Why Firefighters Need Paramedic Training
The concept of fighting fires and saving lives while battling four-story flames may be what draws a lot of people to the firefighting profession initially, but it turns out that’s not the whole of the job. In fact, in some cities or fire departments, taming flames might not even be the biggest part of the job.
Firefighters are emergency first responders, and are often on scene for medical emergencies, so paramedic training and medical know-how are integral pieces of a firefighter’s ability to perform the job.
One of the very first steps of training to become a firefighter is obtaining an EMT-Basic certification, which provides the recipient with primary emergency care knowledge. Throughout the course of training and on-the-job experience gathering, firefighters will expand their ability to deliver on-scene medical assistance. But, for an even greater ability to respond effectively in medical scenarios, you might consider an additional certification to become a Paramedic (EMT-P).
You might wonder why a firefighter needs to be trained in emergency medical services (EMS) when there is an ambulance corps that is separate from or a distinct section of a large fire department. For any number of reasons, an ambulance could be delayed or unable to reach the scene of an accident or medical emergency before the fire engine arrives, making firefighters the first responders and any patient or victim’s first chance to receive necessary care.
Firefighters’ ability to administer immediate care can help potentially save the lives of those suffering from blood loss, blunt trauma, asphyxiation and blocked airways, a cardiac event, restricted blood flow to/from the limbs or extremities, and other possibly life-threatening emergencies that can occur during a fire, car accident, structure collapse, or other event that would call fire departments to the scene. A few moments can drastically change the outcome of a situation, and there isn’t always time to await paramedics.
EMS Training for Career Growth
While an EMT-Basic certification is one of the very first steps to becoming a firefighter, it doesn’t have to be the end of medical training. By obtaining further education through certification programs, workshops and immersion trainings, or by becoming a full-fledged paramedic, you can leverage yourself for even greater or quicker career growth.