EMS Professions Overview

EMS Profession Overview:

The Emergency Medical System (EMS) is a tiered system established to bring lifesaving treatments to patients outside of the hospital.   New Jersey’s EMS system was established in the mid-1950s and got its origin from a need of transporting the critically ill to definitive care. Since that time, EMS has evolved into a fully functioning extension of the emergency department providing lifesaving treatments at the roadside, bedside or anywhere necessary outside of the hospital. 

The current New Jersey EMS model consists of three levels: EMR – Emergency Medical Responder (police officers and firefighters), EMT – Emergency Medical Technician (providers from local towns or private companies), and Paramedic (all paramedics in NJ are hospital employees). 

EMT’s provide basic life support to patients in the pre-hospital environment.  This would include CPR, automatic defibrillation, oxygen therapy, splinting, emergency childbirth and patient assisted medication administration.  Paramedics provide advanced life support to patients in the pre-hospital environment.  Paramedics are physician extenders that bring the Emergency Department to the field and provide the equivalent treatments that are offered in the first 15-20 minutes of care at an emergency department.  Their skills and scope of practice include clinical assessment techniques, medication therapies, invasive skills and lifesaving skills. Paramedics and EMTs work cohesively to transport the critically ill from the pre-hospital environment to the most appropriate medical facility while stabilizing their condition during transport and transfer. 


Paramedic Characteristics
Information taken in part from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Paramedic Functional Job Analysis

A Paramedic is a person who must not only remain calm while working in difficult and stressful circumstances, but must be capable of staying focused while assuming the leadership role inherent in carrying out the functions of the position. Good judgment along with advanced knowledge and technical skills are essential in directing other team members to assist as needed. The Paramedic must be able to provide top quality care, concurrently handle high levels of stress, and be willing to take on the personal responsibility required of the position.  The Paramedic must be able to deal with adverse and often dangerous situations which include responding to calls in districts known to have high crime and mortality rates. Self-confidence is critical, as is a desire to work with people, solid emotional stability, a tolerance for high stress, and the ability to meet the physical, intellectual, and cognitive requirements demanded by this position.  Aptitudes required for work of this nature are good physical stamina, endurance, and body condition that would not be adversely affected by frequently having to walk, stand, lift, carry, and balance at times, in excess of 125 pounds. Motor coordination is necessary because over uneven terrain, the patients, the Paramedics, and other workers wellbeing must not be jeopardized.


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