How to Become an EMT

A comprehensive overview for medical first responders

Table of Contents
1. What is an EMT?7. How to Become a Certified EMT?
2. Difference Between EMT & Paramedic?8. EMT Physical Requirements
3. How Much Do EMTs Make?9. Typical Day for an EMT
4. How Long to Become an EMT?10. What Shifts Do EMTs Work?
5. Who Can Be an EMT?11. Can EMTs Transfer to Other States?
6. Who Shouldn’t Become an EMT?12. Should I Become an EMT?

The idea of becoming an EMT might feel daunting at first glance. After all, medical emergencies are as varied as they are common, and EMTs are often the first to arrive. From car crashes to house fires to natural disasters, the wail of the ambulance siren comes as a massive relief to those injured, and you can’t help but watch with respect as the well-trained men and women leap into action, administer aid, and carry the wounded to safety.

We’re so transfixed by the work done by the EMS (Emergency Medical Services) that we can’t get enough of their stories. They’re our heroes, our helpers, and most importantly—we need more of them.

If you’ve ever wondered how to become an EMT, are curious about the job and the requirements, or want to know more about a career in blue, this page is for you. Below you’ll find everything you need to know about beginning your EMT career.

Another Look at Unitek’s EMT Boot Camps

WHAT IS AN EMT?

EMT stands for Emergency Medical Technician. They are often the first point of contact in emergency medical situations, such as injuries, sudden illness, age-related emergencies, or trauma. As the first responders, EMTs are often expected to treat wounds, administer CPR, supply oxygen, stabilize head and neck injuries, administer medications, and drive the ambulance.

Most of us are no stranger to an EMT in action—having either been treated by one or seen one working first-hand. They’ve been a staple of America’s first response system since 1865 (when ambulances were horse-drawn carts) and today serve an average of 25 to 30 million Americans per year.

What You Need to Know About Becoming an EMT

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PARAMEDIC AND AN EMT?

Both EMTs and Paramedics serve similar purposes. Both are first responders, and both provide emergency aid on-the-go. The primary difference between the two is the level of training. EMT training is thorough but can be completed in under six months, with opportunities to rise to higher trained levels (such as EMT I, EMT II, and EMT III).

Paramedic training, on the other hand, can take up to two or more years and requires a much more rigorous field of study.

Because of the additional training, paramedics can perform more complex medical procedures in the field, like intubation, IV insertion, manual defibrillation, and drug administration.

Many EMTs go on to become paramedics. In fact, many paramedic programs require applicants to work a certain period of time as an EMT before they can begin paramedic training. The skills learned as an EMT are a vital step towards the paramedic career and skillset.

HOW MUCH DO EMTs MAKE?


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for an EMT is $16.50 per hour (or $34,320 a year), though this can vary according to location, experience, and level of training required. In other words, the higher the level of your training, the higher your salary will rise.

As for job availability, it’s a great time to be an EMT. The BLS projects the number of EMT jobs to rise 15% by 2026, much faster than the national average.

HOW LONG DO YOU TRAIN TO BECOME AN EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN?

Not long! If you’re studying to be an EMT in Arizona, for example, you can complete your courses in just 14 days by attending the Unitek EMT 14-Day Boot Camp. The course features hands-on, instructor-led training across 14 consecutive days (as the name suggests). The robust curriculum (frequently updated as the medical landscape is constantly changing) combines theory lectures with hands-on medical equipment exercises.

HOW LONG DO YOU TRAIN TO BECOME AN EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN?

Students can expect 10 hours of instruction per day (simulating the intense pace of an EMT), realistic emergency simulations, and assistance in passing the National Registry EMT (NREMT) certification exam.

(Oh, and complimentary lunches and dinners are also provided, so all you’ll need to focus on is learning to save lives).

After you’ve been certified, you’ll still need to keep up with your training and any changes in the field. Unitek also offers an EMT refresher course for just that purpose.

WHO CAN BE AN EMT?

If you want to become an EMT, there’s a good chance you can. There are requirements you’ll need to meet, however, before you can start learning to drive the ambulance. EMT applicants must:

  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Be CPR-certified
  • Have the ability to lift more than 100 pounds
  • Pass a criminal background check and drug test

Requirements may vary slightly according to the training program you choose, but these four are the most common.

(If you aren’t CPR certified yet, check out Unitek’s CPR training here).

WHO SHOULD NOT BECOME AN EMT?

