Looking for a career as an emergency responder? follow these steps


First emergency responders are the earliest healthcare professionals to arrive at the scene of an accident or catastrophe. They form a rapid-response team of medical staff to dispense life-saving medical assistance in emergencies. First responders are highly skilled professionals who perform quickly and strategically during accidents and emergencies.

They medically examine the victims, administer first aid, and call an ambulance, should the need arise. They routinely deal with life-and-death crises and work in highly stressful situations. Most people regard such a career with sentiments of selflessness and compassion. But a little-known fact is that emergency responder is one of the most lucrative jobs in the healthcare industry.

These medical professionals make over $38,000 annually and enjoy high job satisfaction and stability. Experts believe that there is a growing demand for skilled medical professionals who can operate in high-risk situations. Also, statistics reveal that by 2028, aspirants can access over 18,000 employment opportunities in this field.

If you aspire to embark on a career as an emergency responder, keep reading to find out the steps you must take.

Emergency Responder: Skills & Responsibilities

Emergency responders require specific skills to fulfill their responsibilities effectively. Aside from acting quickly in chaotic situations and crises, they need medical skills and physical strength. Communication skills, compassion, and empathy are some other vital skills. Do you aspire to become an emergency responder? If the answer is Yes! You must choose an academic path that will help uplift your career opportunities. Most professionals enter this profession with a bachelor’s degree, while some pursue a master’s degree.

It is wise to pursue one’s education in public health or medical-related programs. However, you can still choose this professional with a high school degree or GED. Emergency responders must also undertake the EMS certification course to equip themselves with the necessary training and skills. Also, patient care, CPR, EMR, and other medical responsibilities are vital to effectively accomplishing their duties.

§  Follow these Steps

There are several routes that you can pursue, but they all begin with training. Follow the steps below to map out your path to a career as an emergency responder.

CPR Training

You must undertake training and CPR certification to equip yourself with the necessary medical skills. Various institutions offer CPR certification, including the American Heart Association, Red Cross, and the National Institute of Health. These courses provide detailed training to equip a first responder with several life-saving skills and techniques.

These techniques include rescue CPR skills, breathing strategies, and machinery, such as an automatic external defibrillator.

State-Mandated First Responder Certification

Once you’ve undergone basic CPR training and certification, it’s time to get your first responder certification. All training courses follow the US Department of Transportation First Responder National Standard Curriculum. This training course consists of several modules, divided across 26 lessons.

Trainees learn the following skills:

  • Patient preparation
  • Managing airway
  • Assessing patients
  • Examining circulation
  • Attending to medical emergencies
  • Attending to medical illnesses
  • Handling childbirth emergencies
  • Examining and treating infants
  • Handling EMS operations


Trainees are also introduced to various medical equipment and devices and trained on using them in emergencies. They also learn how to respond to emergencies and report them to the relevant medical authorities and technicians. The course requires a total of 40 hours, and it takes around 30 days to complete.

So, suppose you wish to stand out in your class and explore career advancement opportunities, considering taking anatomy courses. Additional courses or diplomas in physiology and human anatomy will make you better equipped for your job. Naturally, these advanced skills will also help you explore leadership positions and lucrative opportunities.

Certifications to Advance your Career

Aspirants should continue taking certifications and examinations to advance their careers. First responders can obtain recertifications and advanced training from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). Aspirants are required to clear psychomotor and cognitive certifications from the NREMT and a state-licensed authority.

The cognitive test focuses on a variety of medical care subjects. The psychomotor exam requires a demonstration of all the emergency and medical skills learned by the applicant. Once you receive a certification, you can explore lucrative opportunities as a first responder.

Aspirants often find themselves confused between choosing an EMT or an EMR certification. An EMT certification refers to an emergency medical technician. These technicians assist patients during an emergency while transporting them to a hospital. An EMR is an emergency medical responder, also known as a first responder. These professionals provide emergency medical care to prevent fatalities while waiting for an ambulance to arrive at the scene.


This article will help you become an emergency medical responder and advance your career with the necessary certifications. It is important to note that the exact requirements and eligibility criteria tend to vary in different states. For instance, some states require applicants to undergo basic training to volunteer for this position. Other states require all civilians to undergo basic emergency training to improve emergency handling response.

If you wish to pursue a career rather than a voluntary position, be sure to examine your local regulations. Conduct research on the job opportunities and training requirements of your local and state emergency services. You can either undergo training as a volunteer or pursue an EMS certification to train as an EMR.

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