Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are healthcare professionals who have completed a semester-long training program that prepares them to provide basic emergency medical care to severely ill and injured patients. EMTs have training in CPR, bleeding control, splinting and bandaging, medical emergency care (such as for asthma, diabetes and cardiac problems) and emergency obstetrics. In addition, EMTs can administer oxygen and use a defibrillator.
Paramedics are EMTs who have gone on to attend an extensive, year-long training program focused on advanced emergency care. Paramedics can establish intravenous lines, intubate, take and interpret electrocardiograms and administer medications. The paramedics are often in radio communication with emergency room doctors who can advise them on difficult cases or give authorizations for advanced protocols.