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Magazine/Television Reviews

As seen in the November 2003 issue of

Meat & Potatoes: CE Doc Adds Flavor to Education
By Thom Dick

NPI Chief Operating Officer Jim Redgate (second from left) and Dr. Stephen Katz (fourth from left) pose with Station 6 “C Squad” crew of Boca Raton Fire Rescue, featured in the first installment of Medic Monthly.

If you’re tired of going through the same old trauma reviews, the same old diabetic lectures and the same old finger-down-your throat, wake-us-when-it’s-over CE, maybe you need to call the CE Doctor.

Steve Katz is a former volunteer EMT and paramedic from upstate New York who understands how EMSers think, and he talks the way EMSers talk. He became an emergency physician in Florida, and is now an ED medical director at Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines, FL. Along with his wife, Nicole, who is a big-time TV producer, he started putting together some video CE stuff for his local EMS agencies.

That’s all been done before. But when Katz presented his material, he noticed people really paid attention. Now, anybody who’s ever taught field folks knows that takes some doing. People who run trauma calls for a living are accustomed to profound stimuli. You pretty much have to reach out and grab them by the throat to get their attention.

Based on his success with Florida agencies, Katz became convinced there was a national market—maybe an international market —for his work. He organized what he calls the National Paramedic Institute (NPI) about a year ago, and his first video for the national market was available in July on both VHS and DVD.

NPI videos come with written materials, learning objectives, pre-tests, post-tests, charts, stats and answer sheets for review. They’re good for 1½ CE credits each (via the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for EMS).

What does Katz do that’s special? He uses a case-based approach to atypical medical emergencies or atypical presentations of common medical emergencies. He tries to focus on monthly topics that EMTs and paramedics are interested in, and has them presented by practicing emergency docs. He backs them up with high-quality music and snappy graphics. He plans to present real pathology: real hangings, real photos of diseased lungs, real breath sounds and heart tones—what he calls the “meat and potatoes” of pre-hospital care—in a package that appeals to EMSers.

Katz is planning some great topics: CHF vs. COPD. GHB overdose. A guy lying on the floor of a bar with blood emerging from his mouth and a vague history of hearing a sound like a gunshot, in which the paramedics eventually get chewed out by an ED nurse for missing something they’ll never miss again. And a medico-legal installment in which paramedics are sued on behalf of patients. But medicine isn’t the only thing in this package. Katz
has also incorporated brief segments like the following: Hazmat Moment: a 30-second piece that reviews a piece of hazmat equipment; Medic Monthly Fitness Minute: a 30-second spot based on a particular exercise; Medic Monthly Cooking Minute: a recipe for on-duty caregivers.

Katz plans to charge agencies a nominal fee per participant per hour of credit. He also plans to offer discounted rates for larger departments. One of his first international subscribers is Magen David Adom, Israel’s national ambulance service. For more information, call 800/671-9411, or visit Katz plans to offer eight CE installments a year for a total of 12 CE hours for first responders, EMTs and paramedics.

Thom Dick has been an EMT and paramedic for 23 years and is currently quality care coordinator for Pridemark Paramedic Services in Arvada, CO.

Steven Katz, MD, president of the National Paramedic Institute, has developed a video program to assist in meeting CEU requirements. It's called Medic Monthly, and a 20-minute installment comes to your door each month.

Medic Monthly is designed with the emergency responder in mind. The 20 minutes seemed like only 10 due to the video's fast pace and high energy. Each tape features a case study and multiple 30-second segments. These include: "Haz Mat Moments," which reviews a piece of hazmat equipment; "Medic Monthly Fitness Minute," which discusses a particular exercise; and "Monthly Cooking Minute," a recipe brought to you from a fire or EMS chef.

Organizations can receive the service via annual subscription which includes a video for each of their stations, a pre- and post-test and a handout that can be copied for each student. Medic Monthly is CECBEMS-approved.

Members of the Islamorada Fire/Rescue team, with Founders Park pool staff and head lifeguard Al DiBuono, helped film an emergency assistance training video on Tuesday, Aug. 24. The tape, produced by the National Paramedic Institute, is used by emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics nationwide and abroad, as part of a continuing education program. EMTs and paramedics are required to have 40 hours of continuing education every two years. The video featuring the Islamorada crew will be released and distributed in December.

