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Types of Paramedics

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When disaster strikes, human life can often be thrown into peril and urgent medical care can be required. Paramedics are specialized health-care professionals who have skills and training that enable them to deliver emergency medical care to victims of trauma or serious injury at the scene of an accident. As accidents can happen anywhere at any time, there are different types of paramedics equipped to tackle different types of crisis. All paramedics must be able to think quickly and take the best course of action to save lives.

Emergency Medical Technician Paramedic

EMT paramedics are certified emergency medical professionals. EMT paramedics are the most well-known type of paramedic, typically working as part of a rapid-response unit, they deal with all kinds of emergencies from minor incidents to serious casualties in major accidents. Their primary responsibility is to respond to a health-threatening crisis and treat the trauma victims. They must stabilize a patient’s physical condition before the victim is transported to a hospital or another health-care facility. Generally, patients are transferred by ambulance or helicopter. EMT paramedics will travel with the patient to provide advanced levels of treatment if the patient’s condition worsens during the journey. It is possible to train at various levels of EMT, but the highest level, EMT-4, is the only one that qualifies the person as a paramedic.

Salaries range from $20,000 to $50,000, depending on such factors as job location, training and experience.

Flight Paramedic

Flight paramedics are tasked with the duty of traveling by air to remote locations such as forests or mountains to find accident victims in need of help and provide high-quality medical care and life support before the patients are transferred to the hospital. A flight nurse usually accompanies flight paramedics. They work together to assess the nature and extent of injuries and to decide on the necessary action. Flight paramedics are also trained in air safety, and they must be able to assist the pilot in navigational or visual observation duties. Previous flight experience is valuable in this field. Annual salary averages around $40,000.

Firefighter Paramedic

Firefighter paramedics are part of a team that extinguishes fires and rescues people trapped in burning buildings, wrecked vehicles and other types of hazardous situations. In addition to the normal duties of a firefighter, the paramedic assesses and treats injured people at the scene. The type and level of training required to become a firefighter paramedic varies, depending on the employer and state. In most cases, associate degrees are the first step. And state exams must be passed to become certified. It is advised to qualify as an EMT first and gain some experience before committing to a firefighter-paramedic career. According to, the average annual salary for a firefighter paramedic is $78,000.


Chris Haughey has been writing since 2007. His articles have appeared in college magazines and newspapers including "The Terrace Star" and "Student Voice." He received a foundation degree in journalism in 2009 and completed a Bachelor of Arts at Teesside University in 2010.

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