It is not surprising that many people who choose Emergency Medicine as a career have had some experience with pre-hospital medicine and Emergency Medical Services, either as a volunteer or employee.  EMS is an essential component of Emergency Medicine and serves as one of the main points of entry for the emergency department (ED).  For those considering Emergency Medicine, an EMT certification and involvement with a rescue squad or EMS agency can be valuable experiences both before and during medical school.


UNC School of Medicine and UNC Hospitals are located in Orange County, NC, and integrally linked with the county-run EMS system.  UNC faculty serve as medical directors of both the paramedic ground ambulance system as well as the Carolina Air Care aeromedical service.  Opportunities to gain experience with EMS exist, and we hope to provide you with connections to do so. Within the triangle, there are several programs through which you can get an EMT certification.


Durham Technical Community College

Wake Technical Community College


Also, in Orange County, there is one volunteer rescue squad and several volunteer fire departments that offer opportunities for volunteer work in EMS.

South Orange Rescue Squad

Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department
White Cross Fire Department
Orange Grove Fire Department


The administrative phone number for Carolina Air Care is 919-966-3044 and any requests for information about potential educational opportunities or ride-alongs can be handled here.  Due to crowded spaces and weight limits in the helicopters, the chances of flying for medical students are admittedly slim, but can only find out after asking nicely.