Welcome to PF Emergency Medical Services (PFEMS)

About EMS
History of EMS
Purpose of EMS
Basic Life Support
Advanced Life Support
Response Times
EMS Links
EMS News
EMT Oath

Job Outlook
EMT Jobs
EMT Training
EMT Salaries

Advanced Life Support (ALS)

What is Advanced Life Support?

In EMS (Emergency Medical Services), a basic life support group is the team required to identify emergency situations, give first aid and transport a patient to the nearest hospital if necessary. The EMT is given the task to give all the preliminary aids to the patient if necessary. If the situation calls for it, they can give the patients IV, medicines, and perform oxygen therapies.

If after the preliminary aid is given, the EMT feels that more help is required, a member of the Advanced Life Support (ALS) team is requested to take over.

The ALS group is a team of highly trained individuals that provide more advanced medical help to the patients in transit when needed. In other words, they are authorized to do the things that EMTs cannot do for the patient. To understand their purpose better, here is a closer look at the team's composition, their respective duties and responsibilities.

The Advanced Life Support team is composed of three members namely: the regular paramedic, the critical care paramedic and the emergency care practitioner.

Paramedic (EMT-P)
Paramedics are licensed individuals who can perform tasks beyond that of an EMT. These tasks include: cardiac monitoring, intubation, and administering IV medications. Paramedics are subject to 18-24 months of difficult theoretical training and practice. After the formal training, they are also required to render hours of practice and to undergo certification. If a paramedic wants to specialize in a specific field, they can further their studies and subject themselves for more certification as required.

Critical Care Paramedic (CCEMTP)
Critical care paramedics are similar to paramedics except that they are certified to provide more care to patients in critical conditions. Through their training, they are allowed to use sensitive machines that are often just used in ICU, perform tasks like blood administration, and chest tube insertion among others.

Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP)
ECPs are paramedics who have passed special certifications to conduct clinical practices. They are more common in the UK and South Africa. Their clinics are a short stop where ambulances and patients can go to if immediate help is required and if a drive to a hospital is too long or hazardous for a patient in critical condition to endure.