The Madison County Emergency Medical Services employs 16 Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and 19 paramedics.
While many may think that these two titles are identical (and in many ways they are), there are actually key differences between an EMT and a paramedic.
EMTs usually complete a course that is about 120-150 hours in length.
Paramedic courses can be between 1,200 to 1,800 hours.
EMT and paramedic courses consist of lectures, hands-on skills training and clinical and/or field internships.
EMTs are educated in many skills including CPR, providing oxygen to patients, administering glucose for diabetics and helping others with treatments for asthma attacks or allergic reactions.
With very few exceptions, such as in the case of auto-injectors for allergic reactions, EMTs are usually not allowed to provide treatments that require breaking the skin; that means no needles. EMTs are permitted to provide advanced airway management and can resuscitate a patient.
Paramedics are more advanced providers of emergency medical care and are highly educated in topics such as anatomy and physiology, cardiology, medications and medical procedures.
They build on the original education they received to become an EMT and learn more skills to excel in their field, such as administering medications, starting intravenous lines, providing advanced airway management for patients and learning to resuscitate and support patients with significant problems such as heart attacks and traumas.
Paramedic education programs may last six to 12 months.
Regularly, the Madison County EMS station keeps six technicians and paramedics on each shift and the ideal scenario is for one paramedic and one EMT to be paired on each ambulance call, however, according to Lisa Jordan, the Madison County EMS director, it doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes two paramedics will go on a call, but very rarely will two EMTs go on a call without a paramedic.
The EMS station is equipped with five ambulances; three ALS, one BLS and one spare that can be used as either BLS or ALS.
The station is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year.
The dedicated men and women who work hard to provide the best emergency care they can for the citizens of Madison County are like guardian angels over the county; with an EMS station in our community, everyone can feel assured that when they dial 9-1-1, their plea will be heard and the Madison County EMTs and paramedics will be on their way to assist.