Wake County EMS employs 40 full-time Field Training Officers (FTOs) who are responsible for providing training and guidance to new employees. FTOs also fill in for District Chiefs when they are out sick. This requires the FTO to have a working knowledge of all administrative functions like scheduling and disciplinary actions and general shift oversight.
Wake County EMS created a Field Training and Evaluation Program (FTEP) based on a law enforcement model, with daily observation reports. Its sole purpose is to ensure steady acclamation of employees during their first year of employment. Every new employee, regardless of experience level, is put into the FTEP, as the program assesses more than just medical knowledge. FTOs are responsible for administering the program and for their employee's success.
The FTEP program consists of three phases. In the brief Phase 1 period, the employee observes as a third person on the ambulance. In Phase 2, guidance and orientation are provided, which are tailored to the employee’s experience and skill level. In Phase 3, employees are close to fully functional and work to fine-tune skills and departmental knowledge base.
For each shift worked, the FTO completes a Daily Observation Report that highlights the new employee’s strengths and weaknesses for that shift. It also provides ways to improve if there is poor performance, such as testing and remediation.