The pre-hospital care sub-committee has established minimum standards for EMT education in Sri Lanka. Currently, EMTs and Pre-Hospital personnel are currently working in four distinct areas: Fire Brigades, Hospitals, Community Based Organizations, and Private Services.
All Sri Lankan EMTs are trained on international EMS standards adopted by the Trauma Secretariat of the Ministry of Healthcare & Nutrition. The Sri Lankan standards are comparable to the National Registry of EMTs of USA (D.O.T. Guidelines), the Australasia Registry of EMTs, and the UK College of Emergency Medicine standards.
EMT training in Sri Lanka is divided into four training levels.
The Sri Lanka EMT-Level 1 is the first level of EMS training beyond community responders (First Aid and Advanced First Aid). Some countries refer to this level as Medical First Responders. Typically, first responders may be fire fighters, police officers, lifeguards, coaches, or teachers. Level 1 EMTs are trained in basic rescue, oxygen use, CPR, splinting, and safe ambulance operations.
Level 2 EMTs are sometimes referred to as EMT-Basics or EMT-Ambulance Officers in other countries. Training at this level ideally requires 120-160 hours of classroom and clinical education for students to demonstrate the knowledge, attitude and skills required. Some examples of the skills of an EMT include:
- Airway management with the use of oral and nasal airways
- Automatic External Defibrillators
- Extrication of Trauma Patients with spinal injuries
- Medical & Trauma Patient Assessments
- Assisting patients with prescribed medications (NTG [gtn], Asprin, salbuterol inhalers)
- Spinal Immobalization
- Assessment of Vital Signs
- Assisting with unexpected emergency deliveries during transport
Level 3 EMTs or EMT-Intermediate Level is a more advanced professional level of pre-hospital care providers. Typically, level 3 EMTs are more senior and experienced EMTs and also have additional training in establishing IV cannulation, and in some areas limited access to lifesaving medications and advanced emergency airway management.
Internationally, EMT-Paramedic represents the highest level pre-hospital care professionals. The skills, education, and protocols of Paramedics vary country to country. Although Sri Lanka will have Level-4 EMTs in the future, currently EMT-Paramedics, or Level-4 EMTs are not being trained in Sri Lanka.
Ambulances in Sri Lanka are undergoing a transformation from a simple transport vehicle, to a mobile treatment and stabilization unit. This transformation is following the same historical transformation that actually leads to the development of modern Emergency Medical Services. Over the past four decades many countries have undergone this same transformation. Even in developed nations until the1970’s, emergency patients were often transported in hearses with limited or no medical equipment or trained personnel. An ambulance was simply a transportation vehicle. Based on international research, doctors proved that perhaps the most critical time for trauma and major medical patients is the first hour of the emergency, also known as the “golden hour”. Because of this, the role ambulances have been transformed from only a transport vehicle to a mobile extension of the hospital services. Likewise, Emergency Medical Technicians became an extension of the hospital based care. Now, EMTs are able to perform interventions while transporting patients to the hospital. Not only is pre-hospital care life saving, but it also prevents secondary injuries and helps to restore the quality of life when the patient returns home.
The Ministry of Healthcare & Nutrition’s Trauma Secretariat, with Medical Teams International, has published the first Emergency Medical Technician textbook in Sri Lanka in both Sinhala and Tamil languages. This is actually the first Pre-Hospital Emergency Care textbook published in either language!
The 700 Page textbook carefully follows the international best practices for Pre-Hospital Emergency Care, adheres to the WHO Standards for Pre-Hospital Care, but is contextualized into the Sri Lankan context.
Click on the following links to download individual chapters in PDF format.
Chapter 1 -
Chapter 2 -
Chapter 3 -
Chapter 4 -
Chapter 5 -
To ensure the highest quality is maintained in training future EMTs across Sri Lanka, the Trauma Secretariat (with MTI), produced a DVD demonstrating 40 common Basic and Advanced Pre-Hospital skills. The student or instructor can choose to play each clip in English, Sinhala, or Tamil.
Click on the following AVI clips to download.
Click on the thumbnails for an enlarged view