In a life or death situations, emergency medical service personnel are trained to act quickly. You don’t second-guess your training or your knowledge, you act with the intention to save a life.
You may be called to treat patients in various life-threatening situations. When you are called, you provide a vital service to the sick or injured that includes care and transportation. Emergencies can occur 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and when they do, EMS personnel are prepared to act.
Most emergency medical technicians must be certified to provide services at three separate levels, including basic EMT, advanced EMT and Paramedic. Firefighters are required to gain a certification in basic life support, but are not able to transport patients unless they are certified as an EMT or a paramedic. Depending on your location, some states require firefighters to hold at least a basic EMS personnel certification.
Emergency response career opportunities include:
First to the scene, ready to act – ready to help. Medical first responders have a basic level of first aid knowledge and can administer basic life saving techniques. A first responder assesses the scene, calls for further assistance and provides cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if necessary, while waiting for emergency medical technicians or paramedics to arrive.
The speedometer pushes 70 as other vehicles move over to make way for you and the ambulance you are riding in. Calls come in and without hesitation you jump into the truck and head to the next emergency. With your basic EMT knowledge, training and skills, you are able to administer the same service as a first responder. However, as a basic EMT you receive additional certification in order to be able to administer IV’s, clear obstructed airways and provide transportation.
Adrenaline kicks in with each call. As an Advanced EMT, you are skilled and experienced to react appropriately to the needs of each patient. You are able to administer basic first aid and CPR. In addition to the responsibilities of a basic EMT, an AEMT is trained to utilize automatic and manual defibrillators, administer medication and provide transportation.
As a paramedic, you are considered the most experienced and skilled emergency responder in the field of emergency medical services. You are able to administer basic first aid, CPR, utilize specific medical supplies, clear airway obstructions and use automatic and manual defibrillators. You are also able to administer medication and provide transport as needed. As a paramedic, you are required to receive your paramedic’s license, at the certificate or associates degree level, through the completion of a nationally accredited paramedic program.
When disaster strikes, you are called. You run in, when everyone else runs out. You have a burning desire to help others, making you the perfect candidate. As a firefighter, you are called to extinguish fires, respond to emergency medical situations and render at least basic first aid. Often times you are also called to aide in salvage operations, assist with hazardous materials, and small or technical rescues.