What Does an Ambulance Driver Do

What Does an Ambulance Driver Do

An ambulance driver is an essential requirement in the field of emergency medical services, as they play a key role in transporting patients safely and quickly to medical facilities. The responsibilities of an ambulance driver go beyond simply driving the vehicle. They are trained and equipped to provide basic medical assistance, such as bandaging and resuscitation, before the arrival of medical professionals. Therefore, it is important for ambulance drivers to have knowledge of first aid and be able to effectively communicate with emergency workers on the scene.

Ambulance drivers also need to have good verbal communication skills, as they are often the first point of contact for people in distress who call for an ambulance. They must be able to listen carefully to assess the situation and provide clear instructions to the caller until help arrives. In some cases, they may need to provide reassurance and guidance over the telephone, which requires the ability to remain calm and composed in stressful situations.

In addition to their medical responsibilities, ambulance drivers are also responsible for the maintenance and cleanliness of their vehicles. They must ensure that all medical supplies and equipment, such as stretchers and oxygen tanks, are properly stored and ready for use. They may also be required to create and maintain documentation, such as patient records and incident reports.

The salary of an ambulance driver can vary depending on their experience and location. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for ambulance drivers and attendants, except emergency medical technicians (EMTs) was $31,000 in May 2020. However, those with more experience and higher qualifications can earn up to $46,000 or more.

Responsibilities and Duties of an Ambulance Driver

An ambulance driver plays a crucial role in the healthcare system, ensuring the safe and timely transportation of individuals in need of emergency medical care. This job requires a combination of technical skills, knowledge, and personal traits.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Responding to Emergency Calls: An ambulance driver must be ready and able to respond to emergency calls promptly. They need to effectively navigate through traffic and follow the quickest routes to reach the scene of an emergency.
  • Providing Basic Medical Care: Ambulance drivers are trained in basic medical procedures, such as bandaging wounds, performing CPR, and administering simple first aid. They must be able to provide immediate care to patients until they reach a medical facility.
  • Transporting Patients Safely: The primary responsibility of an ambulance driver is to transport patients safely to hospitals or other healthcare facilities. They need to ensure that all equipment and medical supplies are secured properly during transportation.
  • Maintaining Vehicle and Equipment: Ambulance drivers are responsible for the regular maintenance of their vehicles and medical equipment. They need to keep the ambulance clean, stocked, and in proper working condition at all times.
  • Documenting Patient Information: Ambulance drivers need to accurately document patient information, including vital signs, medical history, and the treatment provided. This information is crucial for healthcare providers to provide appropriate care upon arrival.
  • Communicating with Medical Personnel: Ambulance drivers must effectively communicate with medical personnel at the receiving facility to provide them with necessary information about the patient’s condition and the care provided during transportation.


In addition to the key responsibilities, ambulance drivers also have a range of duties to perform:

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  • Regularly inspecting and restocking medical supplies in the ambulance.
  • Maintaining communication equipment and reporting any malfunctions.
  • Providing emotional support and reassurance to patients and their families during transport.
  • Following all traffic laws and driving safely at all times.
  • Adhering to protocols and procedures set by their employing healthcare organization.
  • Completing paperwork and reports accurately and in a timely manner.

Being an ambulance driver demands a unique set of skills and traits. These include good communication skills, physical stamina, attention to detail, the ability to remain calm in high-pressure situations, and compassion towards others. Ambulance drivers must also have a clean driving record and valid certification in their respective state.

As of 2021, the demand for ambulance drivers is expected to grow, providing opportunities for individuals interested in a career in healthcare. Most ambulance driver positions require at least a high school diploma or GED equivalent, along with specific certifications in emergency medical services.

Transportation of Patients

In addition to driving the ambulance, an ambulance driver has the important responsibility of safely transporting patients to medical facilities. This task requires a combination of driving skills and medical knowledge to ensure the well-being of the patients during transit.

An ambulance driver must be trained in techniques such as CPR and basic life support, as they may need to perform emergency treatment on patients while en route to the hospital. They must also have knowledge of proper bandaging and other first aid techniques to effectively provide initial care before reaching the medical center.

