Replacing a database and paper system for public safety personnel training

March 28, 2023 By Kit Germeroth

Cape and Islands Emergency Medical Services System (CIEMSS) is a nonprofit organization that acts as a liaison between emergency medical providers and local hospitals on Cape Cod. They also provide emergency medical education and support for public safety agencies. Their primary mission is to provide Affiliate Hospital Medical Direction (AHMD) services to all of the providers within the Cape and Islands EMS system. 

By national requirement, paramedics and certain public safety agencies must be authorized under a doctor’s license to perform certain medical practices. CIEMSS ensures that paramedics, EMTs, and other public safety personnel are up to date on training to meet state and national requirements. The organization also issues Authorization to Practice (ATP) statuses, quality assurance and improvement, and certification compliance tracking.  


Prior to this project, the organization didn’t have a software-based LMS in place and relied on a simple database and paper system for recertifying 1000 individuals every few years. This process was antiquated and made it very difficult to track or report data.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CIEMSS had to adapt to more of an online and hybrid educational approach. During this time, the organization decided to invest in a state of the art technology platform that would provide for all of the current and future needs of the providers.

The new system needed to be simplified and intuitive to encourage user adoption. They also required a high level of customization and the ability to quickly pull reports.


The learning management system, known as Cape Cod EMS, was built on Moodle Workplace with the help of Moodle’s in-house service and support team.

The move from in-person to online training was a significant change for the providers, so the platform was developed to be as intuitive as possible. When logged in, users have minimal navigation options – homepage, courses, calendar, files, and a contact form. The LMS displays license statuses in a dashboard on the right-hand side so users can immediately see their current ATP status. They can upload a photo of their ID cards and expiration dates, which are then approved by supervisors.

CIEMSS also uses the new LMS to manage M&M (morbidity and mortality) rounds that they run twice per month. The purpose of M&M rounds is for providers to learn from past cases to identify what went well and what could be improved. Providers are currently required to take them three times per year, but starting April 1, 2024, they will be required to take four. They’ll be able to complete the third and fourth rounds through a third-party, which will still be able to be tracked in the LMS. They can also easily see when they are due to take another round in their status dashboard.

Every two years, paramedics and EMTs are also required to complete a refresher course and submit certificates to the national registry. The course consists of 30 hours of learning for paramedics and 20 hours for EMTs. Now, with the first fully remote program, users can enroll themselves in the program. The course consists of 10 different classes over 30 days, with knowledge checks and quizzes. To ensure completion, participants can’t fast forward through videos.

A color coded system makes it easy for providers to track when they need to recertify. At 60 days to expiration, the notice will turn yellow and notify the supervisor and provider via email. With 30 days remaining, a duplicate notification is sent out again. If the situation is still not addressed within 7 days of expiration, CIEMSS senior staff is notified. Since implementing Moodle, the organization has nearly eliminated all issues with past due certifications.

The LMS also leverages Moodle Workplace’s multi-tenancy feature. There are 25 fire departments in the system, and each department has their own tenant site. With the ability to manage their own unique learning environment, a department can offer specific training, add activities and quizzes, easily track their own data, and customize the branding with their own logo.


Providers now have instant access to their certification compliance status, can see when certifications are expiring, and receive alerts prior to expiration. They can sign up for courses, take remote or hybrid courses, and print a Certification of Attendance for all completed courses, all right from their own account. Supervisors can review, track, and generate reports for providers and command staff in their jurisdiction, as well as receive alerts for these providers prior to a certification expiration.

The Cape Cod EMS platform has saved significant amounts of time for CIEMSS. For each M&M round on the prior paper system, the process was a 2-3 day job for two full-time employees, twice per month. The entire process now takes 15 minutes, equaling a savings of about $20,000 per year in employee time.

CIEMSS continues to work with the Moodle team to add additional customizations and custom reporting features.

“I can’t fathom how difficult this would’ve been without [Moodle Solutions Architects] Sarah Ashley and Corey Kalynuk. They are simply fantastic and I can’t say enough good things about them.” – Jonathan Cook, Operations Director at CIEMSS