EMT an Introduction

10 Oct

By, Joseph Rhoades

Heroes; to many people they are Police, Firemen, Doctors, or individuals in the Armed Services.  They are the most talked about “heroes” in conversations, and many people have an idea of what they do.  However, there is one hero that is not always talked about and not as well known.  This group of heroes are known as the EMS or the Emergency Medical Service.  This service consists of many brave men and women who take on roles that many people would not be able to do in their day to day lives.

EMS Levels

Within the EMS system there are several different levels, three main levels of this system are EMT-B, A-EMT, and EMT-P or paramedic.  However, only one of these will be covered throughout this post due to it being the framework, and one of the beginning levels of the system; the EMT-B or Emergency Medical Technician Basic.

So what is an EMT?

“An Ambulance Driver!” would be most people’s answer, this however is not the correct answer.  An EMT is so much more than an ambulance driver, they help to save many people’s lives.  It is true that EMT’s do transport patients to and from the hospital, or accident scene but this is not all they do.  They are a very important part, if not one of the most important parts of the EMS system because they assist with, and save people’s lives.

On scenes and en-route, to the hospital EMT’s perform basic emergency care, which includes taking vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse, and administering oxygen to patients.  This might not seem like it is much, but in all honesty it is a very important task.  By taking these readings it helps to set up a trend that can be seen by the receiving hospital.  By using previous readings the hospital is able to see if the patient is improving or if they are continuing to deteriorate.  People may think that EMT’s can administer medications, but this is not true.  They are only able to assist a patient in administering a medication.

EMT’s are also very important assistants when A-EMT’s and Paramedics are present, because they help to prepare patients for transport, take vitals, and set up equipment for the higher levels of the EMS system.  If there were no basics the A’s and P’s would have to do everything and would take too much time away from the patient care.  This could cause a large impact on how well the patient will do.

Certification Uses

There are many different uses that any individual is able to use this certification for, and after interviewing several students from the current Fall 2014 class and found several different responses to what they want to use the cert for.  Several of the students in the class are either members of a fire department or are a fire science major, so they plan to use the certification as an EMT on a fire department.  Others stated that they want to be a full time EMT for an ambulance service, or to use this certification with becoming a nurse, or even with becoming a doctor.  Certifications like this also help to make an individual more hire-able even if it is not within a medical field.

Current Class

There are several requirements that students need to follow in order to complete the class.

  • Be CPR certified
  • Pass drug test and background check
  • Stay above 80% or dropped after second test
  • Complete requirements set by teacher
  • Pass final exam with 80% or higher
  • Complete Practical Exam

The third bullet on this list might seem a little strict and severe, however it is really not.  This field requires competent minds who are willing to learn, study hard, and put their best effort down in order to help protect and save lives.  These students are required to wear a uniform during the entire semester, to help prepare them for wearing a uniform while they are working as an EMT.  Before diving too deep into the class, the students slowly work their way into how the body works and then dig deeper into it.  Up to this point in time students have explored:

  • Anatomy (Structure) and Physiology (Function)
    • Skeletal system, Cardiovascular system, Circulatory system, etc.  And how they function within the body.
  • Patient Assessment
    • Pulse, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, breaths per minute, skin condition,
  • Pharmacology
    • Medications EMT able to assist administering
      • Nitroglycerin, O2, Oral Glucose, Activated Charcoal, Epinephrine, Aspirin, and a metered dose inhaler
  • Pathophysiology
    • Disease processes and diseases that can affect the body
  • Airway Management
    • Ensuring airway stays open, and patient is breathing adequately

This semester’s current class is over a month into their course.  The 48 hours of ride along’s will be starting next week, this is where the students go with AMR, or Cheyenne Fire Rescue, to get hands on experience with real situations.

Interested in Becoming an EMT?

Classes are available at

  • LCCC Cheyenne Campus
  • LCCC Laramie Campus
  • To find classes in Wyoming click here

This was just a quick introduction to what an EMT does and are required to partake in in order to become someones hero.  These individuals are extremely important because they are what keeps you alive while you are being sped to the hospital.


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