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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Columnists > EMS Coordinator

EMS - May 11

May 10, 2018

By Ann Steimle - ems 2, coordinator, sullivan county

The requirements to be a paramedic are intense. It is a career choice for the brave at heart and not without consequences. Paramedicine is the highest level of EMS training. A paramedic can perform advanced life support skills such as initiating an IV, administering medications and advanced respiratory procedures, such as intubation. These are but a few of the combined skills a paramedic can do to assist the emergency room doctor in a pre-hospital setting.
Some people find it beneficial to first become an EMT and then return to class to become a paramedic.
In Sullivan County, you can go on the NYSDOH (New York State Department of Health) website to search for EMS training course sponsors in your area. Hopefully you may be interested in joining your local ambulance squad or perhaps, looking to start a career. To become an EMT, you must attend classes for approximately 170 hours over a time span of about six months to qualify to take the state certification written test. You must also demonstrate your skills and pass the clinical stations like back boarding, CPR, hemorrhage control and oxygen administration. In contrast, to become a paramedic, nearly two years must be vested in didactic training, ride time and observation, this amounts to about 1800 hours.
The training is tough. A few local colleges offer paramedicine as a two-year degree program. Locally, the class is in Poughkeepsie, followed by Binghamton, Albany and Westchester. You will need courses in biology, anatomy and physiology to round out your training. Clinical observation and the ride along time with an advanced support ambulance provider is a necessity for state certification. You must also pass the state written and practical tests.
Being a paramedic isn't an easy job. Basically, all levels of EMS require nerves of steel to deal with the many crisis situations that may be encountered. And it sure isn't “just another day at the office”! The work can be exciting and rewarding.
As we approach EMS week, which begins May 21, consider the man or woman who has trained to save your life or assist you in your greatest need. Whether EMT or paramedic, that person has given of himself to help humanity. The days can be long, and the emotional toll high, but for some, it's the greatest job ever had. Hats off to all the men and women in EMS, volunteer or commercial! And No Mam or Sir, we are NOT “ambulance drivers”.

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