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EMTs and Paramedics: What’s the Difference?



For those exploring careers at NDP EMS for the first time, a universal question seems to pop up again and again: “What exactly IS the difference between an EMT and a Paramedic?”


And when we were all first starting out on our own professional journeys in this field, many of us likewise wondered about that as well.


So today, we are going to shed some light on the answer to this age-old inquiry!


Let’s start with the differences in education and training for EMTs and Paramedics.


Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) complete a training program offered by a company like ours which generally runs for about six months. The classes are designed to empower participants with basic lifesaving skills - and upon completion, students sit for a certification exam. Throughout the training, a tremendous amount of time is spent doing hands-on learning activities, including a few ride-alongs with experienced EMTs.


Paramedics learn everything that EMTs do, but also engage in more intensive training which includes comprehensive instruction on the human body, including areas like cardiology, medical procedures, physiology, and medication. It typically takes 12 months or longer to finish a Paramedic program and an internship is a requirement for completion. As is the case with EMTs, Paramedics must also pursue official certification with the State in order to earn designation.


Now, let’s talk about the day-to-day responsibilities for each of these roles.


While both EMTs and Paramedics respond to health-related concerns and emergency situations, and both groups can evaluate a patient and administer CPR, provide first aid treatment, and transport a patient to a hospital, EMTs generally support patients deemed as being more stable while Paramedics are dispatched for life-threatening situations. EMTs, however, can also be called to a serious scene as backup for Paramedics, the two groups working as cohesive teams. An EMT might perform CPR, for example, on an accident victim - while a Paramedic simultaneously treats a serious wound from a traumatic head injury or interprets an electrocardiogram.


EMTs and Paramedics are critically important to protecting the health and well-being of people in our communities. Compassionate, courageous, and competent members of our team at NDP EMS are there for people at a time of great need, and the benefactors of the skillset and kindness of our EMTs and Paramedics often express how deeply grateful they feel for these individuals.


We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again…. At NDP EMS, every call is a chance to make a difference.


If you have interest in pursuing a meaningful career as an EMT or Paramedic, call us at 845.876.0448 X136 to learn more about training.

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