Advancing the EMS profession

Code of Ethics and EMT Oath

Code of Ethics for EMS Practitioners 

Professional status as an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Practitioner is maintained and enriched by the willingness of the individual practitioner to accept and fulfill obligations to society, other medical professionals, and the EMS profession. As an EMS practitioner, I solemnly pledge myself to the following code of professional ethics:  

  • To conserve life, alleviate suffering, promote health, do no harm, and encourage the quality and equal availability of emergency medical care.

  • To provide services based on human need, with compassion and respect for human dignity, unrestricted by consideration of nationality, race, creed, color, or status; to not judge the merits of the patient’s request for service, nor allow the patient’s socioeconomic status to influence our demeanor or the care that we provide.

  • To not use professional knowledge and skills in any enterprise detrimental to the public well being.

  • To respect and hold in confidence all information of a confidential nature obtained in the course of professional service unless required by law to divulge such information.

  • To use social media in a responsible and professional manner that does not discredit, dishonor, or embarrass an EMS organization, co-workers, other health care practitioners, patients, individuals or the community at large.

  • To maintain professional competence, striving always for clinical excellence in the delivery of patient care.

  • To assume responsibility in upholding standards of professional practice and education.

  • To assume responsibility for individual professional actions and judgment, both in dependent and independent emergency functions, and to know and uphold the laws which affect the practice of EMS.

  • To be aware of and participate in matters of legislation and regulation affecting EMS.

  • To work cooperatively with EMS associates and other allied healthcare professionals in the best interest of our patients.

  • To refuse participation in unethical procedures, and assume the responsibility to expose incompetence or unethical conduct of others to the appropriate authority in a proper and professional manner.



Originally written by: Charles B.Gillespie, M.D., and adopted by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, 1978. Revised and adopted by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, June 14, 2013.

EMT Oath

Be it pledged as an Emergency Medical Technician, I will honor the physical and judicial laws of God and man. I will follow that regimen which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of patients and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, nor shall I suggest any such counsel. Into whatever homes I enter, I will go into them for the benefit of only the sick and injured, never revealing what I see or hear in the lives of men unless required by law.

I shall also share my medical knowledge with those who may benefit from what I have learned. I will serve unselfishly and continuously in order to help make a better world for all mankind.

While I continue to keep this oath unviolated, may it be granted to me to enjoy life, and the practice of the art, respected by all men, in all times. Should I trespass or violate this oath, may the reverse be my lot.

So help me God.


Written by: Charles B. Gillespie, M.D. Adopted by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, 1978