Emergency Medical Technician – Basic (EMT-1/EMT-B/EMTS)

  • Emergency Medical Technician – Basic (EMT-1/EMT-B/EMTS)

Work Activities/Work Locations

  • Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) provide emergency medical care to the sick or injured at the scene and en route to the hospital. They assess many varying emergency situations and determine what care is needed and provide that care.
  • They maintain contact with the hospital emergency room physicians who prescribe drugs and/or medical procedures that EMTs administer to patients while en route to the nearest ER.
  • When arriving they transport patients to the emergency department, and report their observations and actions to hospital staff. Afterward, they restock supplies, check equipment, and decontaminate the vehicle if disease was present.
  • Some must be able to safely drive ambulances through traffic to get people to hospitals as quickly as possible.
  • Beyond general duties, there are four levels of qualifications for further duties: First Responder, EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate/Intermediate Technician, and EMT-Paramedic. Some states, however, do their own Certification and use different rating scales to determine proficiency.
  • Medical First Responder – Entry level, very basic emergency medical care. Many firefighters, police officer, and business/industry utilize this level therefore we will not deal here with this basic training.
  • EMT-Basic – Trained to care for patients on accident scenes and on transport by ambulance to the hospital. They have skills to assess a patient’s condition and manage breathing, heart, and trauma emergencies. Potential occupations include EMT-Basic, Ambulance Attendant and Firefighter.
  • EMT-Intermediate Technician – Will be able to initiate intravenous (IV) therapy, administer select medications approved by DHFS and local medical directors via intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous, sublingual and inhalation routes. (See Intermediate Technician/EMT-Intermediate)
  • EMT-Intermediate – Has more advanced training that allows dealing with cardiac problems using advanced invasive skills including advanced airways, cardiac rhythm interpretation, and medication intervention. (See Intermediate Technician/EMT-Intermediate)
  • EMT-Paramedic – They provide the most extensive pre-hospital care and techniques for advanced level private and municipal ambulance services.
  • All levels work in hospitals, police, fire and public services departments, or are employed by rescue squads or private ambulance services. (See Paramedic)

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • EMTs like helping people during emergencies. They take pride in efficiently handling serious medical situations.
  • They must be able to work as a member of a team. Must be able to work without direct supervision.
  • Their work can be stressful. Not for people who lose control during a crisis. Courage, dedication and assertiveness are assets.
  • Many work rotating shifts, weekends, and holidays.
  • EMTs work both indoors and outdoors, in all types of weather, under adverse conditions.
  • 80% of EMTs in Wisconsin are paid on a per call basis. Some EMTs are volunteers.

Getting Started

  • Students should take a college preparatory curriculum.
  • Helpful high school courses would include anatomy and physiology, mathematics, English, chemistry, biology, Driver’s Education, and Medical Terminology.
  • Job shadowing is recommended.
  • EMT-Basic Program is a prerequisite to take any of the next level courses. The career progression includes: EMT-Basic; Intermediate Technician; Intermediate; and Paramedic.
  • At Northcentral Technical College (NTC) EMT-Basic is a 4-credit Vocational Diploma program—about 144 hours of classroom plus 9 hours of a practical skills lab at the conclusion of the program. Coursework focuses on how to assess many varying emergency situations to determine what patient care is needed and to provide the necessary care. Training modules include: Preparatory, Airway, Patient Assessment, Medical, Trauma, Infants and Children, Operations, Evaluation, Clinical, Advanced Airways, and Obstetrics. Prerequisites: Proof of CPR Professional Rescuer OR CPR Healthcare Provider.
  • As discussed earlier, after graduating from an accredited program, in order to practice as an EMT in Wisconsin you MUST be Certified AND Licensed.

Educational Institutions

Blackhawk Technical College
Chippewa Valley Technical College
Fox Valley Technical College
Gateway Technical College
Lakeshore Technical College
Madison Area Technical College
Mid-State Technical College
Milwaukee Area Technical College
Moraine Park Technical College – Beaver Dam
Moraine Park Technical College – Fond du Lac
Moraine Park Technical College – West Bend
Nicolet Area Technical College
Northcentral Technical College
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
Southwest Wisconsin Technical College
Waukesha County Technical College 
Western Technical College
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College – Ashland
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College – New Richmond
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College – Rice Lake
Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College – Superior


  • A high school diploma/GED and being 18 years of age is required for acceptance into the EMT-Basic Program.
  • Northcentral Technical College (NTC) requires a reading level of at least 9th grade. NTC also requires passing an admission test OR high school/college transcripts of a 2.0 GPA.
  • Another prerequisite requires passage of a criminal background test and immunizations before Clinicals can be taken.
  • After graduating from an accredited program, in order to practice as an EMT in Wisconsin you MUST be Certified AND Licensed.
  • CERTIFICATION means you have met the standards of the certifying body credentialing. Certification is recognized by employers, state licensing agencies and the public as being tied to competency.
  • STATE LICENSURE gives you the right to work in a particular capacity. National certified EMTs who are NOT State licensed CANNOT practice. After you obtain National Certification, you must obtain a license to work.
  • EMT Certification is through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). Proof of accredited training, passing both a Cognitive Exam and Psychomotor Exam are among the requirements for Certification.
  • Obtaining Registration/Certification through the National Registry of EMTs is NOT to be confused with a Wisconsin license AND DOES NOT AUTHORIZE an individual to practice in the State of Wisconsin.
  • EMT (EMT-Basic, Intermediate Technician, Intermediate, and Paramedic) Licensure is through the State of Wisconsin. Proof of Certification and successful completion of Exam are among requirements for licensure.
  • Wisconsin E-licensing was implemented in August 2009. This system allows the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Section to issue one (1) EMS certificate/license to a First Responder or EMT at his/her highest eligible level. EMS personnel will no longer need to hold multiple licenses when affiliated with more than one EMS service.
  • Once licensed by the State of Wisconsin, individual EMS certificate/license holders will apply for local credentialing with any EMS providers with which they are associated.

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
1361 Park St.
Clearwater, FL, 33756

Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions
8301 Lakeview Parkway, Suite 111 – 312
Rowlett, TX, 75088

Fire Science

National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians
PO Box 1400
Clinton, MS, 39060-1400
601/924-7744 or 800/34-NAEMT

National Association of EMS Physicians
PO Box 19570
Lenexa, KS, 66285
913/895-4611 or 800/228-3677

National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians
6610 Busch Blvd.
PO Box 29233
Columbus, OH, 43229

Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin
922 South Park St.
Madison, WI, 53715

Wisconsin Emergency Medical Services
1 West Wilson Street
Madison, WI, 53703
608-266-1865 or 608-261-6870

Career Outlook

Number Employed in 2014 (Wisconsin): 5,450
Number Employed in 2014 (U.S.): 241,200
Expected Employment in 2024 (U.S.): 299,600
Percent Employment Growth (2014-2024): 24%
Expected Annual Openings: 9,800
Median Salary in 2014 (Wisconsin): $27,076

Salary information is located at Career One Stop

Wisconsin AHEC Health Careers Information Center provides the most current salary information available from CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop will have a lapse between when the information is gathered and when it is released.

  • EMTs work 40 to 60 hours a week. They work rotating shifts and may work nights, evenings and holidays.

Basic EMTs advance by additional training to become Intermediate EMTs or Paramedics/ ER Technicians.