Regional Conversion Course for EMTs

PHECC has identified the successful completion of the conversion programme for as many existing EMTs as possible as a primary objective. In its study ”EMT Age and Training Profile” presented to the Council in May 2003, the Council estimated that there are approximately 150 Health Board personnel remaining, who could avail of an EMT Conversion Course.

Back Row L to R: Laurence Mc Nally, Declan O'Connor, Michael Bury, Charlie O'Connell, Eddie Burke,
Johnny Moran, Pauline O'Malley, Tony Denning, Jim Potter 
Front Row L to R: Padraic Rice, Kevin Flannery, Vincent O'Connor, John Cunningham, Brigid Meehan.

Council is willing to assist training institutions and ambulance services management practically and financially to run “bridging” and Conversion Courses within the regions. Training institutions have also been asked to review their assessment methodologies so they might better reflect modern adult learning principles.

The Western Health Board Ambulance Service in collaboration with the National Ambulance Training School and the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council ran the 16th EMT Conversion Course at Loughlanna Village and Conference Centre Castlebar, Co. Mayo in February and March 2003. This course consisted of two three week modules with a rest period between.

Reports from all involved, Tutors from the National Ambulance Training School and the Western Health Board Ambulance Service, visiting Medical Faculty and the Students themselves are very encouraging. The commitment of tutors in maintaining a relaxed yet professional atmosphere was undoubtedly reflected in the excellent results. In his report to Council, Mr. Macartan Hughes, Director of the National Ambulance Training School states “every one of these people added to the quality of the course through their total participation and determination to succeed. This group was a credit both to themselves and to their respective services; it was a great pleasure and indeed a privilege to be associated with the class of the 16th EMT conversion”. Mr. Hughes also stated that following on the successful completion of this course, several other services have expressed an interest in running a similar type course in their area and interest has been rekindled amongst other EMTs to attend the NATS based conversion course.

Council adds its thanks to all concerned in this most successful course and congratulates each EMT on their personal success. Council looks forward to working with each of them in future developments within the area of pre- hospital emergency care. The Director of PHECC, Dr Geoff King, has stated that he considers the Conversion Course run in Castlebar as the single most important initiative of PHECC in 2003.


PHECC intend to build on the ICT initiative which saw PHECC sponsoring a multi-media PC to each Ambulance Station in the country. We are currently compiling an Educational/Training package of CD ROMs. The package will be supplied to both accredited training institutions, each Ambulance Service training department, and to each ambulance station. The suggested composition of the first package is:-
  • Mosbys Medical Encyclopedia, Professional CD
  • Bodyworks Deluxe CD
  • A*L*S-Paramedic-Study Helper Version 2.0. CD
  • PHTLS 5th Edition (Textbook including CD)
  • Neonatal Resuscitation 4th Edition (Textbook including CD)
It is intended that this project will be an ongoing initiative to be expanded upon in the future, subject to adequate funding being available In a further expansion of this initiative, PHECC is exploring the option of recommending a list of websites, covering training/education and EMS general interest.