Types of EMS Courses

Emergency Medical Services is a career field filled with excitement, rewards, public service and at times tasks that require routine work. Research indicates EMS providers love the work they do, are committed to patient care, enjoy the education, the “team work” part of work life and wish they were paid more for their services. Mental stability, physical fitness and remaining “calm,” during the storm of activitiesone faces as an EMT are important attributes of EMS professionals. Often used as an entry portal for other health care professions, EMS can be an enjoyable andrewarding life’s work.

Typically, persons interested in EMS must be 18 years of age (Soon to be 17 years), take and pass an EMT education course, and not have a criminal background. EMT courses are taught in a variety of settings throughout the UnitedStates. All US Army and Air Force “medics,” are EMTs. The location of coursescan be found by contacting State EMS Offices, found on our website. The EMT course requires about a semester of education to complete. Some courses are taught in academies, some in Universities and Community Colleges while others are taught by services seeking to employ EMTs. Many EMTs, particularly in rural areas volunteer to be on the EMS service.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), 160 hours of education. An EMT can serve in the patient compartment of an ambulance. EMTs use medical equipment such as automatic defibrillators, deliver trauma care and are educated in a simple way over all injuries and diseases. EMTs form the backbone of EMS delivery in the United States. Most work in a team with more advanced providers.


  • 99% of the American populations can dial 9-1-1 and summon emergency medical assistance in an emergency.
  • EMS treats approximately 25-30 million patients per year with annual expenditures of about $6.75 billion.
  • There are an estimated 700,000 EMS personnel in the country
  • .EMT-Basics undergo about 160 hours of training. 
  • EMTs are trained and certified to insert basic airways, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, use an automated defibrillator, manage bleeding and shock, splinting and emergency childbirth.
  • Paramedics under go about 1,000-14,000 hours of training. Paramedics are trained and certified in advanced airways, perform cardiac monitoring, defibrillation and other electrical therapies for cardiac emergencies, start intravenous lines and administer medications.
  • About 50% of EMT-Basics are volunteers. Over 95% of Paramedics are compensated
  • for their service.

    • In addition to traditional roles as emergency responders, EMS personnel work in emergency departments, helicopters, cardiac catheter labs, doctors’ offices, and occupational and industrial settings.

    • Approximately 40% of EMS professionals work for fire departments. The other 60% work for private companies, municipal services, hospital-based services, the military or other federal agencies*

    • 56%of EMS professionals work in acommunity with a population under 75,000

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