Photo: Kristine Friedman

By Becky Pallack
Tucson, Arizona | Published: November 22, 2005

East Side paramedics saved the life of an actor Monday - as part of a fictional scenario.

The Tucson Fire Department's Engine 12 paramedics were in makeup for the cameras as they were featured in a training film for the National Paramedic Institute. They joked about their lipstick colors while seriously discussing the latest heart monitors.

"Emergency medical service providers are at the forefront of medical care, and proper training is critical to their performance," said Steven Katz, president of the Florida-based institute.

The training films help paramedics learn to handle calls from common to complicated, said Deputy Fire Chief Joe Gulotta. "We have to continue to be top-notch and be prepared for every incident we go to," he said.

At the Fire Department, Engine 12 is one of 10 "paramedic assessment units," or fire trucks with special medical equipment onboard.

About 85 percent of dispatched calls at the Tucson Fire Department are for emergency medical services. It adds up to more than 60,000 medical calls a year, and about 40 percent of those are for heart attacks and other life-threatening conditions, said Capt. Paul McDonough, a Fire Department spokesman.

While everyone on the staff at the department is trained as a medic, 130 people hold the more advanced rank of paramedic, he said.

The job of paramedic has changed over the years. The Tucson department first offered paramedic services in the 1970s, and it responded to calls as far away as Picacho Peak and Mount Lemmon, McDonough said.

Paramedics are recertified every two years. They take continuing-education classes regularly to refresh their knowledge of the basics and learn about new technologies and procedures. The latest update for local paramedics concerns high-tech audiovisual equipment that will allow the staff to communicate directly with an emergency room doctor.

"We try to provide the best technology for the best care," Gulotta said. "If you're not moving ahead, you're falling behind."

Through one camera mounted on the top of an emergency vehicle and another inside the ambulance, doctors will be able to see accident scenes and patients in ambulances on their way to University Medical Center.

The program, called ER Link, is funded through a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation and matching city funds, said Richard Nassi, Tucson transportation administrator. The system is expected to be working by spring.

Contact reporter Becky Pallack at 629-9412

SIERRA VISTA - Some everyday local heroes from the Sierra Vista Fire Department got a chance at acting Tuesday - and there were no injuries.
A crew from the National Paramedic Institute on Tuesday filmed part of an ongoing education video for use in re-accrediting EMTs and paramedics in Sierra Vista.

These educational films are valid as an element of re-accreditation for emergency medical personnel programs in all 50 states, as well as Canada, Mexico, Iceland and Israel.

NPI filmed a similar case-based scenario Monday in Tucson.

The company produces around eight such videos annually, said Steve Katz, the company's president and CEO.

"Sierra Vista uses our video service in their department, so that's how we know them," Katz said.

Ron York, the Sierra Vista Fire Department's training chief, said NPI sent a product sample two years ago when the company was just been founded. And Katz's wife, Nicole, who did much of the directing Tuesday, called York with the acting opportunity for the department.

Tuesday's take will become available to use for training in April, York said.

Emergency medical personnel must perpetually train to remain accredited within their field. Such training includes annual weeklong refresher courses comprising the majority of the ongoing training requirement hours, York said, as well as ongoing education germane to specific local medical facilities and these monthly educational video scenarios.

"This just adds to the hours," York said. "You're getting everybody on the department re-certified instead of having one person go for the same price."

With a VCR or DVD player, the monthly tapes, a syllabus and test, NPI removes the necessity for travel costs of similar ongoing education held outside of the area, York said.

The more efficient result is similar to the local hazardous materials training program last summer that certified a large number of local emergency personnel, cheaply, during a course administered locally.

The dramatic scenarios also can be streamed online, Katz said.

"A new experience for all of us," said Brian Jones, a Sierra Vista firefighter and paramedic, about his acting debut. "It was a great experience."

Two months ago, NPI filmed in Israel, and another production is scheduled in Florida two weeks from now.

Katz is also an emergency room physician in Pembroke Pines, Fla., a former paramedic, and the medical director for the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.

"So the victim is always an actor, and the caregivers are always professional paramedics," Katz explained of the casting methods.

Tucson actor Dwayne Palmer said he enjoyed playing the part. His coughing seemed quite real, but he said the fake blood tasted terrible.

Palmer's character patient was that of an alcoholic chain smoker and former intravenous drug user who suffered from difficulty breathing and blood-producing coughs.

