An ambulance driver is skilled to drive emergency vehicles to a scene as fast and safely as possible. They may also assist emergency medical technicians (EMT) riding in their ambulance to transport patients to and from stretchers and aboard their vehicle. They would also be expected to know how to use CPR and administer first aid if necessary. Ambulance drivers are not Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).
Watch a video to learn what an ambulance driver does:
How to Become an Ambulance Driver
State laws may vary, but to become an ambulance driver, these are the requirements in the state of California. You must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driver’s license with a safe driving record. You would also need to pass an ambulance driver written exam. When you go to renew your certificate to drive an ambulance however, you’ll need to have a valid EMT certification. If you are volunteering to drive an ambulance, you may not need to meet the EMT certification requirement.
In addition to those requirements, each state’s DMV would also require you to meet vision and eye test standards. Bear in mind, you’ll be lifting patients and this job also requires physical strength. Lifting heavy weight would also be a requirement for this job. Requirements may vary by state, so check your state requirements to gain your certification to drive an ambulance.
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Job Description of an Ambulance Driver
Along with transporting sick or injured patients safely from one location to another, they must also perform the day-to-day tasks of ensuring their equipment and patient area is sanitized and orderly. They might be asked to provide details about the scene to hospital staff, fire, or police officials that arrive to the scene. Ambulance drivers are not EMT’s but they may assist EMT’s to safely transfer patients to stretchers and help them load a patient onto the vehicle.
Ambulance Driver Career Video Transcript
Ambulance drivers and attendants drive vehicles and assist in transporting sick or injured people. Saving lives requires speed but never at the cost of control. Drivers and attendants carefully move patients, place them on stretchers, and secure them in the vehicle. They must be ready to administer first aid, such as bandaging a wound or administering CPR to a person in distress. Many of these jobs do not come with flashing lights and sirens, however. People recovering from medical procedures, or who need help getting to and from medical appointments, are also taken care of by ambulance drivers and attendants.
These workers often provide reassurance and help calm people in a high state of anxiety. Most candidates entering the field have a high school diploma or equivalent, although it’s not always required. Drivers must have a valid driver’s license, and many jobs require certifications such as Emergency Vehicle Operator, first aid, and CPR.
Testing for drug or alcohol use occurs regularly. With additional education and training, an ambulance driver and attendant may become an emergency medical technician or EMT. This is a job that requires physical strength and patience under pressure. Even though you might need to hurry, you can never rush.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Ambulance Drivers and Attendants.
National Center for O*NET Development. 53-3011.00. O*NET OnLine.
The career video is Public Domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.