BASIC LIFE SUPPORT (BLS)


Basic Life Support ambulances operate with a minimum of a certified emergency driver and an EMT. In addition, all BLS ambulance carry all equipment required by the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services.


BLS providers can handle various emergencies which include, but are not limited to;


  • Childbirth
  • Basic airway management
  • Ventilatory support
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Administration of oxygen
  • Shock management
  • Assistance with the administration of inhalers
  • Assistance with the administration of nitroglycerine
  • Assistance with the administration of epinephrine auto-injectors
  • Splinting
  • Bleeding control

BASIC LIFE SUPPORT EMS CERTIFICATIONS


The Commonwealth of Virginia currently certifies two levels of BLS provider utilizing the National Registry of Emergency Technicians. Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) are the two current levels of BLS provider in Virginia. Once you complete testing you will be certified as a National Registry and Virginia Provider.


VAOEMS BLS certifications are not to be confused with AHA BLS Provider certification. These are not equivalent.

EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONDER


Definition:

Emergency Medical Responders provide immediate lifesaving care to critical patients who access the emergency medical services system. EMRs have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide immediate lifesaving interventions while awaiting additional EMS resources to arrive.


EMRs also provide assistance to higher-level personnel at the scene of emergencies and during transport. Emergency Medical Responders are a vital part of the comprehensive EMS response. Under medical oversight, Emergency Medical Responders perform basic interventions with minimal equipment.

[From the: National EMS Scope of Practice Model]


To become an EMR you must complete a state approved EMR certification course. These courses are approximately 40-60 hours in length.


You must be a minimum of 16 years of age to become an EMR


EMRs must complete 16 hours of continuing education every 4 years to remain certified in Virgina


EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN

Definition:

Emergency Medical Technicians provide out of hospital emergency medical care and transportation for critical and emergent patients who access the emergency medical services (EMS) system.

EMTs have the basic knowledge and skills necessary to stabilize and safely transport patients ranging from non-emergency and routine medical transports to life threatening emergencies. Emergency Medical Technicians function as part of a comprehensive EMS response system, under medical oversight.

Emergency Medical Technicians perform interventions with the basic equipment typically found on an ambulance. Emergency Medical Technicians are a critical link between the scene of an emergency and the health care system.

[From the: National EMS Scope of Practice Model]

To become an EMT you must complete a state approved EMT course. These courses typically are a minimum of 154 hours


You must be a minimum of 16 years of age to become an EMT


EMTs must complete 40 hours of continuing education every 4 years to remain certified in Virginia

USEFUL INFO



If you are interested in becoming a BLS provider, please feel free to visit the following places to learn more;