Not everyone can be an EMT, unfortunately. These include applicants who:

  • Are unable to read at a 9th grade level
  • Don’t meet the basic requirements
  • Have a criminal background or a history of drug abuse
  • Just want to wear the uniform
  • Just want to drive fast
  • Easily “burn out” from long shifts and stressful situations
  • Think that EMT training will be easy because it’s shorter than a college degree

Being an EMT isn’t all about racings through red lights, blaring a siren, and saving dozens of lives a day. At its core, the job of an EMT is simply to care for people. It requires patience (lots of patience), the ability to stay calm and think under pressure, and to treat band-aid situations with the same level of professionalism as stretcher situations.

HOW TO BECOME A CERTIFIED EMT?

In addition to your healthcare provider CPR certification and the completion of a state-approved EMT program, you’ll also need to be certified by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (the NREMT exam).

HOW DO I BECOME A CERTIFIED EMT?

The NREMT exam consists of two parts—a cognitive exam (knowledge test) and a psychomotor exam (a hands-on assessment). Requirements may very slightly from state to state.

The good news is, your EMT courses should cover everything you need to know for the tests, so no additional research is required! The Unitek EMT 14-Day Bootcamp, for example, teaches future EMTs with the NREMT specifically in mind.

If you’d like to brush up on any of the psychomotor exam treatments, though, below are a few checklists from nremt.org on key procedures that will almost certainly be on the test.

WHAT ARE THE PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR AN EMT?

EMTs must perform a wide variety of physical tasks during their shifts, so to do the job properly (and best care for your patients), there are some physical requirements you’ll need to meet.

+ Strength and MobilityEMTs should be able to lift a minimum of 100 pounds, push a minimum of 50 pounds, and have the stamina, endurance, and flexibility to repeatedly lift, bend, and kneel.

+ CoordinationWrapping bandages and operating medical controls takes a steady hand (for paramedics, this requirement is even more important as they perform procedures such as inserting IVs). You also may be working in small spaces, climbing stairs, or carrying patients.

+ CommunicationIn order to treat patients as quickly as possible, doctors and hospitals will be looking to you to report clearly and concisely on your patients’ conditions, so EMTs must be able to speak clearly.

+ SensoryGood vision and good hearing are very important. Both are required to assess situations, treat patients, and safely transport them back to the hospital.

+ Overall HealthIn addition to being up-to-date on your immunizations, you’ll also be expected to pass a basic physical to show you have no health issues that could prevent you from doing your job. Some companies also screen for drug and alcohol use and most will screen applicants if they find a history of abuse.

The exact physical requirements will vary by state, hospital, or company (colorblindness, for example, might be an issue for some but not for others), so be sure and read the requirements carefully when applying.

WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY FOR AN EMT?

Ask this of any EMT and the answer will always be the same—there are no typical days. Shift lengths will depend on your employer (some work 12-hour shifts, others 24-hour) and those on-call hours can be unpredictable as you never know what emergency calls will come.

WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY FOR AN EMT?

Most shifts begin with a rig check—examining all the parts and supplies of the ambulance to make sure everything is in perfect operating condition (the last thing you want is to show up at an emergency and discover your oxygen tank is nearly empty or you’ve run out of bandages).

Like fire fighters, EMTs on the nightshift sometimes sleep at their headquarters, ready to jump into action when a call comes in. During the day, EMTs clean the station, socialize in the recreation room, or study up for additional certification. But when the call comes in, you’re expected to drop everything immediately. When lives are on the line, seconds often make all the difference.

The emergencies themselves range from heart attacks to car accidents to childbirth and much, much more—so many possibilities that it would take far too long to list them all out here. Your job as an EMT is to reach the patient as quickly as possible, stabilize the patient and administer the initial treatment, and be in contact with your ER doctor if a trip to the hospital is required.

So what’s a typical day like for an EMT? Never boring.

WHAT SHIFTS DO EMTs WORK?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most EMTs work full time with at least 40 hours per week. Traditional shifts are either 12-hour or 24-hour, depending on your company’s policies. Overtime is also available at many locations, with 1 in 3 EMTs working more than 40 hours in a week.

Because emergencies can happen at any time, overnight hours and weekends can also be involved.

WHAT SHIFTS TO EMTs WORK?

CAN EMTs TRANSFER TO OTHER STATES?

Exact requirements vary from state to state, but because the certification exam is administered by a national organization (the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians), transferring to a job in another state is typically easy to do if your certification is up-to-date.

If moving to Texas, for example, the state doesn’t require you to take the NREMT exam again if you’re already certified.

There will be applications (and application fees) involved, however, so be sure to research requirements before the move so you don’t run into any surprises.

SHOULD I BECOME AN EMT?

If you’re smart, hard-working, physically capable, and compassionate, then you can become an EMT. Whether you should become an EMT, though, is a question only you can answer. To help with the decision, here’s some advice from EMTs in the field on their experiences with the job.

A comprehensive overview for medical first responders

“You need to enjoy helping people and be emotionally able to handle high stress environments along with the physical demands of the job. The personal rewards far outweigh the stress of this career in my opinion. There is nothing like saving a life our making sometimes day a little bit better through what you do.”Paully B.

“[On a scale of one to ten, this job is] a ten without a doubt,” writes Andy. “One minute I could be helping an older lady with her groceries and the next I’m performing CPR and trying to save someone’s life.” He adds that the best part of his job “has to be the lives that I save. Having the chance to provide the best care they deserve and even trying to put a smile on their face when they are going through their worst moments.”

“No matter the outcome, this will be a rewarding experience in which you will learn a great deal about yourself,” shares EMT Sara Khurshid.

“I’ve been an EMT for over a year now and absolutely love it. It’s great exposure to a part of medicine that you wouldn’t otherwise experience until your 3rd year of med school.” – post from The Student Doctor Network 

“I was a paramedic/firefighter for six years prior to med school, and an EMT-B for two years before that (yes, I’m semi-old). However, I have no doubt that the experience has helped me with med school. First, I truly believe it helped me to get in. Second, I know that it has helped me to have a greater understanding of what we are learning, and to appreciate the “why” behind learning the material. Third, I think that having patient care experience will come in handy when they finally let me onto the wards. Finally, and most importantly, being a paramedic helped me to know without a doubt that being a physician is what I want to do in life.” – Donny

If you can handle the work, like helping people, and can think on your feet, a career as an EMT has a lot going for it. It’s a rapidly growing field (meaning lots of job opportunities), there are plenty of opportunities to advance your healthcare career, and most importantly—you’ll have the ability to change the lives of others for good.

WHERE CAN I GET MY EMT CERTIFICATION?

The NREMT Exam – To find a testing location near you (and to register), visit this page on the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians website.

Training – If you’d like to become an EMT in Arizona, you’re eligible for the Unitek EMT 14-Day Bootcamp.

(For those outside Arizona interested in becoming an EMT, simply Google “EMT course near me” to find a program in your area.)

Another Look at Unitek’s EMT Boot Camps

Another Look at Unitek’s EMT Boot Camps

Are you considering a future in Emergency Medical Services (EMS)? There are various EMS careers to choose from, ones that will likely provide you with purpose and fulfilment. At Unitek EMT, we offer an accelerated program for the Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) of tomorrow.

To learn more, check out the below breakdown of our EMT Boot Camp!

Arizona 14-Day EMT Boot Camp*

Arizona EMT Training

The Arizona EMT program, which maintains an average of 10 hours of instruction per day for 14 consecutive days, emulates the intense pace of an EMT. Throughout this accelerated program, students participate in simulated emergency scenarios to prepare them for real-world challenges. Veteran professionals will also equip them with the necessary skills!

+ Enrollment Requirements Include:

  • Current American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare Provider Certification (AHA BLS CPR) – Available at Unitek or at an AHA CPR training center near you.
  • High School Diploma, GED, or official transcript.
  • Proof of 9th Grade Reading Level.

+ What’s included in the EMT 14-Day Boot Camp:

  • 14 days of intensive EMT training.
  • A complete and current curriculum.
  • NREMT passing assistance.
  • Complimentary meals.
  • Realistic emergency simulations.

Additional Training 

Another Look at Unitek’s EMT Boot Camps

To assist our graduates and make them more marketable, Unitek offers skills training that meets the requirements of numerous EMS and public safety agencies. We currently provide the following…

+ Emergency Medical Technician Certification: Once they have successfully completed the program, each graduate will receive a certificate of completion. This certificate ensures that they are eligible to take the NREMT exam, which is necessary to obtain national certification in the U.S.

+ Advanced Level Skills:

  • Glucometer. The glucometer is used by EMTs to measure a patient’s blood sugar level. Learning this skill enables students to understand glucometer basics and monitor a patient’s glucose levels.
  • I.V. Maintenance. Students will learn the I.V. basics, including the identification of medications used in I.V. therapy and monitoring the I.V. line. NOTE: this is not for initiating I.V.’s, it is to learn how to take care of a patient who already has one.
  • Advanced Airway Management. This is a lifesaving procedure that helps unconscious patients maintain a secure airway. Students learn about endotracheal intubation, dual lumen airway devices, and other ways to help a patient breathe.
  • ALS – BLS Skills. For students who want to become advanced level clinicians or work on a 911 ambulance, this training will show them how to work with and assist paramedics.

For more information, please contact us toll free at 888-790-1458. Change your future with Unitek EMT!

*Our 14-Day EMT Program in AZ is taught in an intensive “boot camp” style, to simulate the fast pace of work expected on the job as an EMT. 

Unitek EMT: Instructor Bio Series

At Unitek EMT, we highly value our instructors. Not only are they the bedrock of our community, but they are also the pillars that uphold and support future generations of Emergency Medical Technicians. Today, we’d like to shed a light on one of our teaching assistants: Keith Brown.

Keith’s positive attitude, unwavering dedication, and tireless efforts have inspired all of us at Unitek. We think he’ll inspire you, too.

A Lifelong Commitment to Helping Others

Keith has been a teaching assistant with Unitek EMT since January of 2018. He earned his Emergency Medical Technician certification through Unitek’s EMT Boot Camp. His experience at the Boot Camp sparked a powerful desire to learn more about prehospital emergency care.

Keith followed Unitek’s EMT Boot Camp with courses in Advanced Airway Management, Electrocardiogram/Pharmacology, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Intravenous Therapy/Blood Withdrawal, and Prehospital Trauma Life Support.

Before gaining employment with Unitek EMT, Keith worked as a Security Staff Agent for Gavin de Becker and Associates, where he was responsible for protecting the life and property of public figures and high net-worth clients.

Keith also served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Military Police Officer. It was during this time that he first learned the meaning of selfless service, which is also a chief tenant of emergency medicine. Keith served multiple tours overseas in both peace-keeping and combat-oriented roles. Many years later, he honorably left the Marine Corps with the rank of Captain.

As the son of a Foreign Service Officer, Keith grew up overseas. He spent four years in Morocco, seven years in Saudi Arabia, four years in France, and two years in the Czech Republic, which is where he graduated from high school. Regarding educational achievements, Keith has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science (International Relations) as well as a minor degree in French Language and Culture from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

The Importance of EMS Training for Future Pursuits

Keith’s time with Unitek EMT has ended, as his life path has taken him back overseas. He will be working for the U.S. Department of State, supporting the United States’ mission and goals abroad. He intends to maintain his EMT certification and incorporate both his skills and instructor capability into emergency response plans for the embassies to which he is assigned. He believes doing so will ensure maximum preparedness for security, humanitarian assistance, or any disaster relief efforts in which the U.S. government might participate.

Keith firmly believes his time with Unitek EMT has been integral to his success in other life pursuits. The experience he has gained from passing along knowledge to the future generation of EMTs—not to mention the privilege of working with such a passionate, educated team of people—has been one that will undoubtedly serve him well.

If you’re thinking about taking an EMT course, Keith would like to give you a little advice:

“Do it. Emergency medical knowledge is going to be hugely beneficial for your everyday life, whether or not you pursue a job in the industry. You could be the difference between people living and dying at any given moment, in any given location…the concert in Vegas, the fires in Santa Rosa, the hurricanes in the South East, or the car accident on the interstate. Once you have that first taste of EMS knowledge, don’t be surprised if it quickly becomes your career or lifelong passion.”

Boot Camp Virtual Tour

A closer look at Unitek EMT

When you take a leap in your professional life, it can be an equally daunting and exhilarating experience. Change is often uncomfortable, but by no means should it be unwelcome. As Stephen Richards has said, “To get something different, you must do something different.” Allow us to give you a better idea of what such a change might entail. Visualizing a new place isn’t always easy, so we would like to take you on a brief, virtual tour of our EMT program.

Students first arrive at our sunny Fremont Campus. Located in Northern California, the campus can be found in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area. Thanks to oceanic weather, mountainous views, and an abundance of trees, Fremont has become a hotspot for all kinds of outdoor activities. It is also one of the largest suburbs in the Bay Area, and it’s scarcely an hour’s drive from high-tech Silicon Valley.

