EMT vs Paramedic – Know the Difference


EMS – Emergency Medical Service – Out of hospital services where both EMT and paramedics perform life saving services on patients while in route to the hospital.


EMT – Emergency Medical Technician – EMTs work within EMS to provide services like oxygen therapy and general first aid. Their training consists of 120 to 150 hours. Their basic responsibilities are providing life support and patient care, until they reach the hospital from the place of accident, and at times, they drive the ambulance. They are responsible for beginning the medication of victims till they reach the hospital.

Basically, EMTs are placed in the basic life support unit while the paramedics at the advanced life support unit of an emergency care unit.

The EMTs are allowed to administer oxygen, glucose, dextrose, ASA, ipratropium, and salbutamol. They can also administer IT, IM and can manage subcutaneous routes during the treatment of the patients. They can assist a PT that has a Epi-pen with injection.


Paramedic – A paramedic’s training requires longer training. Usually it can last for 1,200 to 1,800 hours or it can become a two-year course.

A paramedic can follow as much as 40 medical procedures on the patients. They can take support and assistance from the EMT present in the crew to treat the patients. While administering medications they can start intravenous line, provide airway management for patients and more.

The EMTs or emergency medical technicians are not allowed to give injections or to jumpstart intravenous insertions. However, paramedics can give injections and could administer creating advanced airway system to sustain the breathing of patients. EMTs can only manage asthma inhalers, oxygen and glucose. They actually stick with the no-needle policy.

Though the paramedics and the EMTs seem like they share the same job, there still lie the main difference. EMTs are not capable of administering procedures that would require breaking the skin. Paramedics on the other hand are allowed to do minor incisions and give injection shots.


It is offensive to a paramedic, who has worked hard through school to obtain the title of paramedic to be called anything less.


It is offensive to all emergency medical services to be called ambulance drivers their skill sets are so much more advanced than you know and should never be reduced to just a driver.


In the area we live, it is mandatory that a firefighter also be a paramedic. They go through rigorous training to obtain these jobs and titles. Once employed, they continue to train, so their skills are never forgotten, and to learn new skills as the need arises.


A first responder is someone designated or trained to respond to an emergency. An individual who runs toward an event rather than away.


My son is a firefighter/paramedic. His abilities are vast in the fact he keeps up his certifications for paramedic and continues the rigorous training of a firefighter. I have to say it takes a special kind of person to run into a fire and an extra special kind of person to be able to treat people who are near death and get them to the hospital after a horrific event. My son has empathy for his fellow-man, I am unbelievably proud of him.




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