What is an EMT

EMT is the short form of emergency medical technician. He will be a professional trained to respond to medical emergencies like fires, accidents on roads, serious injuries occurring in work places, homes etc. There are four grades of EMT with EMT1 at lowest rung and EMT4 at the highest and treated on a par with paramedics. There is generally confusion as many people think that all grades of EMT are paramedics. The functions of different grades of EMT are clearly defined, condition as they are by the training imparted to them.        

A person to arrive first at an accident site is the EMT1 personnel. He is a person who has received the most basic training like first aid and CPR, before more and better medical facilities become available. This training is generally given to all police officers and fire fighters because they are usually the first to arrive at any place when there is an emergency. The training enables them to make a preliminary assessment of the situation and ask for whatever extra and specialist help that is needed.

There is a tendency in small towns to allow the fire services to uses their vehicles as ambulances because of the EMT1 training received by the personnel. Ambulances usually employ a minimum of 1 EMT1 trained person while the other person may be of higher grade EMT. The strength and grade of the personnel in the ambulance is determined by the emergency to be dealt with. The EMT 3 and 2 cadres can give intravenous and use equipment to restore the rhythm of the heart.

EMT 2 and EMT3 cadres can do other functions like performing CPR, assessment for any trauma etc. Their services are most valuable before the doctor attend to the victim. The EMT 4 personnel can perform all the duties of other cadres plus though more complex functions like giving medication for relieving pain, assistance in cardio difficulties. They are trained to perform emergency function for restoring normal breathing. If the patient has to be admitted to hospital the assessment made by the EMT 4 will be of great help to keep the hospital adequately prepared to receive the patient.

Basic education is the minimum requirement of EMT 1 training. A degree in Applied Science is got by most of those who get EMT 2 to 4 training. The EMT4 cadre is qualified enough to join a college for a medical degree. EMTs perform a thankless job and they are on call at all hours of day and night on all days. The EMT training received by the fire service, and police cadre serves a very good purpose but they may not be able to respond to all calls at the same time.