An Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is a person who has successfully completed a 130-hour Department of Transportation EMT National Standard Training Program and is Certified by the State Office of Emergency Medical Service. A Certified EMT is trained to render immediate care for the sick and injured. Recommended preparation for prospective EMTs include school subjects, math, English, driver education, health and science courses.


An EMT is responsible for the initial assessment, stabilization and transportation of an injured or medically ill person. EMTs perform important duties, such as, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, patient stabilization, airway clearance, hemorrhage control, initial would care, fracture stabilization, and emergency child birth. They must exercise good judgment and leadership under stress. EMTs must deal with people of all ages experiencing injuries and death.

EMTs utilize radios, ambulances and sophisticated emergency care equipment. They work with emergency department staff to coordinate delivery of care and provide Basic Life Support procedures at the scene an en-route to the hospital. They are frequently required to work schedules that include midnight, evening and weekend shifts.


The job of an EMT is multifaceted, presenting numerous challenges in a variety of emergency environments. An EMT may work on an ambulance, in a radio communication center or a hospital emergency department. Up until 1970, very few ambulance personal received formal medical training. Now, instruction in emergency medical care techniques is mandatory. EMTs attend a basic level 130-hour training program designed by the US Department of Transportation and overseen by the Department of Public Health. The programs are conducted in hospitals and community colleges and at local ambulance companies.

Students learn to use oxygen delivery systems, pneumatic anti-shock garments, cervical collars, fracture splinting devices, and stretchers. The course includes at least 130 hours of lecture and practical skill development, plus ten hours of ambulance observation. On-going refresher training every two years is required to main current certification.


Medical Response Technicians: EMRs fall under the minimal basic classification of patient care. EMRs training consists of 45-50 hours.

Emergency Medical Technicians: Most EMTs fall under the basic EMT classification. EMTs generally staff ambulances providing basic life support skills. EMTs must undergo approximately 140 hours of training.

The EMT-Intermediate, works under the directions of a physician through radio communication, provides an advanced level of medical skills which include advanced airway care, pneumatic anti-shock garments and administration of Intravenous fluids. EMT-Intermediate must undergo additional training of approximately 65 to 80 hours above the basic EMT program.

The EMT-Paramedic also works under the directions of a physician through radio communication and provides a high level of medical care, including administration of drugs, medications, Intravenous fluids, defibrillation of cardiac arrhythmias, incubation and the use of more advanced medical equipment. The EMT-Paramedic involves and estimates 1,800 to 2,000 hours of instruction, clinical and field internships.


A volunteer or paid professional who is a team member of the EMS system and who is responsible for administering emergency medical care to the sick and injured.


Since the passage of the Federal Highway Safety Act of 1966 and the Emergency Medical Services Systems Act of 1973, the expansion and improvement of ambulance services has occurred rapidly. Employment of EMTs is expected to grow as more communities develop and expand their emergency medical services systems.

Many EMTs work for ambulance services, hospitals, police and fire department. Earnings of EMTs depend on the type of employer, the level of training and experience and the geographic location. Many EMTs also volunteer their services to the community.