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What Do EMTs and Paramedics Do?

If you’re quick on your feet and work well under pressure, this may be the job for you. Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics care for the sick or injured, and people’s lives often depend on the care and quick reaction time of these healthcare workers. EMTs and paramedics respond to emergency calls, performing medical services and transporting patients to medical facilities. 

The specific responsibilities of EMTs and paramedics depend on their level of certification and the state they work in. There are four levels of expertise, including EMR, EMT, Advanced EMT and Paramedic.

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EMTs transport a patient during an emergency
The response time of EMTs can determine the difference between life and death for a patient. (Credit: Michael Jung/Shutterstock)
Duties + Responsibilities
  • Respond to 911 calls for emergency medical assistance
  • Assess a patient’s condition and determine a course of treatment
  • Provide first-aid treatment or life support care to patients
  • Transport patients safely in an ambulance
  • Transfer patients to the emergency facility
  • Share observations and treatment of patient to physicians, nurses or other healthcare staff
  • Document medical care given
  • Check that the ambulance is properly equipped and mechanically sound
  • Replace or clean supplies and equipment
Education + Training

A high school diploma or equivalent and certification of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills are required for entry into training programs. Most entry level emergency medical technology programs can be completed in less than a year, but each level of expertise requires more training. Paramedics often require an associate degree and EMT certification. Technical institutes, community colleges, universities, and facilities that specialize in emergency care training facilities offer these training programs.

All states require EMTs and paramedics to be licensed, but the requirements vary.
The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs offers a list of accredited programs for EMTs and paramedics, by state.

You May Be a Good Fit for This Position If You
  • Are compassionate
  • Have excellent interpersonal skills
  • Are physically fit
  • Work well under pressure
  • Have strong problem-solving skills

EMTs and Paramedics training in your area


Advanced Emergency Medical Technician

Arkansas State University - Mid-South
West Memphis (0.0 Miles)

Emergency Medical Services Advanced Technician Certificate Level 1

Houston Community College
Houston (0.0 Miles)

Emergency Medical Technician Certificate

Eastern Arizona College
Thatcher (0.0 Miles)

Paramedic Certificate

Columbia Basin College
Pasco (0.0 Miles)

EMT-Intermediate Fire and Rescue Training-Continuing Education

Mitchell Community College
Statesville (0.0 Miles)

Emergency Medical Technician Training

Wake Technical Community College
Raleigh (0.0 Miles)

Paramedic Technology CP

St. Louis Community College
Bridgeton (0.0 Miles)

Paramedic Certificate

Monroe Community College - SUNY
Rochester (0.0 Miles)

Paramedic Emergency Services, A.A.S.

Hagerstown Community College
Hagerstown (0.0 Miles)

Emergency Medical Services

Danville Community College
Danville (0.0 Miles)

Emergency Medical Technology Course

Antelope Valley College
Lancaster (0.0 Miles)

Medical First Responder Certificate

Oakland Community College
Farmington Hills (0.0 Miles)
Ryan Hollingsworth, EMT ambassador
Meet Ambassador Ryan Hollingsworth

Ryan Hollingsworth loves that his job allows him to help people, no matter the circumstances. 

"We see people in their weakest and darkest times," says Ryan. "In EMS we get to help change people’s lives and even sometimes save their lives." 

Of course, there are more mundane calls as well, including stomachaches and mystery ailments.  

But he loves the unpredictability of working in emergency medical services. According to Ryan, "There is no such thing as a routine in EMS."

Find EMTs and Paramedics Jobs in Your Area


Emergency Medical Responder - PRN | Wheaton Ambulance

Sanford Health
Wheaton ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 4 weeks ago

EMT Basic in Alcoa, TN

American Medical Response
Alcoa ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 4 weeks ago

Physician Substitute (RN, LPN, EMT, Paramedic)

Cocoa ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 3 weeks ago

Driver / Technician - Medical

Orange ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 3 weeks ago

Paramedic - PRN | Worthington Ambulance

Sanford Health
Worthington ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago

EMT/Paramedic Lab Aide

University of Alaska System
Palmer ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago

Paramedic - PRN

Community Health System
Midwest City ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago

Paramedic-ER-Full Time

Community Health System
Statesboro ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago