Emergency pre-hospital medical care is delivered by a staff of state-licensed firefighter/paramedics. The training process to become a paramedic is divided into three phases. The first phase begins with formalized classes at a local hospital leading to state certification as an Emergency Medical Technician. Northbrook members are trained at Highland Park Hospital and the South Lake County Emergency Medical System.
Paramedic education is next, with more than a thousand hours of classroom lecture, hospital clinical experience, and a minimum of one hundred patient contacts. During the field-training portion of the process, the paramedic student is monitored by a supervising paramedic. The final phase prior to licensure as a paramedic consists of passing a state exam and an oral interview/exam with the Physician Medical Director at the designated Resource Hospital.
Licensure marks the beginning, not the end, of the paramedic's education. Equipment, medications and procedures change rapidly. In order to maintain their licensure, the paramedics must successfully complete 30 hours of continued education of additional classroom, in-hospital training hours and a written examination on an annual basis. Northbrook Fire Department provides the required paramedic continued education through a contract with Highland Park Hospital staff at the fire stations each month.