Virtual tour of Unitek’s EMT Boot Camp

Now that you have an idea of the surrounding area, let’s delve right into the Fremont Campus. Picture yourself walking toward two buildings that seem to grow bigger as you approach them. Mountains crest the horizon and catch your eye as you head toward the second building. Once you step through a set of double doors, you find yourself standing in a circular glass dome. This dome houses an unusual, impressive lobby, one that features several stylish touches, such as interior marble and an expansive skylight. You might pause to enjoy the indoor sunlight, or the warm, welcoming atmosphere.

After a few moments, you notice an EMT sign that’s accentuated by a red arrow. You follow the sign and walk down a hallway with laminated floors. As your shoes click against the floor, your mind registers that it looks like hardwood. In no time at all, you reach the last door on the left—room #140. You’re met with another sign, one that says “Unitek EMT Training.”

You feel your pulse quicken as you open the door and step into the room. A dozen reactions hit you at once, but the most prominent ones are probably excitement, curiosity, and nervousness. Any kind of leap can be nerve-racking, which is yet another reason for group learning at Unitek EMT. Our program focuses on the tenets of teamwork, adaptability, and preparation. Above all else, Unitek instructors strive to support their students.

EMT training at the boot camp

The physical portion of the program first begins in room #140. The room itself is spacious and lined with rows of desks. On the far side of the room, you’ll see stretchers filled with medical equipment. Students will have the opportunity to work with CPR devices, firefighter turnout gear, and stocked EMS bags. Medical mannequins are utilized as well, including adult, pediatric, and airway models. Because the latter has silicone lungs, students are able to watch the lungs expand as they practice. Overall, the EMT program can be viewed as about 50% hands on and 50% conceptual learning.

At Unitek’s EMT school, each class is split into different squads. These groups work on varying assignments, participate in workshops, handle equipment, etc. They also create group projects as well as presentations. Not only do such methods impart critical knowledge, but they facilitate teamwork learning and foster working relationships. In the afternoons, students are sent to different instructors, all of which are located throughout the campus. The students are then rotated every hour on the dot. These ever-changing environments mimic actual EMT settings, as they force students to adapt and think on their feet.

Trauma lanes and clinical rotations

Our 14-Day Boot Camp1 contains an event called Trauma Lanes. This training simulation takes place on Saturdays and involves real-world scenarios. In the process, EMT students actively use a gurney, an ambulance, and other medical equipment. Trauma Lanes further pushes our students to think quickly in high stress, high-stakes situations, ones they will most assuredly face in the field as Emergency Medical Technicians.

Additionally, the last portion of the Boot Camp includes a clinical rotation. It’s worth noting that Unitek EMT contracts with almost every major ambulance service provider in the Northern California Bay Area. These connections allow our students to gain invaluable, real-world experience. They can also be vital networking opportunities. In the end, we want to give our students as much exposure as possible.

A new career path as an EMT

Without a doubt, it can be daunting to embark on a new career. We hope this virtual tour has been helpful, and we hope it has made your search a little easier. Sometimes, in order to achieve something great, we must step outside of our comfort zone. Remember Stephen Richards’s words: “To get something different, you must do something different.”

When you’re ready, take that leap with Unitek EMT.

 


1 EMT Boot Camp is the portion of the EMT program that includes intensive on-campus education, daily lectures, and hands-on skills. The EMT program also includes a 50+ hour online portion of the program that must be completed prior to graduation.

Operation Urban Rescue 2014: The Aftermath

Operation Urban Rescue EMT works with military personnel

Military personnel work together with civilian EMTs to transport a volunteer patient at Operation Urban Rescue on April 5th, 2014.

When the next big disaster hits California, will you be ready? 

On April 5th, Unitek EMT hosted Operation Urban Rescue, a mass-casualty simulation designed to prepare emergency medical services for future disasters. By incorporating military, civilian, and student emergency medical services into one training event, Operation Urban Rescue aimed to prepare the community of Fremont, California for future disasters.

To mimic the response required for a large-scale catastrophe, Operation Urban Rescue featured a huge  disaster area, two scenario hospitals, an active ambulance circuit, dynamic extraction lanes, and a dedicated helicopter landing zone. More than 600 people participated in Operation Urban Rescue, including 32 government agencies, 264 volunteer patients, 40 medical instructors, and 245 military personnel. Participants responded to an armed insurgent threat, improvised explosive devices, hazardous materials, critical medical conditions, and a massive disaster scene.

Unitek EMTs transport a volunteer victim to a helicopter

Unitek EMT students transport a volunteer victim for helicopter extraction. Photo by Jim Sakane, 2014.

