The First Responder is the most basic level of EMS provider certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. This person is usually allied with a fire or ambulance squad or industrial, recreational response team. His or her job is to assess the situation and the victim's illness or injury and to stabilize their condition until more advanced help arrives.
The First Responder completes a 40-43 hour class which includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation, control of bleeding, stabilization of fractures, childbirth, oxygen administration, etc.. At the conclusion of the program he/she participates in a state practical and written examination.
First Responders are generally employed in heavy industrial settings as part of the plant emergency response team. They may also take additional training in fire fighting. Outside of that setting, they are often volunteers with their local emergency companies.
Certification as a First Responder is good for a period of three years, after which the individual must re-certify his/her certification. This re-certification can be done by successfully taking another practical and written evaluation or through continuing education, accruing 18 hours within the three year certification period (in addition to attending a CPR training/retraining course).
To receive additional information about a specific program, please contact the Council office at (814) 355-1474.
Emergency Medical Technician
EMT's are given training similar to the First Responder but in much more depth. As with the First Responder, the EMT learns cardiopulmonary resuscitation, control of bleeding, stabilization of fractures, childbirth, and oxygen administration; but also learn a number of additional and more complex skills such as spinal immobilization, use of the automated external defibrillator, assisting patients with medications, etc. The EMT is the basic staff member of a basic life support (BLS) ambulance. There must be at least one EMT on each emergency crew.
EMT's are either volunteers or employed by ambulance and fire companies to provide both routine and emergency care and transportation of patients. Some ambulance companies provide only emergency services. Others provide emergency, non-emergency, and wheelchair services. Some companies are in business only for non-emergency work. In addition, EMTs are found in industrial response squads, first aid stations and fire companies.
The EMT course is 125.5 hours in length. Our programs are usually held in three-hour blocks with two classes being held one week followed by three classes the following for approx. 9 weeks. Participants must take a state practical and written examination after successful completion of the training program. Certification is for a three year period, after which the individual must re-certify by either challenging the state examinations or by accruing a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education credits through participation in Department approved courses (in addition to attending a CPR training/retraining program).
To receive additional information about a specific program, please contact the Council office at (814) 355-1474
Many EMTs go back to school to become Paramedics. They go to school for close to a year and receive in-depth training on how to care for a wide variety of serious illnesses and injuries. Some of the advanced skills available to a Paramedic working under a medical command physician are: cardiac rhythm interpretation and monitoring, administration of drugs, establishment of IVs, placement of endotracheal tubes, invasive procedures to open a victim's airway or decompress the chest, etc.
Paramedics function in a variety of settings, frequently as a member of a hospital-based medic unit, part of an ambulance service or on a mobile intensive care unit, or as a member of a medical flight team.
In addition to the EMT training course, the EMT-Paramedic completes an additional 250 to 350 hours of classroom training plus a minimum of 232 hours of clinical experience in the hospital setting and several hundred hours of field internship hours depending upon the course location and medical director. Upon successful completion of the training requirements, the EMT-Paramedic then must pass a state written examination. Once certified, the EMT-P must maintain skill competency, as determined by the ALS service’s medical director (MD), on an annual basis to be allowed to continue to function as a Paramedic.
Seven Mountains EMS Council currently doesn't have any EMT-Paramedic training programs scheduled for the future.
Prehospital RN (PHRN)
The Prehospital RN program was instituted in PA to allow licensed registered nurses, with training and experience in prehospital care, to function as an ALS provider outside the hospital setting. PHRNs usually function as a member of a hospital-based ALS ambulance or squad intercept vehicle and/or for aeromedical services.
Pennsylvania allows licensed RNs to become PHRNs through either participation in a PHRN course or through a challenge mechanism. The PHRN course consists of approximately 150 hours of lecture, clinical, and field instruction. The challenge mechanism allows RNs who have previous experience in the field setting to receive this certification without participation in the program.
Seven Mountains doesn't currently have any PHRN courses scheduled within the Region.
The EMT-Instructor program is approx. 24 hours and prepares currently certified EMTs and EMT-Paramedics to train new providers in the skills and knowledge needed to function as a first responder or emergency medical technician. EMT-Instructors also provide a majority of the continuing education programs presented throughout the Commonwealth.
Instructor certification is for a three-year period with the instructor needing to accrue a minimum of 60 hours of teaching time within that three-year period.
For more information and a listing of the prerequisites, please contact the Council office.