UK EMT looking to work in France


Forum Ride Along

I'm currently on placement in the UK working full time as a EMT1 as part of my Bsc. in Paramedic studies back in Ireland. My contract is up until end of September, and while most of my colleagues will probably stay here or go back to work in Ireland, I'm sick of the weather and am looking further afield.

I am considering Canada, NZ or Aus but France would be my primary goal for now, more just for the country than the pay.

I do speak fluent French, but have a hard time understanding how the EMS grades and jobs work, and how my EMT qualification would translate over there, and where and how to apply for jobs. I did use the search function here and the one thread speaking about working in France was locked for Admin privileges.

If anyone has any pointers, or knows someone knowledgeable on the subject, I'd be grateful for any help you can provide.


Forum Asst. Chief
Assuming your an Irish citizen, you can go and live in France tomorrow. If your only goal is to work in EMS, then you will need a job offer.

The other countries you mentioned would require a visa specific to the purpose of your stay. Being a paramedic may, or may not, be sufficient on its own for what you are looking to do. I know that SJA in both NZ and AUS (WA) were trying to hire paras from the UK / EU several years ago, but don’t know if that’s still the case.

I would start off by browsing those country’s immigration websites (from official government sources only) to get an idea of how and where you qualify. It’s tedious but very necessary. Having a degree in your chosen field is a plus, but what about time in the job?

My limited understanding of the French EMS system, is that their ambulances are commonly staffed by doctors and nurses / EMTs (drivers). I’m not sure that paramedics (in the traditional sense) are even used. It may be worth a look at how their fire services work.

Good luck.


Forum Ride Along

In France, there's no paramedic like yours.
We have the sanitary transports (like my company). You'll find ambulances type A and B, and also VSL (to transport seated patients), which are used mainly for transporting patients, and also emergency.
There's also the SMUR (Structure Mobile d'Urgence et de Réanimation), they are hospital based, and have VLM (Véhicule Léger Médicalisé) and AR (Ambulance de Réanimation). The team is composed of an ambulance driver, a nurse and a doctor. They do primary calls with their AR, or junction with the VLM, and some hospitals transferts.

Maybe you could get a job as an "Ambulancier Diplômé d'Etat" .

Here's some reading for you :

My company is agreed to receive foreign trainees.

Hope this will help you.