Cockeysville Volunteer Fire Company hosted the first volunteer ambulance in Baltimore County and we welcome you to that tradition. EMS is an ever-changing field with medical emergencies ranging from falls to car wrecks to cardiac arrests.
Levels of EMS Certification
Emergency Medical Technician
Emergency Medical Technician is the entry level certification for EMS. EMTs provide basic life support level patient care including patient assessment, splinting and bandaging and helping paramedics provide advanced life support. EMTs are considered Basic Life Support providers.
EMT classes are 164 hours long and are offered in the spring and fall, usually 2 weekday nights and 1 weekend day. During the summer, EMT classes are offered in a “crash course” format consisting of ~8 weeks of 5 day per week instruction. Maryland uses the National Registry standard for EMT testing; this simplifies the process should a member move to another state that also uses the National Registry.
IV Technician is a Maryland-specific status for EMTs that upon completion of the class, allows them to begin IVs. IV-Tech is an 8-hour class, followed by a required practical skills test. IV-Techs are considered Basic Life Support providers.
This class is offered by Baltimore County and does not transfer outside of Maryland.
Paramedic is the highest level of EMS field care. Paramedics are able to do everything an EMT can do, in addition to administering medications, intubating patients, and performing cardiac procedures. Paramedics are considered Advanced Life Support providers.
Paramedic programs are offered by several community colleges as well as University of Maryland Baltimore County. The program lasts on average 2 years and is an intense commitment of time and effort as there are multiple ride alongs and exams that must be completed. Paramedics are able to take the National Registry exam just as EMTs do to simplify moving between states.
Listen to EMT Tyler C. talk about his experiences as an EMT.
EMT Kelsey G. talks about her experiences in EMT class.
Tips for Success
- Study, Study, Study! EMT has a lot of material to learn.
- Get Started Early! The more you ride the medic, the more you learn.
- Members at the station are eager to help you practice skills. Just Ask!
- Don’t wait until the last minute to do your 10 ride along calls.
- Remember that 10 calls is just the minimum, ride as much as possible.
- Ask the staff to be an active part of patient care, then ask for feedback after the call.
- You can never take enough blood pressures. Ask your friends, family, co-workers and of course, brothers and sisters at the firehouse.