"Did we talk about how we're going to cough the blood up? Because we are going to have just one shot to do it," Katz said as he directed a scene. "I want it to look as potentially real as possible."

For the firefighters and paramedics of Tequesta Fire Rescue, many days include action. Not many, however, include lights and a camera, too. Except for a recent day at a home on River Drive. Six from TFR Capt. Dan Tilles; fire medics Peter Allen, Andre Dodd and Ray Giblin; and firefighters Thomas Berg and Mark Spurgeon took a day out of their schedules and participated in the filming of a training video to be distributed by the National Paramedic Institute.

The Boynton Beach company does nationwide training and educational programs for first-responders, paramedics and emergency medical technicians. The video the company shot, about treating obese patients, is part of a subscription training series that deals with a challenging, confusing or unusual medical issue. Case re-enactments are filmed using real EMTs, emergency physicians, firefighters and paramedics.

"We create eight of these training modules a year," said Dr. Steven Katz, president of NPI. "It's used for paramedic and EMT recertification."

Katz started out as a paramedic in New York and is now an emergency physician, the medical director of the emergency department of Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines. He also is a medical director for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Katz started his training institute three years ago, and that work has taken him many places, including Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Virginia and Israel.

"We have customers all over the world. We always use a case-based scenario, and we always use a local department," Katz said.

"I approached Dr. Katz about six months ago about us being in the video," Tilles said. "I never thought in a million years they'd pick us."

When the Tequesta actors'' arrived at 9:35 a.m., the NPI crew had been there several hours and was well into its filming. Katz briefed the Tequesta crew for about 10 minutes regarding the patient, types of problems, and how the medics should start treatment. Everything needed to be as real as possible.

"We love the training," Tilles said of NPI's instruction. "I was impressed with the quality. And they always do hands-on training. It pertains to what we do."

After more instruction from director Nicole Katz (Steven's wife), the medics, firefighters and film crew took their places. Filming started with the victim feeling uncomfortable, then simulating a phone call to 911. However, during the first video the Katzes shot for NPI, the 911 call wasn't simulated.

"We always have the patient call 911," Steven Katz said. "In this case, we forgot to disconnect the phone. We had a crew on scene, and another one rolled up. It was very confusing."

That was three years ago, and things are much smoother now. NPI, which is recognized as a leader in emergency medical training, will film another video this month in Pembroke Pines and two more in California in June. Katz is happy with the success of his company, but his most satisfying moments are "when I get an e-mail from a paramedic that our video helped in their situation."

The Tequesta video should be ready by this fall. Check out NPI online at or at

Copyright © 2006, The Palm Beach Post. All rights reserved.

Published: June 05, 2006

The International Association of Fire Fighters has partnered with the National Paramedic Institute (NPI) to offer continuing education credits for IAFF first responder, EMT and paramedic members. Canadian and U.S. members who access NPI online training programs via the IAFF web site are eligible for discounts on individual training required for EMS certification at all levels.

Recognizing an overwhelming need for case-based continuing education modules for EMS personnel, the National Paramedic Institute began offering eight modules every year to address unusual or complex EMS issues. Each episode features a 20-minute video that provides a re-enactment and testimonials from the fire fighters, paramedics and physicians who responded to the call. EMS personnel are evaluated through a pretest, a post-video review and a quiz. Successful completion of the module provides 1.5 continuing education hours approved and recognized by the National Registry.

The new partnership with the National Paramedic Institute will allow IAFF members to access Medic Monthly, the National Paramedic Institute’s online educational series for fire fighters, EMTs and paramedics. The Medic Monthly training offers CECBEMS-approved online learning, streaming videos, online testing, online tracking and issuing of continuing education credits, personalized continuing be able to access IAFF modules on a variety of union and fire service topics.

IAFF members will receive discount when they register for EMS continuing education modules using their IAFF membership number.

Fire departments throughout the United States and Canada are also eligible for discounts with their subscription to National Paramedic Institute EMS education modules through their local IAFF affiliate. Call the National Paramedic Institute at 1 (800) 671-9411 or contact the IAFF at (202) 737-8484.
For more information or to register for a class, go to
Published: August 25, 2006

In the coming weeks, your local union president will receive information introducing the IAFF’s dynamic partnership with National Paramedic Institute and outlining benefits IAFF members will enjoy through NPI’s online EMS course offerings.

