Emergency medical responder

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about out-of-hospital medical responders. For the American medical credential, see Certified first responder.

Emergency medical responders are people who are specially trained to provide out-of-hospital care in medical emergencies. There are many different types of emergency medical responders, each with different levels of training, ranging from first aid and basic life support. Emergency Medical Responders have a very limited scope of practice and have the least amount of comprehensive education, clinical experience or clinical skills. The Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)[1] is not meant to replace the roles of Emergency Medical Technicians, Emergency Medical Technologists or Paramedics and their wide range of specialities. Emergency Medical Responders typically assist in rural regions providing basic life support where pre-hospital health professionals are not available due to limited resources or infrastructure.

General terms[edit]

A medic is a trained medical responder which includes people who provide basic first aid and physicians. The term medic does not imply that the individual provides any specific level of care. In some areas, paramedic is also used as a general term for medical responders. However, paramedic may also be a specific level of training.

A first responder is the first medically trained personnel who come in to contact with a patient. Additionally, there are several levels of training that are referred to as first responders.

Levels of training[edit]

First responders, as a level of training, perform basic first aid skills and CPR. Healthcare providers who are certified first responders (known as community first responders in the UK) have some additional training in basic life support. These responders may either be lay people or associated with an ambulance service. In the US the term "Emergency Medical Responder" will largely replace the term "Certified First Responder" beginning 2012.[2]

Emergency medical technicians (EMT) are the next level of providers. Within the United States, there are three common levels of EMTs, each with an increased scope of practice: EMT, Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT), and Paramedic. Paramedics have the most training of the emergency medical responders. Paramedics and AEMTs perform advanced life support.

Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), Primary Care Paramedic (PCP), Advanced Care Paramedic (ACP) and Critical Care Paramedic (CCP) in Canada are the titles and levels of practitioners recognized by the National Occupational Competency Profile (NOCP).

Generally speaking Emergency Medical Responders (EMR) require 80 hours-120 hours of training. Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) depending on province require generally a two year diploma of paramedicine, Advanced Care Paramedics (ACP) require an additional year of training and clinical experience totalling 3 years of education and Critical Care Paramedics (CCP) require a final year of education totalling 4 years of education.

Many Paramedics in Canada at all levels from Primary Care Paramedic, Advanced Care Paramedic and Critical Care Paramedic are combining their diploma of paramedicine with a bachelors degree of paramedicine which is heading towards the standard of educational requirements in Canada. Emergency Medical Responders would not be elegible for these educational advances due to their limited scope of practice and education.

Additional types[edit]

In the field of wilderness first aid, medical providers receive additional training relating to wilderness medicine. There are several levels of certification that parallel the aforementioned levels, which include Wilderness First Responder and Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician.

Street medics provide medical care at protests and demonstrations. They have varying degrees of medical training and are usually volunteers.

Flight medics are usually trained paramedics who may receive an additional certification (FP-C) to function in an aeromedical environment. Flight medics work out of an air ambulance.

A combat medic is a trained soldier who is responsible for providing first aid and front-line trauma care on the battlefield. In the Royal Army Medical Corps of the British Army, these medics are known as Combat Medical Technician. In the United States Army, these healthcare specialists are known as 68W (the Military Occupational Specialty classification).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Medical Answering Service, 2014, retrieved March 7, 2014 
  2. ^ "NREMT News", National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, Columbus, Ohio, 2011 [cited 9 October 2011].