Emergency Medical Technician
Introduction to Emergency Medical Technician
The scope of practice for Emergency Medical Technicians is varied and broader than Advanced First Aiders. They have sound knowledge and skill set to manage emergency situations, such as cardiac arrest, heart attacks, diabetic emergencies etc. They are able to assess and manage casualties, while at the same time recognising if additional resources are required. They may solely manage the patient and take them to the hospital. This unit can transport patients, including those categorised as needing urgent and time-critical transfer. Emergency Medical Technician crews may be the only units on site or they may be part of a bigger multidisciplinary team.
The resource that you require will be based on the risk assessment of your event. This will be fully discussed with you. The choice of an Emergency Medical Technician is a good one due to their versatility when working at events. In accordance with the risk assessment, they can be supplied in the following ways.
Twin Emergency Medical Technicians
This unit provides an excellent skill level and ability to deal with emergency situations. The benefit of two Emergency Medical Technicians is that they can both work to manage a challenging medical emergency, such as a cardiac arrest, they will also have the experience to recognise when further assistance is required at a higher skill level to assist with such an emergency. When appropriate they will undertake both time-critical and urgent patient transfers.
Emergency Medical Technician & Emergency Care Assistant
In this unit, the Emergency Medical Technician is the lead and will be supported by the Emergency Care Assistant to assess and provide care to the patient. When appropriate they will undertake both time-critical and urgent patient transfers.
Emergency Medical Technician & Paramedic unit
This will be supplied when the risk assessment identifies a need for a Paramedic unit. The Emergency Medical Technician will work closely with the paramedic to provide the appropriate level of patient care. While the Emergency Medical Technician is likely to undertake blue light emergency driving in an emergency situation.
What skills do they have?
Emergency Medical Technicians are able to work autonomously, providing assessment and care to casualties, whose condition ranges from minor to life-threatening. Their training and upskilling also allow them to recognise when casualties need interventions that are outside of their practice and to request support in a timely manner. As well as dealing with life-threatening emergencies, such as asthma and diabetic emergencies, they can manage many casualties at the event, treating with a range of over the counter, pharmacy only medications and some prescription medications. In addition to this, they can also provide a more advanced level of care, assisted by the use of more advanced observations and monitoring.
For patients experiencing a cardiac event, medications such as aspirin or GTN may be given, following an assessment of the patient, including their blood pressure and a 12 lead ECG. An unconscious diabetic patient will have their blood glucose levels checked. If appropriate the Emergency Medical Technicians can give them an injection of a medicine called Glucagon to treat them for hypoglycaemia and hopefully to aid their recovery.
A patient experiencing an asthma attack may require additional medication to their own inhalers. Emergency Medical Technicians can assist by giving prescription-only medications, via a nebuliser to relieve the patient’s breathing difficulty. Depending on the patient’s medical presentation/condition many event visitors will be able to return to the event.
In order to provide the best patient/casualty care, we understand that effective communication is essential. Emergency Medical Technicians are trained to use a range of communication techniques to enable them to bypass any barriers to communication. This included phone applications for translation, use of the NHS multilingual phrase book and flashcards.
Intermediate Life Support
Wide range of oral medication
12 Lead ECG
Use of ambulance equipment
How can the unit work for you?
This unit can be deployed to an event that does not require a large team but where the risk
assessment has identified the need for a broader and higher skill set than Advanced First Aiders. For example, the activities, demographics etc all indicate higher risks than should be solely attended by Advanced First Aiders.
Emergency Medical Technicians will be part of an ambulance crew. The ambulance will be equipped with a range of monitoring, diagnostic, moving & handling and treatment options. This enables us to provide the best level of patient care. This unit can transfer patients to the hospital.
At large, busy events, such as music festivals, rugby or football, there may be a multidisciplinary team. The Emergency Medical Technician crew plays a vital role within this, providing support for casualties, who need additional prehospital care, while at the same time, working closely with paramedics to ensure the safety and welfare of your event visitors.
At these events, our radio controller would typically, on receiving a call to attend a patient who appeared to be unconscious or seriously ill/injured, dispatch the Emergency Medical Technician unit. This is because they are able to undertake a more rigorous assessment, diagnosis and comprehensive treatment than Advanced First Aiders. Following assessment and any urgent interventions, they would decide to transfer to hospital, in consultation with the multidisciplinary team or take them to the event medical centre. Once at the medical centre they would reassess the patient and make a decision on the best option for the casualty. Emergency Medical Technicians may request a Paramedic or Doctor to review a casualty.
In many cases, especially at events such as music festivals, where alcohol and recreational drugs are the cause of a casualty being unwell, the Emergency Medical Technicians may monitor the patient within the Medic 1 Medical Centre. With their experience, effective monitoring equipment and additional levels of support available to them, they may care for a patient over several hours. Only when the patient has fully recovered will they discharge them. This way of working has many benefits including, best patient care, limiting the burden on already busy local Emergency Departments and showing your event in a positive light. As clearly you have demonstrated a commitment to look after your event visitors.