Working In Canada

Amarcord

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I am wanting to work in Canada as a paramedic. I am currently a paramedic in the US what do I need to do any information would be very helpful.
I’m from British Columbia, and I’m currently training to become an EMR (lowest level of paramedic in BC, so low people from other states and provinces probably wouldn’t consider you a paramedic) so I can give you a decent rundown about what it takes to get hired in BC, but the process is different in other provinces.

There’s 4 level of paramedics in BC
EMR (emergency medical responder)
PCP (primary care practitioner)
ACP (advanced)
CCP (critical)

To obtain a license for any of those levels you have to pass a practical and written exam, except for CCP, which you have to be hand picked for.

After you obtain a licence you then have the option to either apply for a job with BC ambulances, or take your license into industry (forestry, mining, etc). There’s a lot more money in working in industry than there is on car, unfortunately.

I’m not sure what level you would fall in to, but if you’re already a working paramedic I’m sure you would be able to at least pass the EMR exams and get a job on car in a rural area (must have PCP or higher to work in cities) with BC ambulances, or head into further desolation up north and stack cash working in the oil fields/mining camps.

You must have a class 4 drivers license to work with BC ambulances, and you must have at least class 5 drivers license to work in industry. But I’m sure you already have those equivalents so you’re probably all set.

Hope this helps! Sorry I don’t have info on other provinces, I’ve heard it’s fairly similar though, but really BC is the only place worth living in Canada (sorry if there’s any other Canadians on here, deep down you know it’s true)
 

Amarcord

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I’m seeing a lot of people arguing about degrees on here, and whether or not they’re necessary in order to work in Canada. Obviously the more education you have the better, but it’s really not a prerequisite where I’m from. In BC if you want to become a paramedic it’s only a 3 week course. BC ambulances is so short on paramedics they pump them through an intensive course where most people fail. It’s a weeding out cash grabbing process, but in theory if you pass all their tests you could go from having zero education and experience to working on car as a paramedic in less than 3 months.
 

CCCSD

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I’m seeing a lot of people arguing about degrees on here, and whether or not they’re necessary in order to work in Canada. Obviously the more education you have the better, but it’s really not a prerequisite where I’m from. In BC if you want to become a paramedic it’s only a 3 week course. BC ambulances is so short on paramedics they pump them through an intensive course where most people fail. It’s a weeding out cash grabbing process, but in theory if you pass all their tests you could go from having zero education and experience to working on car as a paramedic in less than 3 months.
Your reply confuses the issue more. You are stating that a paramedic only attends a three week training class? That would be an EMT basic in the US, or less...
 

Amarcord

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Your reply confuses the issue more. You are stating that a paramedic only attends a three week training class? That would be an EMT basic in the US, or less...
Yes. 3 week training course to get certified as an emr. After you get certified you can take the licensing exams whenever you think you’re ready. If you pass you can then take your medical license and work as a paramedic in various avenues
 
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hometownmedic5

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Ok. An EMR is NOT a “Paramedic” in the US.
Everybody is a paramedic in canada. They diluted the word down to meaningless. The 50 odd titles/ranks we’ve used in America wasn’t the right solution either; but calling everybody the same thing is more confusing to me.
 

Amarcord

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It’s not my use of the word, it’s the province of British Columbia’s. Either way I’m just trying to help the op out with some useful info. Not looking to argue about who is and isn't paramedic.
 

Amarcord

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The issue is that is confusing for US medics. Calling everyone a paramedic creates major misunderstandings. Should you feel the need to post, I would suggest that you consistently post the equivalent.

EMR = EMT

For example.

Since you aren’t even certified at any level yet, you might want to refrain from posting information on subjects beyond your ken.
I am certified at the EMR level, but I don’t see the point in ad hominems. It’s really not that confusing. Each level follows their scope of practice. The PCP level is vastly superior in scope compared the EMR level. The difference between a PCP and an EMR is huge. PCP would be considered the first level of a legitimate paramedic. Nevertheless EMR’s do work in ambulance and they are out there dealing with the same calls a PCP would.
 

Jim37F

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For most of the general public, I dont think they really know or even care much about the differences between EMT and Paramedics, and choosing to call each level ____ Care Paramedic probably isnt any different then when we used to call everyone EMT-B, EMT-A, EMT-P.

That being said, I've always heard that after EMR, the first Canadian Paramedic level, PCP, is roughly equivalent to an AEMT here, so a lot closer to what we would associate as a Paramedic than an EMT-B (excuse me, just EMT now... or EMT 1, or whatever depending on where you live, heck officially paramedics in ny state are technically "Mobile Intensive Care Technicians" so I dont think griping to one guy about what a foreign sovereign government has chosen to call their ambulance provider levels is really useful.

Aaaaaaannnnddd that ends any shred of usefulness I have to this convo lol, but still, just saying...
 

cprted

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It’s not my use of the word, it’s the province of British Columbia’s. Either way I’m just trying to help the op out with some useful info. Not looking to argue about who is and isn't paramedic.
Actually, the Province of British Columbia doesn't define the term paramedic. The BC Emergency Health Services Act defines the scope and roles of "Emergency Medical Assistants," a broad category which EMR falls under (so does FR). At such time as you get hired by the provincial ambulance service, by policy, EMRs don't get to wear Paramedic epaulette slides on their uniform shirts ... just sayin' ... especially on an international forum, describing yourself as a Paramedic is misleading.

