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What is a Paramedic?

IA paramedic provides out of hospital care to ill and injured people. Paramedics must complete a two year diploma program, successfully pass a provincial certification exam (A-EMCA), and be certified by a Base Hospital physician to perform at least one  controlled medical act.  They work  in ambulances and are governed by the Ambulance Act.  Paramedics participate in continuous quality improvement through oversight from the EMS agency and from the Base Hsopital Medical Director, who delegates authority to paramedics to perform controlled medical acts.  Controlled medical acts include:

• defibrillation,
• medication administration,
• peripheral intra-venous therapy,
• electrical cardioversion and pacing, and
• endo-tracheal intubation.

There are three levels of paramedics in Ontario:

• primary care paramedic (PCP),
• advanced care paramedic (ACP), and
• critical care paramedic (CCP).

Each level of paramedic performs differing controlled medical acts.

In the District of Thunder Bay,  PCPs and ACPs respond to emergencies in land ambulances, while PCPs, ACPs, and CCPs respond on air ambulances.  ACPs and CCPs require additional education prior to certification.

Superior North EMS employs primary care paramedics throughout the District of Thunder Bay advanced care paramedics in Thunder Bay and Armstrong.

All paramedics are qualified to perform:

  • Patient assessment
  • Immobilization & traction
  • Oxygen administration via various methods
  • Basic airway management
  • Trauma care, including basic wound care
  • Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation

Controlled Medical Acts:

Primary Care Paramedics  Advanced Care Paramedics
Administration of: Administration of:
Glucagon     Glucagon                                    
Nitroglycerin Nitroglycerin
Epineephrine Epineephrine
Salbutamol Salbutamol
Other cardiac and narcotic medications (furosemide, morphine, narcan, etc.)
Semi-automated external cardiac defibrillation Non-automated external cardiac defibrillation and monitoring
Peripheral intravenous therapy
Endotracheal intubation