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Emergency Medical Services

ems-photoEmergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) deliver pre-hospital emergency care at the scene of an injury or sudden illness. The EMT, whether paid or volunteer, is a vital link in the chain from the emergency scene to the hospital. The first steps taken by an EMT can mean the difference between life and death for the patient.

EMTs care for patients by using basic life support skills, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), bleeding control techniques, fracture care, defibrillation (AED) and assistance in childbirth. EMTs use their skills under the supervision of a physician, through radio communication and written protocols.

Some EMTs are trained to provide specific advanced life support. Each level above EMT adds additional dimensions to the caregiver's capabilities.


  • By state regulation, the EMT must be at least 17 years old. Generally, the knowledge and skills required show the need for a high school education or equivalent

  • An EMT must complete a state-approved course and achieve passing scores on a practical skills and written examination

  • Most employers require a valid driver's license and prefer a safe driving record

  • Previous related training or experience may be helpful but is not required for entry into an EMT training program

The cost of training for EMTs who are members of an EMS agency or fire department may be covered. Candidates may be required to purchase a textbook. For more information, contact Oswego County EMO/EMS.

Special Characteristics
The EMT's job requires the following skills and physical abilities:

  • ability to lift, carry and balance up to 125 pounds

  • ability to interpret written, oral and diagnostic form instructions

  • ability to use good judgment and remain calm in high-stress situations

  • ability to be unaffected by loud noises and flashing lights

  • ability to calculate weight and volume ratios

  • ability to read English language manuals, road maps, street signs and address numbers

  • ability to document, in writing, all relevant information in prescribed format

  • ability to converse in English with co-workers and hospital staff as to the status of the patient

  • ability to bend, stoop and crawl on uneven terrain

  • ability to withstand varied environmental conditions such as extreme heat, cold and moisture

  • ability to work in low light and confined spaces

Questions about Oswego County EMS?
E-mail or call 315-591-9150