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Firefighters and Paramedics: What’s the Difference?

Firefighters and paramedics have some things in common: emergency workers provide medical care to patients. They work as part of a team and undergo postsecondary education. Both perform advanced life support functions. However, there are some differences between the two.

Working in a small team

Firefighters and paramedics work together in small teams to respond to medical emergencies. Paramedics and firefighters like Daniel Ahasic are licensed to use their advanced skills only during life-threatening emergencies. This show hit during the 1970s and inspired many municipalities to start paramedic programs. It also inspired many people to enter emergency medicine.

While firefighters and paramedics work together in emergencies, they have different jobs when not responding to fires. Paramedics specialize in pre-hospital care and can provide life-saving assistance, oxygen supplementation, and other basic medical care. In addition, they have more advanced training than firefighters and can administer medications and apply pacemakers.

Paramedics and firefighters work in specialized units. They have different specializations, including aviation medicine and maritime medicine. They often work with fire departments and other emergency units and are also often involved in military operations.

Have medical training

Firefighters and paramedics must be well-trained and able to think on their feet in an emergency. They must also have the skills to speak calmly and gently with patients. They also must be able to climb ladders and slide down poles, and use a heavy hose to put out massive fires.

Firefighters and paramedics in the UK receive their training from different sources. They can take a course in a medical specialty from a university or a private company, or they can use interservice training. In most cases, the training is conducted by doctors trained in emergency medicine.

In 2012, about 68% of fire department called involved medical emergencies. 

Perform advanced life support functions

EMTs administer life-saving drugs, make incisions, and maintain airways. Some fire stations only have Basic Life Support EMTs, while others have a combination of the two. In addition, while firefighters are required to have a BLS or CPR certificate, not all of them have this training.

Firefighters and paramedics work hand-in-hand to treat patients in need. ALS includes advanced airway management techniques, such as endotracheal intubation. Paramedics are also trained to administer intravenous fluids and medications.

Are required to have postsecondary education

Paramedics and firefighters must be certified in first aid and CPR. These are necessary skills for firefighters and paramedics because they often handle medical emergencies when they respond to a call. Regardless of your chosen position, you’ll likely need some postsecondary education.

Firefighters typically earn a postsecondary certificate in fire science before starting their careers. Upon graduation, they typically spend several weeks training at state-run fire academies, where they study building codes and firefighting techniques. They may also pursue additional training at a national fire academy to acquire skills in emergency management, anti-arson measures, and disaster preparedness.

Firefighters and paramedics work together on a team, delivering life-saving medical treatment to victims of emergencies. Their training requires strong verbal and critical thinking skills.