Valley’s paramedics respond to approximately 8,000 calls each year, providing rapid care for life-threatening emergencies throughout Bergen County.
The Paramedic’s Role
If a 911 call is deemed life-threatening (such as in the case of a stroke, heart attack, unconsciousness or difficulty breathing), a paramedic unit is dispatched, using GPS technology to ensure that the closest unit is assigned to the call. Valley’s paramedics continue care upon arrival at the scene of the emergency, first by carefully and quickly assessing the patient’s condition.
Paramedics are trained to administer advanced life support (ALS) interventions, including:
- Advanced airway management
- IV lines
- Emergency medication administration
- Advanced cardiac life support
- Pediatric life support measures
If ALS interventions are deemed medically necessary, treatment is initiated immediately or en route to the nearest appropriate hospital. If ALS interventions aren’t deemed necessary, patients are released to the local ambulance EMTs for transport.
Paramedic Training and Certification
Paramedics in New Jersey are certified and regulated by the State Department of Health and Senior Services. Education is typically completed at select regional community colleges and includes a minimum of 550 hours of didactic classroom time. Paramedics also complete approximately 700 hours of clinical training at the hospital, with rotations in the Emergency Department, Critical and Intensive Care Units and Operating Room. At least 400 hours are spent in the field with the Mobile Intensive Care Unit. Paramedic recertification is required every two years, with a minimum of 48 hours of continuing education.
Paramedics in New Jersey also maintain current certifications from the American Heart Association in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support and Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers. They may also complete training programs in Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support and Neonatal Resuscitation.
Fees for Paramedic Services
When Valley paramedics respond to a call, patients are billed for services provided regardless of whether transportation was provided to The Valley Hospital or to another hospital. These fees are reimbursable by most insurance companies. Regardless of their ability to pay, our patients can expect to receive appropriate and professional pre-hospital care by Valley’s paramedics.