CareersLast modified: July 14, 2010
How do I get Started in a career in EMS?
The first thing you might look into if you’re thinking of EMS as a possible profession is to seek out your local Rescue Squad. Rescue Squads, when available, can give you a the opportunity to see if you’re able to handle the stress and physical aspects of EMS work. It will also give you a chance to see if you have the ability to handle this type of career.
Cleveland Community College has the courses that can get you started in an EMS career. Go under Continuing Education Course Listing for EMT– Basic course dates and times. Contact Tommy McNeilly – Emergency Training Coordinator for Cleveland Community College at 704-669-2501ext. 12. For additional information, his email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are some definitions of the courses required for EMS work.
Medical First Responders:
Medical First Responders receive a minimum of 48 hours training for initial certification. This training covers areas such as ambulance operations, documentation and medical terminology, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), wound care, emergency childbirth and lifting and moving patients.
Medical First Responders are usually found in the services offered by fire departments, law enforcement agencies, industrial emergency response teams, and rescue squads. Medical First Responders must complete 96 hours of training every four years to maintain state certification.
Emergency Medical Technician – Basic
Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) receive a minimum of 160 hours of classroom and 16 hours of clinical training for initial certification. This training is much like the Medical First Responder training, only in greater length and detail. Emergency Medical Technicians are usually found in the services offered by fire departments, law enforcement agencies, industrial response teams, rescue squads, and ambulance services.
Emergency Medical Technicians must complete 96 hours of training every four years to maintain state certification. The Medical First Responder and the Emergency Medical Technician must undergo skills evaluations for initial certification and re-certification. Skills that are evaluated include: Airway Management, Basic Cardiac Life Support (CPR), Traction and Rigid Splinting, and Hemorrhage Control.
Emergency Medical Technician – Intermediate
The Emergency Medical Technician – Intermediate builds on the knowledge of and successful completion of the Emergency Medical Technician – Basic course. An Intermediate student must first complete all the requirements for certification as a Basic. The initial Intermediate class consists of a minimum of 99 hours classroom and 24 hours clinical time. Additions to the Basic skills ability include: intravenous fluid and medication administration, veni- puncture or blood drawing, subcutaneous, intra-muscular and inhalation medication administration and advanced airway control techniques.
The Intermediate must have a minimum of 96 hours of education and complete a comprehensive Basic and Intermediate level skills evaluation every four years to maintain the certification. Intermediates are usually employed by advanced level ambulance services and may be found volunteering with some rescue units.
Emergency Medical Technician – Paramedic
The Emergency Medical Technician – Paramedic builds on the knowledge of and follows the successful completion of the Emergency Medical Technician – Basic course. The initial Paramedic class consists of a minimum of 468 hours classroom and 312 hours of clinical time. In addition to the Basic and Intermediate skills listed above, the Paramedic must acquire the ability to read three and 12 lead EKG’s, administer defibrillation, electro-cardioversion, externally pace the human heart, and gain a vast knowledge of emergency -related medications. North Carolina Paramedics are also required to gain a vast knowledge of procedures and medications normally found and used in the critical patient care units of hospitals.
The Paramedic must have a minimum of 96 hours of education, and complete a comprehensive Basic and Paramedic level skills evaluation every four years to maintain the certification. Paramedics are usually employed by advanced level ambulance services.
Critical Care Transport
Cleveland County EMS readily transports critical care patients from the intensive care areas of Cleveland Regional Medical Center and King Mountain Hospital to medical facilities with higher levels of care. In years past patient transports of this nature required that an ICU nurse accompany the patient to his/her destination. Because of increased training and clinical this is no longer necessary. While some hospitals must wait for the incoming specialized critical care transports from outside their county, Cleveland Regional Medical Center and Kings Mountain Hospital relies on Cleveland County EMS to efficiently respond to and transport its critically ill and injured patients to facilities with specialized care.