We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an EMT?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
TheHealthBoard is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At TheHealthBoard, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An emergency medical technician (EMT) is a trained professional who responds to emergency medical situations, such as car accidents, fires, or injuries occurring in homes or workplaces. Many assume that all people in this profession are paramedics, but this is not the case. They are classified in levels, depending upon their degree of training. Only EMT 4s are considered paramedics.

EMT 1s are often the first technicians to arrive at the site of an accident. They have been trained in basic CPR and first aid. Virtually all firefighters and police officers have at least level 1 training. Since firefighters are generally the first to arrive at the scene of an accident, such training is necessary to assess the situation and call for further help.

In some cases, people with serious illnesses who are prone to frequent emergency hospitalizations may make arrangements with their fire departments to request ambulance service at the time of any emergency. This is generally only allowable in small towns, and depends largely on the cooperation of local firefighters. This request is made because an EMT 1 may not be able to adequately address the needs of someone with a medical emergency. Time can be vital, and an EMT with further training may be needed immediately.

When an ambulance arrives, it is generally staffed with at least one person with EMT 4 training. The other ambulance driver may be classified as level 2 or 3. Sometimes, ambulances are staffed with two paramedics, depending upon availability and the nature of the emergency.

EMT 2 or 3 training is considered intermediate. These technicians can use defibrillators to help shock a heart back into normal sinus rhythm. They can insert catheters to give a patient intravenous fluid. They also perform CPR and assess victims for any trauma to the body. EMT 2 or 3 technicians can place patients with suspected head or neck trauma on a backboard and transport them. Their assessment of patients is valuable when the patients are transferred to hospitals.

Professionals with level 4 classification are paramedics. In addition to being able to provide the above services, paramedics can perform some fairly complex medical procedures in the field. They are allowed to give medications to allay pain, or to assist someone with cardiac difficulties. They can also perform emergency tracheotomies or intubations to help restore normal breathing. The information from an EMT 4's assessment helps the hospital prepare for treatment of anyone with severe injuries or illness.

All EMTs require training. Most emergency workers in any field hold EMT 1 status, and training may be included in their education in other fields. People with classifications of 2, 3, and 4 usually go to school and receive at least an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science. Some paramedics further study to receive a Bachelor’s Degree.

EMTs are not rewarded monetarily for their jobs, which in fairness should offer hazard pay. The top salaries for most EMTs are relatively low. Often, firefighters and police officers are more appropriately compensated. An EMT may be required to respond to emergencies that carry great risks, such as transporting people with serious and contagious illnesses, or picking up injured people in dangerous neighborhoods.

When possible, firefighters and police officers try to remove elements of danger before the EMT arrives. This is not always possible, though, and hence the work involves risk to health and livelihood on a regular basis.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a TheHealthBoard contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By medicchristy — On Aug 02, 2010

@shenifadc: To obtain a degree in EMS, you would normally follow the general core curriculum for the college of your choice. On top of EMS courses, other courses necessary would be history, college math, English, and other general education courses.

Obtaining a degree in EMS does not generally grant an increase in pay unless you decide to be an instructor.

By shenifadc — On May 21, 2009

What types of classes would you take if you want to get a degree in Applied Science?

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen

Writer

With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a TheHealthBoard contributor, Tricia...
Read more
TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.