By: Gregg Bisson
Prior to my career as a Registered Financial Consultant in Florida, I served as a firefighter, gaining certification as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Students must first pass a CPR for Healthcare Providers course offered either through the American Heart Association or the American National Red Cross to progress toward certification for an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) position.
After completing CPR training I undertook a 110-hour EMT-Basics course, modeled on the U.S. Department of Transportation EMT curriculum. This comprehensive program provides a thorough understanding of the procedures for assisting individuals who need immediate care and who cannot make it to a hospital.
The National Registry of Emergency Technicians, which was founded in 1970 on the recommendations of the Committee on Highway Traffic Safety, administers the test. Because of the high level of public trust placed in EMT providers, the standards of the test are extremely high. Each year longstanding EMS veterans, who know the standards of service and care necessary to maintain this faith, refine the test. Besides extensive training, each EMT must possess the vital skill of thinking on his or her feet.
Dispatchers often send teams of two or more EMTs in ambulances or other specialized vehicles to the scene of an accident. As the first emergency professionals to arrive, EMTs must quickly assess the extent of injuries or illness. In potentially life threatening situations, an EMT must manage the air passage, ensuring adequate breathing, control all bleeding, stabilize vitals through cardiopulmonary resuscitation or other methods, treat shock, and immobilize the victim’s body to prevent spinal shock.
An EMT continues this life-sustaining treatment until a patient safely enters a hospital. Although this kind of high adrenaline job is not for everyone, I found my time as an emergency service provider immensely gratifying. There is nothing quite like knowing that your actions on any given day may save people’s lives.