Most paramedics in Ontario are the individuals you see who work on land ambulances within your community´s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system. Paramedics also work on air ambulances and fixed wing aircraft throughout the province to provide critical care and long distance transfers to specialized hospitals. All Paramedics must be able to provide emergency medical care and transportation for ill or injured persons to, from and in-between treatment facilities. Paramedics are required to work under stressful situations and exercise sound judgment in an emergency environment. They must be able to collaborate with police and fire departments on scene and provide accurate reports to medical staff in order to facilitate treatment for the patient upon arrival at the hospital.
PCP´s have successfully completed a 2-year (1600 hours) Community College Program. This course is required for all Paramedics and is the foundation of Paramedic education. Graduates must then successfully complete a provincial exam in order to be employed in the profession. PCPs can perform patient assessments, basic airway management including oxygen administration by various methods, provide CPR and basic trauma life support. PCPs are also trained in the use of semi-automatic external defibrillation and the administration of the following medications: ASA, Nitroglycerin, Ventolin, Glucagon and Epinephrine.
The ACP program is an additional 1 year (1200 hours) in length. It involves specific education in Adult, Pediatric and Neonatal Advanced Life Support for medical and traumatic emergencies. In addition to the PCP skill set, an ACP is qualified and certified to perform a host of more sophisticated skills including endotracheal intubation, cardiac rhythm interpretation, manual defibrillation, cardioversion and external pacing for cardiac arrhythmias, intravenous therapy, Advanced Cardiac Life Support medications, and chest wall needle decompression for collapsed lungs.
There are a number of colleges across the province on Ontario who offer the Primary Care Paramedic diploma course including Durham College, Humber College, Centennial College, Sir Sanford Fleming College and Loyalist College (part-time program). Please visit the individual college websites for specific admission requirements including any physical fitness testing that may be required.
If you have any other questions about the Paramedic profession please contact us at 905-372-3329.