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Nicolet Firefighter, EMT students excel on certification exams

Sept. 17, 2013

Students in Nicolet College’s Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician programs achieved nearly a 100 percent pass rate on the skills portion of the most recent state and national certification exams. It’s an accomplishment that program coordinators largely attribute to new curriculum.

firefighter“We’ve raised the bar on the quality and amount of instruction and training students receive,” said Jason Goeldner, director of Public Safety at Nicolet. “The end result is that students completing our programs will have a higher level of skill when they respond to incidents. This translates directly into a higher level of service to the general public.”

Of the 18 students taking the most recent Firefighter 1 state certification practical exam, 17 passed the rigorous test.

For EMTs, 25 of the 26 students passed the most recent national certification skills exam.

“Of course our goal is a 100 percent pass rate and have all of our students receive  certification the first time they take an exam,” Goeldner noted. “We’re getting there and the new curriculum will go a long way in helping us achieve that goal.”

Students who don’t pass the exam on their first attempt have the opportunity to take the exam again, Goeldner noted.

The college also added an online training component in the past year, offering students the flexibility of completing their coursework at a time that was best for them and cutting down on travel to and from the Nicolet Campus.

On the EMT side, the number of required training hours at Nicolet jumped significantly in the past year, increasing from 144 to 180 hours of training, said Dana Baumgartner, Nicolet’s Fire & Emergency Medical Services  Specialist.

Along with giving students additional instruction on the technical skills of being an EMT, the new curriculum also provides more in-depth knowledge of physiology, pathophysiology, illness and disease processes, Baumgartner noted.

“We’ve placed a much greater emphasis on why specific treatments or actions should be performed in given situations rather than simply a see-and-treat method,” she said.

“This deeper level of training gives EMTs a higher level of knowledge and decision-making skills which, in the end, results in a higher level of patient care.”

For more information about Firefighter and EMT training programs at Nicolet, visit and go to the Continuing Education link at the top of the page and then the Public Safety section. More information is also available by calling the college’s Public Safety department at (715) 365-4600, 1-800-544-3039, ext. 4600; TDD (715) 365-4448.

To register for classes, call the college’s Welcome Center at (715) 365-4493, 1-800-544-3039, ext. 4493: TDD (715) 365-4448.