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Ambulance Officer/ Emergency Service/ Paramedic

Ambulance Officers, Emergency service and rescue officials and paramedics are often the first responders at an accident or medical emergency scene.

Their role is to stabilise patients and provide immediate, stabilising emergency care  (from basic first aid to highly-specialised emergency treatment) on-site for patients or victims and ensure their safe and fast transport to medical facilities for further care.

The learning path for careers in the emergency services ranges from general and basic first aid and care to highly specialised expert advanced life support skills, from certificates in basic emergency care all the way through to Master’s degrees – the choice is yours).

Ambulance officers may also transport the elderly to hospitals as well as ill patients between hospitals and other care facilities.

Emergency service and rescue officials often also carry specialised equipment for rescuing people from very dangerous emergency situations.

Paramedics are highly skilled emergency medical rescue personnel, with knowledge of advanced life support protocols.

How to be an Ambulance Officer/ Emergency Service/ Paramedic in South Africa

Get the Required Qualifications

Depending on the specific career path you wish to take, you will typically need the following qualifications to be a paramedic, ambulance officer or emergency service in South Africa.

  1. Certificate (National Senior Certificate /NC(V))
  2. Certificate (Emergency Care Certificate )
  3. Diploma (National Diploma in Emergency Medical Care)
  4. Bachelor’s Degree (Bachelor of Emergency Medical Care)
  5. Code 10 and Professional Drivers Licence (Professional Driving Permit) are also required

Demonstrate Competence in the Required Subjects

Different educational institutions may have different admission requirements; however, you will typically be required to demonstrate competency in the following subjects to become a Ambulance Officer/ Emergency Service/ paramedic in South Africa:

Accumulate Years of Relevant Study and Experience

Depending on the specific career path you wish to take, it may take anywhere between 1 to 4+ years to become a paramedic, ambulance officer, or emergency service and rescue official in South Africa. These include:

  • 1- Year for a Certificate
  • 2- Years for a Diploma or 1 year if ECA course has been completed
  • 4- Years for a Bachelor’s degree
  • + Other specialised courses (depending on how far you want to go)

Find Relevant Employment Opportunities

Careers in the emergency services are some of the most in-demand jobs not only in South Africa but throughout the world due to their level of expertise and training.

Ambulance officers, emergency service personnel, and paramedics in South Africa can work at government or private hospitals as well as private ambulance and emergency services companies.

Find More Information from Relevant Regulatory Bodies

To find more information about ambulance officers/ emergency service personnel/ paramedics in South Africa, contact the:

Ambulance Officer/ Emergency Service/ Paramedic Related Careers

Related University Degrees

Paramedic Courses in South Africa

There are two types of paramedics courses that you can pursue in order to qualify as a paramedic in South Africa. These include:

  • Basic Life Support – a short course that trains aspiring paramedics to provide basic medical care to patients in emergency situations including the performance of CPR, the stopping of bleeding, and assisting expectant mothers with childbirth as well as other non-invasive procedures.
  • Intermediate Life Support – a short course that trains aspiring paramedics to provide intermediate medical intervention including the setting up of intravenous drips, the use of bronchodilators and defibrillators, and the performance of chest compression.

Paramedics-Related Diploma Programs in South Africa

  • Diploma in Emergency Care – A national diploma program that trains aspiring paramedics in performing clinical assessment and decision making, providing treatment for minor ailments or injuries in controlled circumstances, performing medical rescue in selected contexts, and providing support in specialised transport.

Educational Institutions Offering Ambulance Officer/ Emergency Service/ Paramedic Qualification


  • University of Johannesburg (Diploma/Bachelor degree) (Satellite campuses around the country offer the diploma course under the auspices of UJ).


Related Qualifications and Skills Programs

HW SETA Accredited

Emergency Care, First Aid CPR & Fire Fighting///Emergency Responder Skills///Emergency Team Member

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