But to actually address the question from the OP ...

Each province and territory in Canada regulates Paramedics and prehospital care slightly differently. If you know what province you'd like to work in, search for their paramedic college or regulatory board who will have information about transferring your credentials into a Canadian Paramedic license. If you hold a valid EMT-P in the US, you'll be applying for an Advanced Care Paramedic license in the Canadian province of your choice.

On the topic of degrees, at present there is no requirement to have a degree to work in Paramedicine in Canada. However the Canadian Paramedic Association has set 2025 as the target year to launch a degree based entry to practice. So we're heading that direction.
 
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Amarcord

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Actually, the Province of British Columbia doesn't define the term paramedic. The BC Emergency Health Services Act defines the scope and roles of "Emergency Medical Assistants," a broad category which EMR falls under (so does FR). At such time as you get hired by the provincial ambulance service, by policy, EMRs don't get to wear Paramedic epaulette slides on their uniform shirts ... just sayin' ... especially on an international forum, describing yourself as a Paramedic is misleading.

But to actually address the question from the OP ...

Each province and territory in Canada regulates Paramedics and prehospital care slightly differently. If you know what province you'd like to work in, search for their paramedic college or regulatory board who will have information about transferring your credentials into a Canadian Paramedic license. If you hold a valid EMT-P in the US, you'll be applying for an Advanced Care Paramedic license in the Canadian province of your choice.

On the topic of degrees, at present there is no requirement to have a degree to work in Paramedicine in Canada. However the Canadian Paramedic Association has set 2025 as the target year to launch a degree based entry to practice. So we're heading that direction.
I don’t remember ever describing myself as a paramedic.

“I’m from British Columbia, and I’m currently training to become an EMR (lowest level of paramedic in BC, so low people from other states and provinces probably wouldn’t consider you a paramedic)”

Said that right away in my first post on this forum.

Either way BCEHS clearly defines EMR as a paramedic so the sentiment of what I was saying remains true.

 
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FiremanMike

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You also stated that you were in the process of becoming an EMR, yet a day later you state you are one... That fast? You are correct: it is ”low” (standards).
EMT-B in America is 120-140 hours depending on where you go... A full time accelerated program can do that in 3-3.5 weeks.

The guy has first hand experience inside a system which was the original topic of this post, maybe we should let him share his experience?
 

cprted

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You also stated that you were in the process of becoming an EMR, yet a day later you state you are one... That fast? You are correct: it is ”low” (standards).
They could have posted on the day of their final exam ... it is only a 10-15 day course (depending which version and from which training provider you take it).

In BC, EMR is a stopgap level of certification used to supplement staffing shortfalls in rural and remote areas. It is a scope level that is in the slow process of being phased out. Out of 10 provinces, there are only 3 that regulate EMR under the same umbrella as PCP, ACP, CCP paramedics. Everywhere else, EMR is just a high level of first aid training.
 
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cprted

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Amarcord, yup, you got flamed a bit. But let's also be clear that when you post things like:
In BC if you want to become a paramedic it’s only a 3 week course. BC ambulances is so short on paramedics they pump them through an intensive course where most people fail. It’s a weeding out cash grabbing process, but in theory if you pass all their tests you could go from having zero education and experience to working on car as a paramedic in less than 3 months.
It's pretty insulting to the 4500 Paramedics and Dispatchers who are working every day at BC Ambulance.

It's also pretty misleading. BC Ambulance does not train EMRs, PCPs, or ACPs, so suggesting the Ambulance service is running a cash grab scam to lure people with no education into working on Ambulance is blatantly false. I might suggest that if you're aiming to work for BC Ambulance at some point, slagging them online isn't the smartest thing you could do ...
 
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Peak

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I have a certificate from the program. I am a certified emr, not a licensed emr. Big difference, and I understand the difference, but the guy was being an annoying prick so I figured I’d get him on on a technicality. Either way this is the first thread I’ve commented on and it’ll probably be my last. All I wanted to do was give the op some information on the hiring process and the different levels of paramedics in BC, and all I’ve gotten is a series of tedious replies trying to pick apart my qualifications, when I’ve been completely honest from the get go about where I am in terms of my training and career.
Having a certificate of completion and being certified insinuates different things. I have multiple board certifications in addition to state licensure. I was state certified as a paramedic. A certificate of completion isn't the same.
 

Amarcord

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Cprted-
I know that you think what you said was true, and I’m sure you felt great when you were typing it, but you’re off the mark. Does BC Ambulances directly train or run training programs? No. Does BCA work hand in hand with the one accredited institution (Justice Institute Of British Columbia) that trains paramedics? Yes. Are all teachers at he JIBC also employees of BC Ambulances? Everyone I’ve met, yes. I’m not slagging them off any worse than what of heard any of their actual employees say, and I’m certainly not insulting the 4500 people who work for BC ambulances by saying what I have, because I can guarantee they’ve all said worse. Is it a cash grab? Absolutely. Is it a scam? Absolutely not.

I guess in my oversimplification I confused some people. For that I’m sorry. I really didn’t think I’d have to end up explaining the convolutions of emergency medicine in British Columbia.

Peak-
That’s great I’m really happy for you and all of your qualifications. In BC you get certified, and then licensed. You get a certification, and then a license. Sorry if this had confused you I thought I explained it earlier.
 
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