EMTs play an important, life-saving role in the health and safety of our community.
Many EMS agencies in the U.S. have trouble staffing and retaining EMTs. This makes volunteer EMTs critical to the entire healthcare system.
EMS volunteers answer close to half of the nation’s 911 calls, and possibly 90 percent of calls in the most rural states.
Most EMT volunteers see the job as a rewarding challenge, a learning opportunity, good hands-on experience for other healthcare professions (including doctor or nurse), a chance to make a difference in the lives of others, and an opportunity to give back to their community.
Furthermore, many volunteer EMTs like the fact that they are prepared for medical emergencies, in the event their family or friends get sick or injured.
How do I become a Volunteer EMT? Some of the basic requirements to work as a volunteer EMT include:
High school diploma or GED
At least 18 years old
Ability to lift and carry heavy objects
Good physical condition
To become a volunteer EMT for Belleville EMS, you must first complete a formal EMT training program and be licensed. EMT classes can be intensive as most of them last as long as a regular semester-long college course. Programs typically include about 180 hours of classroom work to include hands-on training and emergency simulations. Belleville EMS offers EMT training programs at no cost to the right candidates who commit to volunteering for an agreed upon time.
What are some of the typical duties of a volunteer EMT?
Respond to 911 calls for emergency medical assistance
Assess a patient’s condition and determine a course of treatment
Provide treatment or life support care to sick or injured patients
Transport patients safely in an ambulance
Transfer patients to the emergency department of a hospital
Report their observations and treatment to physicians, nurses, or other healthcare facility staff
Document medical care given to patients
Inventory, replace, and clean supplies and equipment after use
What are the typical hours for a volunteer EMT? We typically run 12 hour shifts, but can be adjusted to your schedule. We need to be staffed 24-7, so every little bit helps! Days on call work around your schedule and open shifts available at that time. Only free one or two nights? Or weekends only? Work nights? We can find a spot for you to help out. We currently have openings in all time frames.
Do volunteers get any pay? Belleville EMS offers our volunteers a stipend for responding to emergency calls, covering duty shifts, and attending department training activities. Belleville EMS also provides our volunteers with a uniform allowance and covers the cost of attending approved training events.
What do EMTs do while "on-duty?" Belleville EMS schedules "duty crews" of between 2 and 4 EMTs and Drivers to provide 24/7 EMS coverage to our community. While on duty, EMTs need to be prepared to quickly respond to any emergency calls that occur during their duty shift. Volunteers who live nearby our station can respond to calls from their home; volunteers who live further away can relax at our station while on duty. Our station is comfortable, recently renovated, and offers a well-equipped kitchen, private sleeping quarters, laundry facilities, high-speed internet, a TV room and meeting and conference rooms. In between responding to calls, EMTs are welcome to study, work on homework, exercise, watch TV or work on personal projects.
How can volunteering help with a future career? As a volunteer EMT with Belleville EMS, you are not just a "ride-along" or an "observer." You are a full member of the patient care team, providing pre-hospital emergency medical care to our patients. Many of our volunteer EMTs have gone on to careers in the medical field or public safety field, building upon the valuable experience they gained from volunteering as an EMT. Belleville EMS offers the opportunity to:
Get hands-on patient care experience
Network with other medical and public safety professionals
Build your resume and letters of recommendation
Learn the basics of heath care
Learn strong communication and documentation skills