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Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

What is it?

An emergency medical technician (EMT), also sometimes called an EMT-Basic, is a healthcare professional who provides emergency medical care to individuals experiencing illness or injury outside of a hospital setting. They work as part of a first responder team, typically alongside firefighters and police officers, and play a crucial role in stabilizing patients and transporting them to appropriate medical facilities for further treatment.

Here’s a breakdown of some key responsibilities of an EMT:

Responding to Emergency Calls:

  • Dispatch and arrival: EMTs respond to emergency calls dispatched by receiving information about the nature of the emergency, location, and potential number of patients involved. They arrive at the scene quickly and safely, using appropriate caution and emergency vehicles.
  • Scene assessment and patient evaluation: Upon arrival, EMTs assess the scene for safety hazards and perform a preliminary evaluation of the patient(s) to identify the nature of the illness or injury, level of consciousness, and vital signs.

Providing Emergency Care:

  • Basic life support: EMTs are trained in providing basic life support (BLS), which includes administering oxygen, performing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), controlling bleeding, and managing shock. They use their skills and equipment to stabilize the patient’s condition until further medical assistance arrives or they can transport the patient themselves.
  • Administering medication: In some cases, EMTs may be authorized to administer certain medications, such as epinephrine for allergic reactions or bronchodilators for respiratory distress, following established protocols and under the supervision of a medical director.

Patient Transport:

  • Preparing for transport: EMTs carefully prepare patients for transport to the hospital by immobilizing them on stretchers and securing them with appropriate equipment to prevent further injury during transport.
  • Communication and documentation: They communicate effectively with hospital staff, providing detailed reports about the patient’s condition, treatment provided, and vital signs, ensuring a smooth transition of care.

Additionally, EMTs may:

They may be involved in assisting with various other emergency situations, such as natural disasters, mass casualty events, or hazardous materials incidents, following established protocols and working as part of the larger emergency response team.

EMTs are responsible for maintaining and cleaning their equipment, ensuring their functionality and readiness for emergency response.

As healthcare practices and guidelines evolve, EMTs are required to participate in continuing education and training programs to stay up to date on their skills and knowledge.

* Salary Range

$29,500 - $48,400

(entry level – experienced)

* Regional Jobs Available


(3 year forecast)

Length of Training

1-2 weeks

Type of Training


Is it Right For You?

Here are some essential skills and qualities for success as an EMT:

  • Calmness and composure under pressure: The ability to remain calm and make quick decisions in stressful emergency situations is crucial.
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills: EMTs need to assess situations quickly, identify potential problems, and make sound decisions regarding patient care.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills: Effective communication with patients, families, and other healthcare professionals is essential.
  • Physical stamina and ability to work long hours: The job may involve physical exertion, lifting patients, and working long hours during emergencies.
  • Compassion and empathy: Providing care and support to patients in stressful situations requires compassion and empathy.

Overall, emergency medical technicians play a vital role in the healthcare system by providing critical emergency care to patients in need. It’s a demanding but rewarding career path for individuals who are passionate about helping others, thrive in fast-paced environments, and are willing to contribute to the well-being of their communities.

* Pay Range Data: Occupational Employment Wages Statistics (OEWS). 2023-Q3.
* Demand: Forecast data is based off national projections provided by the BoLS and adapted for regional growth patterns by Chmura.