Department Spotlight: David Fifer, NRP

David Fifer, NRP is a lecturer and EMC lab coordinator at Eastern Kentuckyemc-degree-online-lab-david-fifer University.
How long have you been at EKU? What is your role? What courses do you teach? 
This is my second semester teaching at EKU, but I graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences in 2007 and stayed connected with EKU as a member of the International Alumni Association Board of Directors.
I teach EMT Theory & Practice, and am responsible for all skill training and simulation learning for all of our EMT and paramedic students.
What aspects of emergency medical care are you most passionate about? What roles have you held in the past?
I’m most passionate about improving the quality of care in EMS by putting the dogma in our field to rest through a focus on the science. Over the course of my career I’ve worked in the streets, as an ER Tech, as the director of an EMS agency and as an instructor in numerous disciplines; I still practice regularly as an ambulance provider and a wilderness rescuer. And in all of those experiences I’ve seen a lot of dubious information taught as doctrine simply because “this is the way we’ve always done it” or because “this is how I was taught, so that’s that.” We work hard in the EMC program to teach evidence-based practices and to develop critical thinking so that our graduates can think through the rationality (or lack thereof) of their treatments and techniques, and I’m really proud of that.
What do you love about EKU?

I love that we punch above our weight. I think that to many people, public regional universities are seen as inauspicious. Setting aside the fallacy of that idea in the first place, I love that EKU sees itself as a destination of choice and a serious academic institution. We have faculty who are nationally and internationally acclaimed experts, a beautiful campus with modern facilities, and graduates who are true leaders in their fields. And we don’t see any of that as being at odds with our focus on regional Eastern Kentucky stewardship; rather, we feel that it’s one and the same.

What makes the EKU Paramedicine Program unique?
For one thing, we’re one of only a dozen or so baccalaureate Paramedic programs in the nation. For another, we were the first program in Kentucky to be nationally accredited and one of the first in the nation to be accredited, period. So we’re one of the few Paramedic programs that require four years of in-depth and well-rounded study, and our history of industry-recognized excellence is decades long. 

Published on January 28, 2016