The call to help your fellow man is strong in some people, drawing them to public service careers like military, medical, or other public safety careers. For those who feel that need to protect and serve, the path to fulfilling that role may be in emergency response positions. EMTs, paramedics, and firefighters are often the first people on the scene when it comes to emergency situations like car accidents, fires, or medical emergencies.
If you think you’re ready to answer the call and enter the emergency response field, here are the top five things you need to know!
This is NOT a 9 to 5 Job
Being in this field is a full-time commitment. This is not a job that clocks in at 9 am and out at 5 pm Monday through Friday. As an Emergency Medical Technician, you can expect long shift that never truly end because you may be on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This includes weekends and holidays, which may be among the busiest times of the year. Be sure you are ready for the time commitment that comes with a career in emergency services.
As an EMT, the majority of your time will be at home base in a dispatch center. That doesn’t mean you won’t be working. While on duty but not responding to a call, EMTs are responsible for keeping all equipment is top condition and fully prepared in case of dispatchment. Emergency responders also have to maintain their own physical condition to be able to respond as needed.
The Difference Between EMT and Paramedics
While the two terms are often used interchangeably, they are not one in the same. Emergency Medical Technicians are trained to respond quickly to emergency situations and provide medical support services and transportation to injured or ill patients. EMTs receive basic medical training to be able to provide life-supporting care. This includes CPR, tourniquet application, and wound treating, as well as stabilization for broken bones and spinal injuries.
Paramedics have the same medical and emergency response training as EMTs with additional training to allow for more advanced levels of care. Where Emergency Medical Technicians receive about 120 to 150 hours of training on average, paramedic training can be between 1,200 to 1,800 hours. Paramedics can administer medication, start intravenous lines, and even perform advanced airway management procedures.
Because both career paths share a common origin point, having adequate training on the most basic levels is important. All first responders are thoroughly trained both in the classroom and on the field to act quickly and accurately in order to save lives. Before one can be certified as an EMT, they must pass an exam to prove their knowledge and understanding.
EMS exam prep services like those offered by Performance Training Systems can help you in your quest to become an emergency responder. Whether you need to know how to prepare for the EMS exam, online firefighter exam prep, or assistance with paramedical exams, we have the solution for you.
Not everyone is suited for the life of an EMT. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians estimates about 700,000 EMTs provide services to 25 to 30 million patients per year. This is a high stress, high demand job which requires a cool head and the ability to think and act quickly and provide accurate care. You must be prepared for whatever the day throws your way, including life and death situations. This career path may open up doors leading to higher roles such as paramedic or firefighter work, but only for those who can answer the call.
If you are on your way to becoming an EMT, we want to help you become the best you can be. Our EMS exam preparation services include online sample tests with randomly generated questions that meet NFPA standards to give you a well-rounded sense of what to expect. We also offer assistance preparing for firefighter selection or promotion exams.
For more information about our services, contact Performance Training Systems today!