Operation Urban Rescue also served as a training exercise for Unitek EMT students, who gained first-hand knowledge about treating critical injuries in a disaster setting. Students worked alongside instructors and military and civilian personnel to treat simulated injuries in the field. They also had the opportunity to transport patients to helicopters for further medical care at Washington Hospital. Intensive training events like Operation Urban Rescue help students to become the elite EMTs that go on to serve our community.

To provide training and increase community preparedness, Operation Urban Rescue simulated specialized scenarios. The Fremont Police Bomb Squad and S.W.A.T team took steps to contain hazardous materials and ensure patient safety. Volunteer patients also participated in a California National Guard Civil Support Team decontamination drill.

Operation Urban Rescue 2014

Unitek student volunteers pose for a photo at Operation Urban Rescue 2014

Throughout the event, CALSTAR and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office transferred patients via helicopter for treatment in nearby Washington Hospital. Practicing life-saving techniques can only help to reduce loss of life from future disasters.

Operation Urban Rescue was a huge success for everyone involved. The Mas-Cal Training exercise provided a unique opportunity for military and civilian personnel to train together in the field. Additionally, Operation Urban Rescue served as a training exercise for Unitek EMT students. Operation Urban Rescue demonstrates that practice is one of the best ways to prepare communities to provide emergency care during a disaster.

Our mission is simple: train elite EMTs. Unitek EMT’s 14-Day Boot Camp is an extraordinary program that prepares students for their NREMT over 2 weeks of intense training and real-life simulations.

Baseball Coach Becomes EMT for the Sake of His Team

Head Softball Coach at Jefferson County Middle High School, Coach Brown, has been witness to his fair share of injuries on and off the field. After watching too many players suffer asthma attacks and broken bones, Coach Brown decided he could do something to help. He decided to become a certified Emergency Medical Technician. “I felt the need to upgrade my personal knowledge of onsite emergency medical care. Medical emergencies for my players could happen again during a practice, or a home game, or while traveling to and from games.”

Coach Brown didn’t have to become a certified EMT. But the compassion he felt towards his players, and his concern for their safety, drove him to do so. It is the same compassion that drives all EMTs – the desire to care for others in times of need. Friends say Brown has a “softspot” for the players he coaches. Brown agrees that he most definitely does.

Brown wanted to be well-versed in emergency medical care so he could help players in time of need – but not any type of first-aid training would do. “I decided to train as an EMT. However, my personal schedule and limited available time outside of softball made scheduling a long-term course much too difficult,” says Coach Brown. His solution: Unitek EMT Boot Camp*.

Coach Brown becomes an EMT EMT Boot Camp* at Unitek EMT fit his schedule perfectly. He flew to California for an intense boot camp* of hands-on EMT training, emergency drills, and classroom lectures. “The Boot Camp-style training conducted by Unitek EMT,” which compresses months of training into 14 non-stop days in boot camp*, Brown says, “taught everything that I would have learned in a long term course.”

Some of Brown’s classmates entered EMT Boot Camp* nervous about the 12 to 14 hour days – information overload or lack of sleep. “I can say without reservation that this did not happen,” says Brown. Instead, EMT Boot Camp* was 14 consecutive days of excitement, engagement, and all-things-EMT.

Coach Brown enjoyed every aspect of EMT Boot Camp*. From the course organization and leadership, to the curriculum, to the hands-on training. “The course content and organization was excellent. The individual instructors were all professionals in their field and as dynamic as you could ever want,” says Brown. “The curriculum was a mix of classroom and many outside practical exercises.”

He also very much enjoyed the hands-on EMT training he received in the form of ambulance ride-along training. “They were invaluable for my training and gave me a true and up close appreciation for the professional services that community EMS services provide.” Coach Brown saw exactly how diverse the Bay Area could be: Coach Brown rode along with Paramedics and EMTs at Advanced Life Support (ALS) Company in downtown San Francisco, an experience he will never forget. His team fielded calls “ranging from a French tourist fainting in a museum, to a death from cardiac arrest. In between, there was a motorcycle versus car crash, a stroke patient, a second cardiac emergency, and a severe bloody beating of an HIV-positive man.”

After graduating from Unitek EMT Boot Camp*, Brown says he “sees things in a different light.” He assesses situations, spotting potential dangers; and if something does happen, he feels confident in his ability to respond effectively.

Boot Camp* Graduate, and now certified EMT, Coach Brown embodies the Unitek motto of “going beyond the call of duty”. Coach Brown went beyond what was required of him as a coach, and made himself an invaluable asset to the Jefferson County community.