EMT/Paramedic

At a Glance

Years in School (after high school graduation):

2 years or less

Hourly Wage:

$15.89-$36.12 (Mean $25.96)
*Based on Alaska DOL data

One-page Description (PDF):

EMT/Paramedic

Professional Activities

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and Mobile Intensive Care Paramedics (MICPs) are called “pre-hospital providers” since they usually provide emergency medical care until arriving at a clinic or hospital. The environment in which EMTs and paramedics work is physically, emotionally, and intellectually challenging.

At each progressive level of certification or licensure, the roles and responsibilities of the caregiver increase. All EMTs are taught to assess the emergency scene, control bleeding, apply splints, assist with childbirth, administer oxygen, and perform CPR and other basic life support skills. An EMT-I may assist a patient with medications their doctor has given them for chest pain, asthma, or allergic reactions. EMT-II personnel may also use devices to breathe for people who have lost consciousness, place needles in people’s veins, and provide certain medications for diabetic emergencies, dehydration or bleeding, and drug overdose. Those at the EMT-III level can also use electronic heart monitors and deliver shocks to restart the heart of patients whose hearts have stopped due to a heart attack. The medications given by the EMT-III assist them in improving the chances of survival for individuals who have suffered a heart attack. MICPs have the most training and expansive scope of authorized activities. They administer more emergency medications and perform a wider variety of procedures.

In rural Alaska, most EMTs volunteer for fire departments or ambulance services. In larger communities they often work for paid departments. All Community Health Aides (CHAs) take Emergency Trauma Technician (ETT) training as part of their CHA training. ETTs are trained to what is known as the “First Responder” level. This level of training is not as thorough as that received by EMTs, but provides a solid understanding of first aid, especially for people who have been injured in some type of accident. Certified Community Health Practitioners (CHPs) must maintain a valid ETT or EMT credential. A unique aspect of rural emergency medical care is the need to take care of patients for longer periods of time because of the long distances between communities.

The job market for EMS personnel in Alaska is relatively small, but growing, and an increasing number of agencies are requiring that applicants be licensed (or eligible for licensing) as a mobile intensive care paramedic.

Educational Requirements

As mentioned above, there are five levels of EMS training, with MICPs having the greatest educational requirements. EMTs are certified through the Department of Health and Social Services’ EMS Unit (http://www.ems.alaska.gov/). MICPs are licensed by the Department of Community and Economic Development’s State Medical Board (https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/cbpl/ProfessionalLicensing/StateMedicalBoard.aspx). The educational requirements for EMTs and MICPs are defined in Alaska regulations. The regulations can be accessed on the EMS unit website.

In general:

1. EMT training does not require graduation from high school (some courses are even offered in high schools). A person must be 18 years of age or older to be certified as an EMT. A person must be 19 years of age or older and be a high school graduate to become licensed in Alaska as an Mobile Intensive Care Paramedic.

2. Although there is no prerequisite to EMT-I training in Alaska, to enroll in an EMT-II course a person must be certified as an EMT-I and must have provided care to ten patients after becoming certified.  To enroll in an EMT-III course, a person must be certified as an EMT-II, have provided care to ten patients as an EMT-II, and have successfully inserted needles into ten patients’ veins. The applicant must have completed the 10 required venipunctures, eight of which must have been with catheter covered needles, within 30 days after completion of the EMT-II course. To enroll in a MICP course, a person must hold credentials from either the state or the National Registry of EMTs (http://www.nremt.org) at any level.

3. Certification as an EMT and licensure as an MICP require successful completion of written and practical examinations.

4. Individuals who successfully complete EMT and MICP courses in Alaska are eligible to become credentialed by the National Registry of EMTs at the appropriate level.

5. EMT-II, EMT-III, and MICP level health care providers must have a doctor who agrees to be responsible for supervising them. Once certified, these individuals use prearranged treatment guidelines called standing orders to provide treatment to individuals when they cannot speak to a doctor directly.

Level Minimum Hours Prerequisites
ETT 40 CPR certification is required for patient care, but CPR training is usually incorporated into the beginning of the course
EMT-I (EMT-Basic) 120 CPR credential, which may be offered at the start of the course
EMT-II 50 EMT-I certificate plus 10 patient contacts as an EMT-I
EMT-III 50 EMT-II certificate plus 10 patient contacts and 10 IVs as an EMT-II
MICP 500 classroom, 232 in-hospital and 480 field internship Must be an EMT

EMTs and paramedics trained and credentialed in other states may apply for Alaska credentials.

Academic Programs

Emergency Medical Technician courses are taught throughout Alaska, by Regional EMS Offices, local EMS squads, cities, boroughs, the University of Alaska, and others. All EMT courses taught in Alaska must be approved by the Department of Health and Social Services. The EMS Unit within DHSS maintains a list of EMT and MICP courses taught in Alaska on its web site at http://www.ems.alaska.gov/ In ad.dition, the site contains contact information and links to regional and local EMS training resources.

There are three paramedic training programs in Alaska. Applicants who are interested in enrolling in a Paramedic training program must 1) be currently registered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) at either the NREMT-Basic or NREMT-Intermediate levels OR 2) be certified in Alaska at the EMT-I, EMT-II, or EMT-III levels. In addition to these state requirements, individual programs may have additional entry requirements. Interested applicants should contact the school directly to inquire about entry requirements, application deadlines, and any other program specific information. Once a student has completed an approved Paramedic training program, and been certified by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians as an NREMT-P, he or she will need to contact the State Medical Board for licensure.

Matanuska-Susitna College
Mile 2 Trunk Road / POB 2889
Palmer, Alaska 99645
Contact:
Dane Wallace
Assistant Professor & EMS Program Coordinator
Phone: (907) 746-9329
Email: dwallace6@matsu.alaska.edu
Website: http://www.matsu.alaska.edu/office/student-services/degree-programs/paramedical-technology/

Kenai Peninsula College, UAA
156 College Road
Soldotna, AK 99669
Contact: Paul Perry, Paramedic Coordinator
Phone: (907) 262-0378
Email: peperry@kpc.alaska.edu
Website: http://www.kpc.alaska.edu/academics/areas-of-study/paramedic/

UAF Community and Technical College
Emergency Services-Paramedic Academy
P.O. Box 758120
Fairbanks, Alaska 99775
Contact: Justin R Yurong
EMS Coordinator
Phone: (907) 455-2892
Email: jyurong@alaska.edu
Website: http://www.ctc.uaf.edu/programs/paramedic/index.html

Contacts

State Contact:

For additional information about emergency medical services in Alaska, contact:

State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
Division of Public Health
Section of Emergency Programs
EMS Unit
P.O. Box 110616
Juneau, AK 99811-0616
(907) 465-8741 (Office)
(907) 465-4101 (Fax)
Website: http://www.ems.alaska.gov/

National Contacts:

National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians
P.O. Box 29233
Columbus, OH 43229
Phone: (614) 888-4484
Fax: (614) 888-8920
Website: http://www.nremt.org

National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT)
P.O. Box 1400
Clinton, MS 39060-1400
Phone: (601) 924-7744
Toll free: 1 (800) 34-NAEMT
Fax: (601) 924-7325
Email: info@naemt.org
Website: http://www.naemt.org

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