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Are we ready for terrorism? Emergency medical technicians' and paramedics' training and self-perceived competence since September 11

Art Clawson, MS, Nir Menachemi, PhD, MPH, Unho Kim, MPH, Robert G. Brooks, MD, MBA


The US continues to be a target for terrorist activities that threaten the lives of the populace. Training on preparedness and response for emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics is critical to the success of an early response to any such attack. Previous surveys have suggested that terrorism-specif-ic training has been modest at best since September 11. In order to gain further insight into emergency personnel’s level of training and competence, we sent surveys to 4,000 EMTs and paramedics in the state of Florida in late 2005 and early 2006. Results show a much higher level of training than previously reported from other states and suggest a direct correlation between the amount and type of training and self-reported competence. Our results suggest that most emergency personnel are receiving terrorism-specific training, but gaps in competencies exist and require the attention of educators and policymakers.


emergency medical technician, paramedic, terrorism-specific training, perceived competence

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