SO…YOU WANT TO SAVE SOME LIVES
Being a part of your local Emergency Services, paid or volunteer, is a great way to start. Emergency Medical Services is a bit more than just jumping on a rig, you need TRAINING. CPR is a must for all health providers and should be taught at some level to ALL in emergency services (or not). The rest of your medical know-how depends on what level of certification you are looking to achieve. As per NYS policy statement 23.07, levels of training run from approximately 54 to 1600 hours of training; some levels require experience at lower levels first.
Certified First Responders (CFR) can be as young as 16 years old; CFRs possess the basic knowledge and skills necessary to provide lifesaving interventions while awaiting additional EMS response and to assist higher-level personnel at the scene and during transport. EMTs conduct basic, non-invasive interventions and provide out-of-hospital care. Under medical oversight, EMTs use skills to transport patients safely, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), administer oxygen, administer glucose, and assist patients experiencing asthma attacks or allergic reactions. Paramedics are typically the most advanced of the out-of-hospital emergency providers; they learn how to administer medications, start intravenous (IV) lines, provide advanced airway management for patients, resuscitate patients, and help people who have suffered severe trauma.
Teamwork between all levels of EMS providers ensures the best chance of survival and recovery possible for each patient – but it all takes training, both in the classroom and in the field under skilled and recognized preceptors. While each ambulance corps/squad often provides course information, potential students can also reach out to their individual Regional EMS Councils [https://bit.ly/3w3ktwt] for information on AUTHORIZED area classes. If you have been certified in another U.S. state or hold a National Registry, you can apply for reciprocity by filling out an ONLINE form at [https://on.ny.gov/49o173M]. Your application will be reviewed (it can take up to 90 days) and in some cases, there will be stipulations you might be required to complete. If you were previously a NYS certified responder, and decide to come back, you will be able to regain your certification by taking an authorized refresher class; your original certification number remains yours “for life”.
All EMS training (with some exceptions for reciprocity) must be conducted by NYS-certified instructors. Instructors, including Certified Laboratory Instructor (CLI) and Certified Instructor Coordinator (CIC), must be trained at the level they are teaching (or higher) and pass a NYS sanctioned course, internship requirements, and act in those capacities for at least a minimum number of BEMS authorized classes. While some EMS providers can recertify via CMEs, the CIC must have been a CIC of record for one complete original course before teaching core content or approving content in the NYS CME recertification program.
In September 2023, NYS initiated the concept of “Pilot Education Programs” with substantially fewer training hours to increase recruitment and retention in the NYS EMS system. Agencies who want to participate must first submit course applications detaining the proposed framework of the program (see NYS Policy Statement 23-08b for complete details).