Every firefighter hired by the City of Rock Island after 1991 is required to be either an Illinois or nationally certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) - paramedic.

A paramedic is a highly trained emergency medical technician that provides extensive pre-hospital care. There are three emergency medical technician (EMT) levels:
  • EMT- Basic
  • EMT- Intermediate
  • EMT- Paramedic
To become a paramedic, the student must start at the EMT- Basic level and continue through each level. At the completion of the paramedic course, the student will have completed more than 550 classroom hours and 660 clinical and field training hours. Each student must complete an allotted amount of hours in the following hospital areas:
  • Emergency room
  • Respiratory care
  • Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics
  • Operating room
  • Pharmacology
Paramedics can administer drugs orally and intravenously, perform advanced airway techniques, apply and interpret electrocardiograms, and more.

The Rock Island Fire Department provides students that are affiliated with a paramedic program the opportunity to ride and learn with veteran paramedics.