Emergency medical personnel work both indoors and outdoors, often in stressful circumstances, and may work in extreme weather conditions. This work is physically demanding. Emergency medical personnel are required to lift loads weighing well over 20 kilograms (for example, patients on stretchers). They must observe safety precautions to avoid injury when working with equipment and exposure to potentially hazardous biological agents. Their work is performed before patients reach a hospital, between health-care facilities and before they are seen by Emergency Department staff. At some sites, much of their time may be spent in ambulances, transporting injured or ill people to hospitals, urgent care centers or other health facilities. In other locations, they provide care to patients in an emergency room setting, assess the extent of injuries or illness to determine medical treatment, comfort and reassure patients, provide pre-hospital emergency medical care including controlling hemorrhage, CPR, oxygen, bandaging and the treatment of trauma patients.
There are three tiers of emergency medical service practitioners:
- Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)
- Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
- Emergency Medical Technologist Paramedic (EMT-P)
They have different levels for training depending on their position. EMRs have a basic level of training while EMTs have more comprehensive training including an eight-month certificate program. EMT-Ps require two years of advanced training and practicum before they are certified to work.
- Applicants must be 18 years of age
- Obtained a Standard First Aid certificate and CPR certificate at the Basic Rescuer Level (C) within the previous year
- Applicants for EMT training must be registered EMRs, have a high school transcript, and have a valid Class 4 driver’s license