EMT Basic Program

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What is an EMT?

An EMT or Emergency Medical Technician, is the first step in becoming a Paramedic.  Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are healthcare professionals trained in emergency Basic Life Support (BLS).  They may work  in the pre-hospital setting on a ground or air ambulance or in the fire department.  EMTs may also work in doctors offices, hospitals, casinos or as dispatchers.

EMTs are responsible for assessing and treating patients, as well as, providing on-going care while transporting to the hospital.  They respond to a wide array of traumatic emergencies involving criminal or domestic violence, natural disasters, fires or motor vehicle accidents.  They also provide care for medical emergencies involving cardiac, respiratory, diabetic and neurological related issues.  EMTs are trained in Basic Life Support including:

  • Back-boarding
  • Airway management
  • Oxygen administration
  • Splinting and bandaging
  • Bleeding control and prevention of shock

If you are interested in becoming a Paramedic or Firefighter/Paramedic, this is the 1st step!  To become a Paramedic, you must first be a licensed EMT.

Physical Demands

Aptitudes required for work of this nature are good physical stamina, endurance, and body condition that would not be adversely affected by frequently having to walk, stand, lift, carry, and balance at times, in excess of 125 pounds. Motor coordination is necessary because over uneven terrain, the patient’s, the Paramedic’s, and other workers’ well-being must not be jeopardized.  Different situations will require that the Paramedic be able to perform in the following manner:  stand, walk, sit, lift, carry, push, pull, climb, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, reach, feel, talk, hear and see.

Skills Required 

Besides meeting the above requirements, candidates are supposed to possess the following qualities:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Physical strength
  • Listening skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Compassion

Job Outlook*

Employment of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics is projected to grow 24 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Emergencies, such as car crashes, natural disasters, and acts of violence, will continue to create demand for EMTs and paramedics. Demand for part-time, volunteer EMTs and paramedics in rural areas and smaller metropolitan areas will also continue.

Growth in the middle-aged and elderly population will lead to an increase in age-related health emergencies, such as heart attacks and strokes. This increase, in turn, will create greater demand for EMT and paramedic services. An increase in the number of specialized medical facilities will require more EMTs and paramedics to transfer patients with specific conditions to these facilities for treatment.

*Cited from Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, EMTs and Paramedics, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/emts-and-paramedics.htm