FDNY And Calvary Hospital Collaborate On Paramedic Training Program

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As part of a long-term collaboration with FDNY, Calvary Hospital recently hosted a group of emergency medical technicians to teach the group best practices for palliative care. Required in the EMS program, the visit included rounds with Calvary physicians and instruction on end-of-life care and pain management.

Calvary physician, Vera Miller, MD (right) with FDNY EMTs, Christopher Duffus (left) and Johel Arias (center).

Calvary Hospital recently hosted a group of emergency medical technicians from The Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY): Christopher Duffus, Cecil Guy, Doris Herrera-Lozada, Ivan Hom, Johel Arias, Erin Greaney, Alicia Garcia, and Elizabeth Ferrin. During their visit to the Hospital’s Bronx campus, the group learned about best practices for delivering end-of-life care, heard about effective pain management tips, and made rounds with Calvary physicians.

The EMS members are currently enrolled in a nine-month training program to become certified paramedics. EMS members have basic life support skills. Paramedics, with advanced life support skills, practically bring the emergency room to wherever it is needed.

“Since the first group of EMS members came to Calvary 15 years ago, we have found this training to be invaluable to our paramedics. Our goal is to ensure the safety of all New York residents,” said Kimberly Benson, RN, EMT-P, CLI, Paramedic Original Program Clinical Coordinator, FDNY EMS Training Academy. “Our collaboration with Calvary allows us to provide our members with the tools and knowledge to care for all patients, even those at the end of life. Our EMS members tell us frequently how meaningful it was to be at Calvary and learn from them. Our students have voted Calvary their favorite rotation in the training program.”

To date, more than 2,000 FDNY EMS members have participated in Calvary’s professional learning programs.

Calvary and FDNY have collaborated since 2004 with this Palliative Care module. This is one of 60 modules in the curricula for their paramedic training program. More than 140 men and women are enrolled in FDNY’s 2019 paramedic training program. Students are also scheduled to visit the hospital on Oct. 29, Oct. 31, Nov. 6, Nov. 12, Nov. 14, Nov. 25, and Dec. 12. All will visit Calvary before they graduate later this year.

“Since 1985, we have shared our palliative care expertise with health care professionals from around the country and the world,” noted Robert A. Brescia, MD, Director of the Palliative Care Institute and Director of Psychiatric Services, Calvary Hospital. “We are delighted with our long-term collaboration with FDNY.”

PCI’s annual visitors include health care professionals from various countries and more than 800 medical students, residents, and fellows from throughout the greater New York area. Their Calvary visits range from one day to several months.

In 2005, the NIH’s National Cancer Institute designated Calvary, “an international leader in palliative care” and invited them to participate in the Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC). Comprising the national ministries of health from Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority, MECC members have visited Calvary regularly during the past decade.

Since its inception in 1865, The Fire Department of the City of New York has helped lead efforts to make New York the safest big city in the nation. FDNY is the largest fire department in the United States and is universally recognized as the world's busiest and most highly skilled emergency response agency. The department's main goal is to provide fire protection and other critical public safety services to residents and visitors in the five boroughs. The department also works to continually educate the public in fire, life safety, and disaster preparedness, and enforces public safety codes.

Since 1899, Calvary has been the nation’s only fully accredited acute care specialty hospital devoted exclusively to providing palliative care to adult patients with advanced cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. Each year, thousands of patients receive CalvaryCareSM throughout the greater New York area. To learn how Calvary can help you and your family, please visit http://www.calvaryhospital.org.

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Barbara Nitzberg
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