All primary care paramedics are graduates of a two-year post-secondary para-medicine diploma program. They focus on pre-hospital emergency medical assessments and delivery of sophisticated in-field treatments for medical and traumatic emergencies.
Program studies include; pharmacology, human biology, psychopathology, crisis intervention and, medical-legal issues, patient care procedures, pathophysiology, patient care practical laboratory, computer skills, communications skills, professional and leadership skills and emergency vehicle operations.
Upon graduation, students must write a 6-hour provincial exam. Successful candidates are awarded the provincial A-EMCA (Advanced Emergency Medical Care Assistant) certification, which permits full or part-time employment anywhere in Ontario.
Training for advanced care paramedics
Advanced care paramedics possess an additional year of post-secondary medical education and deliver care otherwise provided by a provincially certified physician. They can stop seizures, reverse a diabetic coma, return the heart to its normal rhythm, open airways for asthmatics and assure that anaphylactic reactions do not result in death.
The Province of Ontario mandates that all paramedics undergo yearly continuing medical education. Primary care paramedics must undergo 40 hours per year and 80 hours per year for advanced care paramedics.
The Ottawa Paramedic Service Special Operations Section administers special teams of paramedics including a Bike Unit, Tactical Unit and Marine Unit. They use specialized equipment and have focused medical training. Their ultimate goal is to reduce response times and deliver specialized advanced medical care.
Fees and costs
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care Ambulance Service Branch set fees for ambulance calls. For more detailed information on fees and costs.