National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Emergency Medical Technician Basic (not fireline qualified), EMTB

Position Category: 
Incident Positions
Position Code: 
Functional Area: 
AD Class: 


The Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) provides emergency medical services (EMS) and assists at the medical unit and/or other incident locations as approved by the Incident Commander or representative.


  • Performs non-invasive lifesaving procedures focused on the initial management of injured and sick persons. 
  • EMTs are not independent practitioners and therefore must be supervised by a physician medical director.  Although many of the procedures that an EMT is allowed to perform do not require real-time oversight by the supervising medical director, the EMT makes destination decisions in collaboration with medical oversight.
  • While all EMTs receive essentially the same training, the specific procedures that each individual EMT is authorized to perform vary depending on the EMT’s scope of practice.  An EMT’s scope of practice contains only those procedures for which he or she is educated, certified (by passing an exam), credentialed (medical director grants “permission” to practice), and licensed by a state to perform.  Therefore, the scope of practice of an EMT will vary by individual.

Position Knowledge and/or Requirements

The following is a list of the typical skills that an EMT can perform:

  • Airway and Breathing:
    • Insertion of airway adjuncts intended to go into the oropharynx or nasopharynx.
    • Use of positive pressure ventilation devices such as manually triggered ventilators and automatic transport ventilators.
  • Pharmacological Interventions:
    • Assists patients in taking their own prescribed medications.
    • Administration of the following over-the-counter medications with appropriate medical. oversight:
      • Oral glucose for suspected hypoglycemia
      • Aspirin for chest pain of suspected ischemic origin
  • Use of an automated external defibrillator.
  • Trauma Care:
    • Stabilizing suspected spinal injuries and extremity fractures.
    • Controlling bleeding.
    • Evacuation of a sick or injured patient using purpose made and improvised litters.
    • Appropriate triage of sick or injured patients in order to assist with the formulation of an evacuation plan.
    • Application and inflation of the pneumatic anti-shock garment (PASG) for fracture stabilization.

Position Requirements

  • Current EMT license (must be issued by the EMTs home-state EMS licensing authority)
  • Introduction to ICS (I-100)
  • NIMS:  An Introduction (IS-700)
  • No physical fitness required for this position

Other Training Supporting Development of Knowledge and Skills

  • Firefighter Training (S-130)
  • Annual Fireline Safety Refresher (RT-130)
  • Introduction to Wildland Fire (S-190)
  • Human Factors in the Wildland Fire Service (L-180)
  • Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior (S-290)
  • Basic Air Operations (S-270)
  • Helicopter Crewmember (S-271)
  • Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior (S-290)
  • Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician
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