What is a Paramedic
We are asked this question more and more each year. Either by a politician, someone taking a tour of the firehouse, or even by a patient being treated in the back of one of our medic trucks. So below is some information about what a Paramedic is, does, and how that fits into our community. If you ever have a question about what we do while on shift, please don't hesitate to contact the Fire Department for information on our ride along program! We love educating the public about the fire service!!!
In the City of Crawfordsville we operate 4 ALS (Advanced Life Support) Ambulances. And when they are called, they leave with one EMT Basic and One Paramedic. They are followed by a chase truck with extra manpower. That is typically an Engine or Rescue Truck. Depending on staffing, that will give you 4 to 6 people on the scene of an emergency.
We cover almost 200 square miles with these 4 Medic trucks on a first due basis. That means that at any time there is an emergency in that 200 square miles, one of our trucks is going. That includes almost 11,000 homes. Also we mutual aid (assist an ambulance without a paramedic) in another 70 square miles.
So... What is a Paramedic and why are they important?
A Paramedic is trained in advance life saving techniques that are geared towards out of hospital emergencies. That means that everything from bee stings to Heart Attacks require pre-hospital care from a paramedic. We combat life threatening injuries and illnesses with many skills, equipment, and drugs. Paramedics perform advanced airways, ECG interpretation, and can give IV medication. Without this care some would lose their life or have a severely altered way of life due to an emergency.
What is the difference between an EMT-Basic and a Paramedic?
An EMT-B is trained in Basic Life Support. That includes bleeding control, splinting broken limbs, and controlling non-life-threatening emergencies. A well trained EMT-B can really affect the care that the Paramedic gives to patients.
What does it take to be an EMT-B or Paramedic?
Emt Basic training last from 6 months to a year and requires 159 hours of training, including 16 placed on the job as an EMT
Paramedic Training takes 1 to 2 years and requires 1000 to 1300 HOURS which includes many hours as an acting paramedic in a hospital and in an Ambulance. You also must already be an EMT-Basic to begin the Paramedic Course.
Why is this important to Me?
At some point we all need help. We hope that most of us never have to face a life threatening emergency of our own, but it happens. We see it every day happen to people who were just going about their day to day and something happens. When it does most of us count on trained professionals to show up and take care of us. It is important for the public to know who is coming and what the scope of their knowledge and abilities are.
The City of Crawfordsville has long prided itself on not only its EMS and Fire Protection, but the quality in care that is being provided to its citizens.
To Find out more about a Career in EMS please visit the States Department of Homeland Security Website at http://www.in.gov/dhs/3795.htm