In 2019, Pennsylvania’s emergency medical services were called to action over 2 million times. This equated to roughly one call for service every 15 seconds. These calls include emergency responses, nonemergency transports and standby services, such as structure fires and police incidents that may or may not result in treating or transporting a patient.

Regardless of the need, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics are essential professionals, comprising an important part of the overall healthcare system. These professionals bring both basic and advanced medical care and life support to those experiencing a medical or traumatic event.

Bob Stakem, M.Ed., paramedic, is the director of the Senator John J. Shumaker Public Safety Center at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College.

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