How Does Emergency Management Education Benefit EMS Workers?

Emergency Ambulance
Emergency Ambulance

When disaster strikes anywhere in Canada, emergency medical services (EMS) workers are always among the first on the scene, performing life-saving work on the victims. A paramedic’s decision-making ability in these critical moments can mean the difference between full recovery and long-term compromised health, or even death. Alongside police and fire departments, EMS workers are the backbone of Canada’s internationally respected corps of first responders. For those in the profession seeking to move into positions of leadership, it’s important to augment one’s on-the-job insights with the latest high-level strategic thinking via emergency management courses. Wilfrid Laurier University’s 100% online Master of Public Safety program and graduate diplomas offer veteran EMS workers the chance to improve their craft without missing time on the job—a job on which people’s lives depend.

Emergency Management Education: What Will You Learn?

A graduate diploma in emergency management education is intended to train EMS workers for leadership roles. Laurier’s program’s teachings are pragmatic and immediately applicable to one’s work. Courses include:

  • Public Safety in Canada
  • Issues in Contemporary Public Safety
  • Interagency Disaster Management
  • Emergency Management Planning

Managers must have a comprehensive situational awareness of the policies and procedures which govern emergency response in Canada. Understanding the rationale of public safety is the path toward becoming a leader in one’s own right.

Even junior management positions require a high degree of critical and analytical thinking to maximize available resources adequately and provide the best possible service. Just as an EMS worker’s knowledge of medicine and physiology allows them to make more accurate judgment calls in the heat of the moment, so too does an emergency management professional within their own specializations.

Salary Benefits

The wage for paramedics tends to vary based on their specialties and level of certification. For example, in Ontario:

  • Primary Care Paramedics can earn from $70,000 to $90,000 per year
  • Advanced Care Paramedics can earn from $80,000 to $100,000 per year
  • Critical Care Paramedics can earn from $100,000 to $135,000 per year[i]

Overall, the median salary for paramedics in Ontario is roughly $61,000 per year.[ii] While it is possible to earn a substantial wage in the profession, the higher range of these salaries is limited to the most senior and specialized workers. As a career, it is physically and emotionally demanding, as well as rewarding, and many EMTs seek transfers into non-front line positions as they mature.

Having additional credentials helps candidates stand out, whether for promotion or for a move into another emergency management-related profession. A graduate diploma also counts as credit toward the completion of a Master of Public Safety program, a degree which opens even bigger doors at the government level.

Set Your Own Schedule in an Online Program

EMS workers often work varying shifts as emergencies can happen any time day or night. Short of taking a significant leave of absence, it is therefore difficult for working paramedics to find the time to attend in-class university programs to upgrade their skills. Online programs provide a workaround. Classes can be attended any time day or night via an online portal, and lecture materials, readings and resources are all available remotely. Juggling work and study is almost always a challenge, but online EMS worker education removes spatial and temporal barriers. The rest is up to the individual student.

For more information about Laurier’s graduate offerings in public safety, please contact us for a curriculum guide.


Check out our earlier blog posts: What Does a Public Safety Officer Do? and What is Public Safety Management?