Becoming an EMS Provider

So are you interested in becoming an Emergency Medical Provider?

There are many state-approved emergency medical service (EMS) training facilities in Pennsylvania.

In general, these are the levels of training in the State of Pennsylvania:

Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)

The Emergency Medical Responder is usually the first EMS provider on scene whose role is to stabilize the patient until more advanced EMS personnel arrive.

Trained to perform:

  • General patient assessment
  • Provides emergency care such as bleeding control, spinal immobilization, oxygen administration, the use of the automated external defibrillator (AED), and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Must be 16 years of age
  • Course is approximately 48 - 52 hours
  • Course includes both classroom portion and practical lab portions
  • Upon successful completion of the course and successfully passing the state written and practical examination, the certification is valid for 3 years.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

Trained to perform:

  • General patient assessment
  • Provides emergency care such as bleeding control, spinal immobilization, oxygen administration, the use of the automated external defibrillator (AED), complex immobilization procedures, airway management, assisting patients in the administration of certain medications, and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Must be 16 years of age
  • Course is approximately 150 - 200 hours
  • Course includes both classroom portion and practical lab portion
  • Upon successful completion of the course and successfully passing the state written and practical examination, the certification is valid for 3 years.

Paramedic 

Prerequistes include:

  • Current EMT Certification
  • Current CPR Certification

Trained to perform:

  • The same skills as the EMR and EMT, plus: advanced patient assessment, airway management, intravenous fluid therapy, trauma management, pharmacology, cardiology, and other medical skills
  • Must be 18 years of age
  • Course varies from 12 months to 2 years (certification vs. degree) and can take upwards of 3,000 hours of class and practical time.
  • Course includes classroom lecture, practical labs, in-hospital clinical experience, and a field internship.

Pennsylvania also certifies pre-hospital registered nurses (PHRN) and health professional MD/DOs through the Department of Health.

In order for Emergency Medical Providers to remain certified, they must maintain Continuing Education; in general, these are the continuing education requirements:

  • EMR and EMT certifications last 3 years
  • During this time, emergency medical responders must earn 16 hours of continuing education credits, 12 of which must cover patient care/core credits
  • EMTs must take 24 hours of continuing education credits, 18 of which must cover patient care/core credits
  • Paramedics must have current CPR and 36 hours of bi-annual continuing education credits to maintain their Pennsylvania Certification.  27 of those hours must cover patient care/core credits
  • Certification cards are valid as long as the paramedic maintains his or her continuing education credit requirements
  • Credits can be earned by taking classes, attending EMS conferences, or through certain online sources

If you are interested in becoming an EMS provider, you can contact our office any time or check out these resources:

https://www.conemaugh.org/education/school-of-emergency-medical-services


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