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What is an Emergency Medical Responder?

Saving lives is no easy task. It’s not even something that most people try to do. Yet there are special individuals that make it their life’s mission to be there when others need it the most. You’ve probably seen them. They’re first to respond in any medical emergency. They can either come in ambulances or helicopters but they’re always the first ones there. Yes, we’re talking about Emergency Medical Responders (EMR).

Another name they’re called by would be “certified first responder”. We see these people at the site of an accident or a natural disaster. There is some confusion about first responders versus emergency medical responders. A first responder is someone who has trained in basic first aid. They are usually police officers, fire fighters, and even some paramedics.

emr1 - What is an Emergency Medical Responder?

A Certified First Responder or Emergency Medical Responder is anyone who has successfully and dutifully completed a course and received proper certification regarding the provision of pre-hospital care in the event of medical emergencies.  They provide immediate care to patients who are varying states of medical distress.

The courses and certification exams vary from country to country. The jurisdictions in which they are allowed and expected to act vary as well. For example, in Canada, certified first responders have a Duty to Act in any and all events of medical emergencies. If they fail to do so, they can be prosecuted for negligence. In the USA, EMRs provide the initial emergency care on the scene as they are often the first to arrive. They then support any Emergency Medical Technicians or Paramedics that subsequently arrive.

What Skills Are They Expected To Have?

EMRs are expected to know bleeding control, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), to skillfully use automated external defibrillators (AED), apply positive pressure ventilation with a bag valve mask, other rudimentary first aid, and should effectively package, move, and transport patients.

The ability to stay calm under extreme duress and keep a clear logical mind is a must. Be prepared to undergo several hours of training under different scenarios.

emr2 - What is an Emergency Medical Responder?

Certified first responders undergo hundreds of hours of training in order to get certified. Depending on what country you’re in, there are several organizations available like the American Red Cross that conducts courses for EMRs. If you are ever interested in becoming an EMR, we wholly salute you. Feel free to peruse our other articles to see if you have what it takes to be an EMR.