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The Demographics and Education of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Professionals: A National Longitudinal Investigation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 December 2016

Melissa A. Bentley
Affiliation:
Division of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
Abigail Shoben
Affiliation:
Division of Biostatistics, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
Roger Levine
Affiliation:
Consultant, Redwood City, California, USA
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Objectives

The objectives of this study were to assess longitudinal and cross-sectional changes in Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)-Basics and Paramedics: (1) demographics, (2) employment characteristics, and (3) initial Emergency Medical Services (EMS) education.

Methods

These data were collected between 1999 and 2008 employing survey techniques aimed at collecting valid data. A random, stratified sample was utilized to allow results to be generalizable to the nationally certified EMS population. Survey weights that were adjusted for each stratum’s response were estimated. Weighted percentages, averages for continuous variables, and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. Significant changes over time were noted when the CIs did not overlap.

Results

In all 10 years of data collection, the proportion of EMT-Paramedics who were male was greater than the proportion of EMT-Basics who were male. A substantial proportion of respondents performed EMS services for more than one agency: between 39.8% and 43.5% of EMT-Paramedics and 18.4% and 22.4% of EMT-Basic respondents reported this. The most common type of employer for both EMT-Basics and EMT-Paramedics was fire-based organizations. About one-third of EMT-Basics (32.3%-40.1%) and almost one-half of EMT-Paramedics (43.1%-45.3%) reported that these organizations were their main EMS employer. Rural areas (<25,000 residents) were the most common practice settings for EMT-Basics (52.1%-63.7%), while more EMT-Paramedics worked in urban settings (65.2%-77.7%).

Conclusions

This analysis serves as a useful baseline to measure future changes in the EMS profession. This study described the demographic and work-life characteristics of a cohort of nationally certified EMT-Basics and Paramedics over a 10-year period. This analysis also summarized initial EMS education changes over time.

Bentley MA , Shoben A , Levine R . The Demographics and Education of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Professionals: A National Longitudinal Investigation. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(Suppl. 1):s18s29.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2016 

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Footnotes

Conflicts of interest: none

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