The Critical Care Paramedic Program is the backbone of MFPD’s high-quality, progressive emergency care.
CCPs are paramedics licensed in the state of Missouri who hold an additional certification in critical care. At MFPD, CCPs are dedicated solely to ambulance responses while firefighter/paramedics focus on fire and rescue operations. The division of roles, which extends to our management structure, enables us to provide a higher, more specialized level of health care.
CCPs at Mehlville are viewed as clinicians rather than technicians. They start their employment with an extended 5-day orientation dubbed “CCP Academy”. Classes taught by current Mehlville CCPs and our Medical Director, Dr. Jeffrey Siegler, include lectures and skills tests on all procedures covered in the Clinical Operating Guidelines, such as IO Cannulation, Pitcrew CPR, Airway management, and Pharmacology/medication safety. CCPs are also trained on use of equipment ranging from the Zoll monitors that monitor patients heart rhythms, to Sapphire IV infusion pumps, and the Handtevy pediatric resuscitation system. “I’ve never started a job more prepared,” is a common refrain from new CCPs, and they walk onto their ambulances with a solid understanding of Mehlville’s clinical guidelines and high expectations of service to the community.
Our Washington University medical direction team has established tiered protocols that support CCPs in practicing high-level pre-hospital care up to the level of their certification. CCPs can attain their initial certification (state and IBSSC) at MFPD and then obtain CEUs needed for re-certification. Additional rigorous training is ongoing on specific critical care procedures and equipment including ventilators, IV pumps, and Ultrasound. Quality Management (QM) provides CCPs with meaningful data to improve patient care.
Supporting and challenging our CCPs has paid off. Since we began hiring them in 2017, CCPs have led the District to marked improvements in first pass success rates in intubation, ROSC rates, and on-scene times and time to definitive care in Time Critical Diagnoses. We have also successfully expanded into use of ultrasound in cardiac arrest, rapid sequence intubation, intravenous pumps, and mechanical ventilation.