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A Life Saving Job

Welcome to the Southwestern College Paramedic Program. We developed this site to help answer some frequently asked questions and provide resources for students, staff and the EMS community. Use the navigation links below,or the plus (+) sign above, to find the information you need.

The goal of the Southwestern College Paramedic Program is “To prepare competent entry-level Paramedics in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains with or without exit points at the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician and/or Emergency Medical Technician, and/or Emergency Medical Responder levels.”

Upon satisfactory completion of the courses, the student is eligible for a Southwestern College Certificate of Completion and examination for California Certification.


EMTs and paramedics typically do the following:

  • Respond to 911 calls for emergency medical assistance, such as
    cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or bandaging a wound
  • Assess a patient’s condition and determine a course of treatment
    Follow guidelines that they learned in training and that they receive from
    physicians who oversee their work
  • Use backboards and restraints to keep patients still and safe in an ambulance
    for transport
  • Help transfer patients to the emergency department of a healthcare facility
    and report their observations and treatment to the staff
  • Create a patient care report; documenting the medical care they gave the
  • Replace used supplies and check or clean equipment after use

Some paramedics work as part of a helicopter's flight crew to transport critically ill or injured patients to a hospital. Paramedics also take patients from one medical facility to another. Some patients may need to be transferred to a hospital that specializes in treating their injury or illness or to a facility that provides long-term care, such as a nursing home.

If a patient has a contagious disease, paramedics decontaminate the interior of the ambulance and may need to report these cases to the proper authorities.

The specific responsibilities Paramedics depend on their level of training and the state they work in. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) provides national certification of EMTs and paramedics at
four levels: EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate (which has two levels, respectively called 1985 and 1999), and Paramedic.

Paramedics provide more extensive pre-hospital care than do EMTs. In addition to carrying out the procedures that EMTs use, paramedics can give medications orally and intravenously, interpret electrocardiograms (EKGs)—used to monitor heart function—and use other monitors and complex equipment.

The specific tasks or procedures EMTs and paramedics are allowed to perform at any level vary by state.

Emergency Medical Technician Program

Welcome to the Southwestern College Paramedic Program. Use this site to help answer some frequently asked questions.

The goal of the Southwestern College Paramedic Program is to prepare competent entry-level Paramedics in cognitive (knowledge), Psychomotor (skills), and effective (behavior) learning domains with or without exit points at the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician and/or Emergency Medical Technician, and Emergency Medical Responder levels." 

Southwestern College will be accepting applications forthe August 2019 Paramedic training program starting March 1, 2019 to June 14, 2019.

Emergency Medical Technicians with a year of full-time work experience are encouraged to apply.

Interested EMTs may obtain an application packet from SWC Higher Education Center at Otay Mesa until the middle of May or via email from Karen Cook at

Classes start in mid-August. Selection into this paramedic training program will be determined based on assessment of your cognitive, psychomotor, and effective abilities. (See application for moreinformation. Please note some of the requirements have changed, effective this year.)

**We are now using new text Emergency Care on the Street by Nancy Caroline**

Becoming an EMT

Are you thinking about a career as a paramedic? The job opportunities in this field have never been better than they are today. The future is looking even better! Whether you aspire to be a professional paramedic, nurse, firefighter, physician assistant or physician in the emergency field, the advanced training and experience you gain in paramedic school will open all kinds of doors for you. Your ability to stay calm in a crisis and use critical thinking to solve problems will be called upon from the day you begin paramedic education. You will be exposed to people in all phases of life, from birth to death. If you feel a genuine calling to help others, there is not a more satisfying career than Emergency Medicine.

There are three basic steps to becoming an Emergency Medical Technician:

  1. First Semester:EMT 101 and 109
    • First Responder/Emergency Medical Responder (3 units)
  2. Second Semester:EMT 113 and 113L 
    • EMT Basic (8 units)
  3. National Registry of EMTs practical skills and written exams 

Earn More. Learn More.

Prospective Students

Suggested Preparation

Suggested Pre-Tests

Paramedic Training Program Accreditation

EMS Links

EMS/Governing Agencies

  • California EMS Authority
  • National Registry for EMTs
  • National Association of EMTs
  • CoSD LEMSIS Licensing Portal

EMS Resources

  • PEPP (Paramedic Education for Prehospital Professionals)
  • PHTLS (Prehospital Trauma Life Support
  • AMR Employee Homepage
  • Rural Metro

Medical Reference

  • PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
  • Emergency Medicine BBS

College Resources

  • CPR/ACLS Training at SWC CPR classes (619) 429-1669

Degrees/Certificates Available

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