Emergency Medical Responders (EMR)

First Responders

A Kentucky certified First Responder is a person who has completed an approved course and received certification by KBEMS in providing pre-hospital care for both medical and trauma emergencies. They have a higher level of skill than those trained in basic first aid.

First Responders can support Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics by providing basic medical care for soft tissue and bone injuries and assisting in childbirth. They are also trained in packaging and transporting patients.

The term "certified First Responder" is often confused with "first responder", which is a generic term referring to the first medically trained responder to arrive on scene (police, fire, EMS). First Responders include but are not limited to Fire, Police and Emergency Medical personnel.

Course Information

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has assumed responsibility for the development of training courses that are responsive to the standards established by the Highway Safety Act of 1966 (amended). Since these training courses are designed to provide national guidelines for training, it is NHTSA's intention that they be of the highest quality and be maintained in an up-to-date status from the point of view of both technical content and instructional strategy.

To this end, NHTSA supported the current project which involved revision of the Emergency Medical Services: First Responder Training Course. This course revision is being co-sponsored by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, US Department of Health and Human Services. Additional funding for this project was provided as in-kind services by the Center for Emergency Medicine and a grant from the Pittsburgh Emergency Medicine Foundation.

This course is one of a series of courses making up a National EMS education program for out-of-hospital care. The First Responder is a designated level of emergency medical care provider as outlined by the National EMS Education and Practice Blueprint.

It is the goal of the First Responder: National Standard Curriculum to provide students with the core knowledge, skills and attitudes to function in the capacity of a first responder. The First Responder uses a limited amount of equipment to perform initial assessment and intervention and is trained to assist other EMS providers. This level of provider is not intended to be utilized as the minimum staffing for an ambulance. Enrichment programs and continuing education will help fulfill other specific needs for the First Responder training. It is recognized that there may be additional specific education that will be required of First Responders who operate in the field. It is also recognized that practice might differ from locality to locality, and that each training program or system should identify and provide additional training requirements.

Consistent with the intent and design of the National EMS Education and Practice Blueprint , some EMS systems will incorporate additional skills into the scope of practice of the First Responder.