access to software they already recognize and understand from their EMT days.
What are your thoughts on Fisdap’s exam security?
Overall, Fisdap’s exam security is excellent. Fisdap runs a tight ship when it comes to keeping the questions and answers to their exams secure and off the Internet. We had one instance recently where faculty at our school believed students were getting assess to Fisdap Unit Exams from somewhere online, so I contacted Fisdap to let them know. They were all over finding the breach and getting it taken down.
There are always going to be “immoral” and “dishonest” groups of people who try to post test answers online, but Fisdap takes security very seriously and does their best to ensure their exams are properly assessing cognitive knowledge of students without allowing any sort of cheating.
Have you done any validation sessions with Fisdap or interacted with the Fisdap community at all? If so, how do you feel the community helps improve the strength and reliability of Fisdap exams?
Yes, I have. I’ve actually sat in on Fisdap validation sessions since the early days of Fisdap. In my opinion, any time you put a bunch of really bright people into a room, the outcome will be superior to what you can achieve individually. This is what helps make Fisdap great; their exams are built with the input of top minds in the EMS community.
While COVID-19 has changed the dynamic of Fisdap gatherings, they’ve still made an effort to keep their validation process as normal as possible. Fisdap is always open to feedback from the community of professionals, and they’ve shown that they’re open to tweaking their program as needed to produce the best outcomes.
What kind of success have you seen using Fisdap to prepare students for their Registry exams (such as student stories, instructor testimonials, etc.)?
We’ve been very pleased with our National Registry pass rates and experiences, which is the ultimate measurement of success. Just the other day, I had a student call into my office. The student was happy because he went through the NREMT, and he felt he was overprepared for it, with Fisdap playing a major role in that overpreparation.
In my experience, when students make an effort to use the tools we give them (such as Fisdap Exams, Fisdap Study Tools, Public Safety Group assets, etc.), the results will always be better than those who choose not to utilize them to their full extent.
Are there any closing words you’d like to share with people considering using Fisdap for their training programs?
As a ~20-year user of Fisdap, I can tell you from experience that Fisdap will always take care of its user groups, whether it be students or faculty. They’re very open to considering new adjustments to their program, and if they can’t make a certain adjustment, they’ll give you an explanation as to why that’s the case. They want their exams to accurately reflect the National Registry exams as much as possible.
We have a long track record of success using Fisdap as part of our curriculum, and I look forward to seeing what additional products and improvements Fisdap makes in the future.
Interested in how Fisdap can help you reach your unique training goals? Learn how you can start your Fisdap journey today.