Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is a critical component of every community, and the lifeline in all emergency situations. Service providers, whether paid or volunteers, must be professionally trained and licensed, and fulfill stringent continuing education certification requirements. These standards apply to all ranks—entry-level Emergency Medical Responders (EMRs), Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) Basic and Intermediate, Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians (AEMTs), and the highest tier of training, Paramedics.
The nation’s EMS certification body is the National Registry of EMTs (NREMT). Their mission is to provide a valid, uniform process to assess the knowledge and skills required for competent practice by EMS professionals throughout their careers, and to maintain a registry of certification status.
We are proud to report that New Mexico currently has 4,198 nationally registered EMS providers across all levels of service. And this number continues to climb. In the Enchanted Circle alone, more and more volunteer firefighters are becoming licensed EMS professionals (including the writer of this article), thereby strengthening the network of emergency care available in our rural communities.
In the U.S. in 2020, there were 433,353 nationally registered EMS providers. That includes 9,060 EMRs; 293,891 EMTs; 18,449 AEMTs; and 111,953 Paramedics.
“The number of nationally registered personnel speaks volumes about the value in protecting the public,” said Bill Seifarth, executive director of NREMT. “The public can be assured that a nationally registered EMS professional in New Mexico is practicing at the same level of competency as their counterparts throughout the United States.”
Last year, the National Registry celebrated its 50th Anniversary. And this month marks the 46th annual National EMS Week, May 16-22. While NREMT takes part in this yearly recognition, the event is sponsored by their partner organizations: the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT). For more information, visit these websites: https://www.nremt.org/ and https://www.naemt.org/initiatives/ems-week