NPI is the leader in cutting-edge continuing education for EMS professionals at the first responder, EMT and paramedic levels.  This program – often referred to as an EMS JANE ( and Medic Monthly – is already used by many of the nation’s largest fire departments.  NPI’s all inclusive web site offers individual students or entire fire departments a user-friendly, one-stop shop for web-based learning.

NPI’s Online Training Center at offers a wide range of training, from case-based EMS continuing education and AED refresher training, as well hot-topics including HIV and Blood borne Pathogens.  These programs are in addition to the highly popular, case-based accredited Medic Monthly series (CECBEMS accredited and recognized by the National Registry.)
Designed to be a powerful but simple-to-use learning management system, NPI creates a customized web site for every subscribing fire department.  The system includes a manager’s tool to allow the training officer to upload material, such as local protocols and topics, human relations issues, new apparatus training, operations and fire training and safety training.  The manager’s tool is also an easy-to-use data-management system for tracking student progress and site usage.  Its ability to generate reports suitable for audits and verification purposes is a crucial time-saver.  Each subscribing fire department also has its own news page for posting crucial departmental news and operational information.

National Paramedic Institute was founded by Dr. Steven Katz, MD.  A former paramedic and board certified emergency physician, Katz currently works as one of the medical directors for Palm Beach County, FL Local 2928 and is committed to providing the highest educational standards for EMS professionals.

Known for its high-energy, scenario based episodes, Medic Monthly is created by the same team that produces the “Americas Most Wanted” television series.  National Paramedic Institute is also known for its case-based training featuring fire departments throughout the world and for teaching EMS by presenting real issues that face today’s EMS professionals.
Published: April 25, 2008

Whether you need continuing education credits or your fire department is in search of a total solution continuing education provider for online fire and EMS continuing education (CE), National Paramedic Institute’s (NPI) online training at is the right choice.

The IAFF partnered with National Paramedic Institute for its unique and dynamic online training, which focuses on the recertification and ongoing training needs of fire fighters, EMTs and paramedics. NPI’s Medic Monthly modules are case based scenarios showcasing professional fire based EMS providers across the country.

Each module involves a real life cutting-edge scenario that addresses a challenging, confusing or unusual EMS issue. In addition, each course includes a pretest, 20 minute video, post-test explanation and review, followed by a quiz. Medic Monthly continuing education modules are approved for 1.5 CE credits in all 50 states by the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS).

National Paramedic Institute is also partnered with both IFSTA, Brady, and has the exclusive rights to offer fire fighters the IFSTA series of on line courses.  

For more information, contact National Paramedic Institute at (800)671-9411. IAFF members and fire departments affiliated with an IAFF local receive a training discount.


MFRI to Offer Online EMT-B Continuing Education
by Ron Hassan, Institute Development Section Manager, MFRI
University of Maryland MFRI Bullitin July - August 2008

Beginning in the fall of 2008 MFRI will begin offering the didactic portion of the EMT-B Refresher course online. In a partnership with the National Paramedic Institute we have developed a refresher program that will allow the 12-hour didactic or classroom portion of the EMT-B recertification training to occur online at any time of the day. Students will be able to take the 12-hour portion of the EMT-B recertification online from any location with an Internet connection. The modules fulfill the topic areas in medical, trauma, and local option required for recertification. Students will then have to complete the 12-hour EMT-B skills class and any evaluations to complete the requirements for certification.

The program has been custom designed for MFRI and Maryland and complies with the Maryland Medical Protocols for EMS Providers. Currently MFRI has 1,000 seats that will be distributed by each of the MFRI regions, and we hope to be able to expand this program over time for more students. MFRI will continue to offer the current classroom version of the EMT-B Refresher for those who are interested.

Registration for the online portion of the EMT-B Refresher class will be done through the regional office appropriate to the student. When registering, students will need to provide their EMTB provider number. Students will be provided a temporary username and password to gain access to the site. The following minimum computer system requirements must be available for this training: Internet access: 128K DSL or faster (512K preferred); Web Browser: Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher; Processor Speed: 700 MHz Pentium; Minimum memory (RAM): 256 MB RAM or higher; Speakers/Headphones; Mouse/Keyboard; Soundcard; and Cookies enabled.