How to Become a Certified First Responder

Posted by Printed Kicks Team on

How to Become a Certified First Responder

Certified first responders are essential assets to our communities. As medical professionals, they are responsible for providing basic medical care to patients at the scene of emergencies. They treat patients at the actual scene of the emergency, as well as on the way to the hospital in the back of emergency transport vehicles like ambulances. 

At Printed Kicks, we are dedicated to honoring the brave efforts of first responders all around America. Regularly, they put their own well beings at risk for the sake of their communities. For that, we are forever appreciative. 

First responders are trained to give basic first aid, treat shock, stabilize injuries, utilize epi-pens against seizures, and many other skills. They respond to medical emergencies and traumas like car accidents. It is their job to assess the condition of patients at the scene and provide preliminary treatment before they are escorted to the hospital. 

First responders are also in charge of transporting patients to the hospital safely and promptly. They also may need to call other EMS providers to the scene for additional assistance, if necessary. Though first responders are trained to treat patients, they are bound to a number of restrictions. For instance, EMTs, a type of first responder, cannot break the skin of patients they treat. 

If you’re a first responder and need to treat a serious wound or injury that is out of your jurisdiction, you will need to call a superior to assist you. 

In terms of ranking, first responders are the lowest of four levels of emergency medical service (EMS). 

The highest level of EMS includes paramedics, followed by advanced EMTs, EMTs, and emergency medical responders, formerly known as first responders. These four levels of health providers are certified by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). 

First responders are an integral part of every society. Every day, they are literally saving lives. Think you’ve got what it takes to become one? Find out below how to become a certified first responder!

Qualifications

All first responders must be certified by the National Registry of Emergency Technicians. In order to attain this certification, individuals must complete the Application for Emergency Medical Services Certification (DOH-65). 

However, before you get started with any of that, there are a multitude of qualifications that are required. For one, you must be at least sixteen years old by the end of the month that you are scheduled to take the written certification examination. This test will evaluate your education at a high-school level. 

Next, there are a number of physical requirements needed from first responders. First responder applicants must be able to communicate effectively through telephone and radio, lift, carry, and balance up to 125 pounds or 250 pounds with assistance, bend, stoop, and crawl on rough terrain, withstand extreme environmental conditions like heat and cold, and much more. 

There are also a number of cognitive skills that first responders must have; the ability to read manuals, road maps, addresses, and street signs, the ability to interpret oral, written, and diagnostic form instructions, the ability to remain collected in high-stress scenarios, the ability to ignore loud noises and flashing lights, the ability to interview patients, family members of patients, and bystanders, and others.  

Training

If the job still sounds appealing to you, it’s time to talk about training. In most states, you must also complete an approved CFR course and achieve a passing score on a written examination before becoming a first responder.

Once you successfully complete a basic CFR course and the written exam, you will be put under formal training. The standard of first responder training is known as The U.S. Department of Transportation First Responder National Standard Curriculum. 

The curriculum is split into seven modules with a total of 26 lessons. The modules are categorized by sections of patient preparation, airway management, patient assessment, circulation, medical emergencies and illnesses, situations involving childbirth and infants, and EMS operations. 

The course consists of 40 hours of lessons, taking about 30 days to complete. 

During this training, you will be taught how to perform one of the most important life-saving procedures, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR. All first responders are required to have a certification in CPR. You should be taught 1-and-2-rescuer CPR techniques, how to use an automatic external defibrillator, and how to conduct rescue breathing.

Formal training provides more complex instruction than standard CPR courses. Training and certification can be obtained through organizations like the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, and more. 

There are also some optional courses you can take to bolster your resume and stand out as a job candidate. If you’d like to stand out to employers, it is useful to take classes in anatomy and other disciplines related to the human body. Being well-versed in physiology will guide you in your responsibilities as a first responder. 

Where Do First Responders Work?

If you are unaware, “first responders” is an umbrella term for all occupations that respond to emergency situations. First responders include law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs. Though not all police officers and firefighters are EMT-trained, it is definitely beneficial to have that background knowledge in those fields. 

If you work at a fire department,  you may be called to put out serious fires, rescue people from burning buildings, saving people from car accidents, and more. You will also need to assess the situation and provide updates to your fire department, as well as law enforcement and emergency personnel. 

You can also work as a first responder in a police department. Police officers and firefighters are typically the first to arrive at emergency events. Therefore, it is your responsibility as a member of the police to make sure the scene of the emergency is safe and stable. Not only do you want to make sure that the victims involved are safe, you want to ensure that your fellow first responders will be safe when they also arrive at the scene. 

By far, being a police officer is the most dangerous occupation as a first responder. With the frequency of emergencies they respond to and the unpredictable nature of their jobs, there is a significant amount of risk. However, if you are passionate about helping people and are looking for some action on the day-to-day, becoming a police officer might be perfect for you.

Lastly, you can always work as a paramedic or EMT. These types of jobs are what most people think of when they first hear the term “first responders.” Providing emergency medical care to patients and escorting them to hospitals; this is the duty of a paramedic or EMT.  

The three different ranks of EMT are basic, intermediate, and paramedic. Paramedics are the highest level of EMT and exert more privilege when treating patients. They are given access to more medical equipment and can perform more complex medical procedures than basic EMTs. 

For instance, paramedics can provide IV treatment and endotracheal intubations, while basic EMTs are restricted to non-intrusive treatments. Paramedics can administer drugs and read test results, which basic EMTs cannot. Paramedics typically have over two years of experience. However, the general responsibilities of the two are essentially the same. 

Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, EMTs and paramedics earned a median annual salary of $32,670 in 2016. 75% of EMTs and paramedics made over $25,850 that year, while the rest of the demographic made less than that. Only 25% of EMTs and paramedics made over $42,710. In 2016, there were over 248,000 EMTs and paramedics in the United States. 

Conclusion

When people have an emergency, first responders are there to provide immediate help. In many ways, they are the backbone of our society, the infrastructure of our safety. If this sounds like something that you want to be a part of, perhaps this job is for you. 

When a crisis strikes, it will be your duty to remain calm and combat the issue as efficiently as possible. There may be noise. There may be pressure. But as a first responder, you must overcome these external factors and do everything you can to give the patients what they need. 

Our team at Printed Kicks has made it a goal of ours to show the world how important first responders are. These heroic men and women sacrifice their livelihoods every day in order to keep our communities safe. Whether you are a police officer, a firefighter, or just a basic EMT, we are thankful for you! 

 

Sources

Functional Position Description -Certified First Responder (CFR) | health.ny.gov 

How to Become a First Responder: Certification & Training Requirements | study.com 

NREMT EMS Certification Levels | EMT Test - Test-Guide.com). 

What is CPR | CPR.heart.org 


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