New Emergency Medical Responders Will Improve Care
Health and Wellness

Nova Scotia will train up to 200 emergency medical responders – a new role that will help improve emergency care in the province – over the next two years.

These healthcare professionals will keep more ambulances available, reducing wait times, and allow paramedics more time to focus on emergency calls.

“The demands on our system and paramedics continue to grow and with emergency medical responders we are taking another step toward transforming emergency health services for Nova Scotians,” said Health and Wellness Minister Michelle Thompson. “We have a world-class system in our province and the addition of these new team members will allow us to enhance the care Nova Scotians have come to expect.”

Emergency medical responders working on ambulances can assess, stabilize and transport patients to hospital. Each will be partnered with a paramedic to expand the number of teams available to respond to an emergency call.

They may also work in teams of two to transfer low-risk patients who have been assessed and do not require medical care during transport, or in emergency department offload areas, freeing up paramedics to focus on and respond to emergency calls faster.

Emergency medical responders will receive three months of training, be licensed and regulated by the College of Paramedics of Nova Scotia and must pass a national exam administered by the Canadian Organization of Paramedic Regulators.

To increase the number of paramedics working in Nova Scotia, a bridging program will be developed for emergency medical responders who want to become paramedics.


In the evolution of emergency medical services systems, the incorporation of the emergency medical responder role provides relief and support to our paramedics. With a proven track record in numerous emergency medical services systems nationwide, this role will help enhance service delivery to communities throughout Nova Scotia. Charbel J. Daniel, Executive Director, Provincial Operations, Emergency Medical Care Inc.

Quick Facts:

  • several Canadian provinces license and employ emergency medical responders
  • emergency medical responders in Nova Scotia will receive training that exceeds national standards
  • the emergency medical responder role is a nationally recognized role with pan-Canadian essential regulatory requirements including a competency framework, regulatory practice standards and a national exam
  • training will be offered in Nova Scotia by Medavie HealthEd starting in March, with the first graduating class working by summer