Becoming a First Responder
If you are seeking a career that will allow you to have a daily impact on the lives of others, you may find that pursuing training to become a first responder is a great option for you. First responders include firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), police officers and paramedics.
Fighting fires is a job no other first responder is trained to do, making this the number one priority of firefighters; however, firefighters are trained to do much more. These individuals are often dispatched to the scene of car accidents to aid in the treatment of injured individuals, to help rescue anyone who may be trapped in a vehicle and to treat spills of hazardous materials such as gasoline.
To become a firefighter, you will need at least a high school diploma or GED. Most firefighters pursue a college degree, but there are alternative pathways as well if that is not the right fit for you.
Police officers do everything they can to keep people safe, and like firefighters, they have a lot of different duties. One of the primary duties is to enforce the law. Whether that means monitoring speed on the highway or chasing down an armed suspect in a robbery, the police are there to help. In addition, police officers respond to accidents to help treat those involved and take official reports of the incident.
To become a police officer, you will need to graduate high school and most likely earn a college degree. Then you will need to pass entrance examinations to be accepted into a police academy, where you will complete your training to become a police officer.
EMTs & Paramedics
EMTs and paramedics both have the primary duties of administering medical care to those in need; however, their legal abilities and the training requirements differ between the two.
EMTs will be able to perform basic treatments such as performing CPR and administering glucose and oxygen to individuals. To become an EMT, you will need to complete an approved Texas EMT course.
Paramedics have more training and, therefore, can perform more advanced treatments such as inserting IV lines and administering drugs. To become a paramedic, you will need to complete the requirements to become an EMT and then build on top of that certification while pursuing paramedic training courses.
Each of these careers requires specialized training and comes with different sets of job expectations and responsibilities, but no matter what path you choose, you can be assured you will be making a difference.