Doctor, Paramedic or First Aider?


Medical Officer/Doctor
- The appointed doctor must be registered with the General Medical Council and
have appropriate medical indemnity, covering them to work outside their usual
practice. It may be required or recommended that doctors have been trained in
pre-hospital emergency care, holding in-date qualifications such as PHTLS (Pre
Hospital Trauma Life Support), ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support) or BASICS
(British Association of Immediate Care)
- Crowd doctors are qualified and experienced in pre-hospital immediate care.
Recommended training is the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Course and the Major
Incident Medical Management and Support course or equivalent relevant

- All paramedics, whether private sector, NHS or voluntary have to be registered
with a government regulator (the Health Professions Council). They must be in
regular active service as a paramedic. This ensures a standard of training and
expertise in the prehospital management of sick and injured people. It is illegal for
those without the appropriate training and current registration to call themselves
paramedics. Check the registration of a paramedic by going to
and searching using the paramedic name or registration number. If the eventʼs
requirements are for a paramedic, then the appointed person must be on this

Emergency Medical Technician
- The UK has no legal definition of an emergency medical technician or ambulance
technician. There is no legal requirement to have any particular qualification, or
indeed any qualification at all. The most widely recognized qualification for a
technician is the Institute of Healthcare Development (IHCD) ambulance technician
qualification, which has been used by every NHS ambulance service.
- There is a move away from the IHCD award, with ambulance services employing
university qualified paramedics and lower qualified Emergency Care Assistants,
ECAʼs,(based on first aid at work with emergency driving and basic ambulance
skills) or Emergency Care Support Workers (ECSWʼs) with some additional skills
to ECAʼs. It should be remembered that EMTʼs, ECAʼs and ECSWʼs role is to
provide support to qualified professionals and to provide basic life support to first
aider standards. Their training is not aimed at assessing and treating patients

Trained First Aider
Trained first aiders may have attended a 3-4day first aid at work course, or
a one day emergency first aid at work course. St John Ambulance and the
Red Cross run courses for their volunteers covering events, with ongoing
updates and training. Trained first aiders will be trained in Basic Life Support
but will not be equipped to assess and manage significant traumatic injuries
without professional help/back up immediately available.


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