It is crucial for ambulance drivers to pay close attention to the needs of the patients and respond quickly and appropriately in emergency situations. They must have the ability to stay calm under pressure and make logical decisions, as they may often find themselves in high-stress situations where quick thinking is necessary.

Furthermore, ambulance drivers must maintain the ambulance and its medical supplies to ensure they are always in good working condition. They are responsible for restocking and checking the inventory of medical equipment and supplies regularly. This requires attention to detail and organizational skills to keep track of the supplies and ensure they are readily available for use.

As a part of their job, ambulance drivers must also complete paperwork and maintain accurate records. This includes documenting patient information, the care provided during transit, and any medications administered. They may need to submit these records to the proper authorities or medical personnel upon arrival at the medical facility.

In order to become an ambulance driver, individuals must meet certain requirements. Most states in the United States require ambulance drivers to have a regular driver’s license, although some may require a specialized endorsement or certification. They must also pass a physical exam and have a clean driving record, as well as a clear criminal background check.

In terms of education, ambulance drivers typically need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some cities or medical facilities may require additional certifications or training, such as Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC) certification or CPR certification.

Emergency Response

Emergency response is a critical aspect of an ambulance driver’s job. When an emergency occurs, ambulance drivers are responsible for quickly and safely transporting patients to medical facilities for urgent care. They must be prepared to handle a variety of life-threatening situations and provide immediate medical assistance.

Ambulance drivers are trained to respond to emergency calls and work closely with other emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, such as paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs). They are often the first to arrive at the scene of an accident or medical emergency and must be able to assess the situation, provide necessary treatment, and transport the patient to a hospital or other healthcare facility.

Emergency response requires strong decision-making skills, as ambulance drivers must make quick decisions in high-pressure situations. They must also have a good understanding of medical procedures and protocols, including CPR and other life-saving techniques. The ability to remain calm and focused during emergencies is crucial, as is the ability to work well under stress and in physically demanding situations.

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In summary, emergency response is a key aspect of an ambulance driver’s job. They play a vital role in providing immediate medical assistance and transportation to those in need. Their skills, knowledge, and ability to stay calm under pressure make them valuable members of the healthcare team.

Adherence to Safety Protocols

When it comes to the responsibilities and duties of an ambulance driver, adherence to safety protocols is of utmost importance. Ambulance drivers are trained to prioritize the safety and well-being of their patients, as well as themselves and other drivers on the road.

In order to ensure safety, ambulance drivers must have a good understanding of emergency medical procedures and basic life support techniques. They must also be knowledgeable about state and federal driving laws and regulations pertaining to emergency vehicle operation. This includes knowing when to use lights and sirens, how to navigate traffic safely, and how to communicate with other emergency personnel.

Ambulance drivers are also responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of their vehicles, including restocking medical supplies and equipment. They must regularly inspect and assess the condition of both the interior and exterior of the ambulance, ensuring that all necessary equipment is in proper working order.

In addition to their role as drivers, ambulance personnel may also be responsible for assisting the medical crew in patient care. This may include helping to move patients safely and efficiently, obtaining vital signs, and providing basic first aid.

To become an ambulance driver, individuals must meet certain requirements and obtain the necessary certifications. Each state has its own specific requirements, but common requirements include a valid driver’s license, CPR certification, and completion of an accredited emergency vehicle operator course.

Overall, the job of an ambulance driver requires a unique set of skills and knowledge. It demands the ability to make quick and sound decisions in high-pressure situations, excellent driving skills, and a commitment to providing the best possible care to those in need.

Communication and Coordination

In the role of an ambulance driver, effective communication and coordination skills are essential. Ambulance drivers need to be able to communicate clearly and efficiently with team members, healthcare professionals, and emergency dispatchers to ensure the smooth movement of patients and resources. They must effectively relay information about the patient’s condition, any treatment provided, and the estimated time of arrival at the healthcare facility.

Ambulance drivers also coordinate with other emergency services, such as police and fire departments, to ensure that necessary assistance is provided promptly. This coordination involves sharing information about the location of the emergency, the type of assistance required, and any potential hazards at the scene. By working together, emergency responders can provide the best possible care to those in need.

In some states, ambulance drivers are trained to provide basic medical assistance. They can administer first aid, perform CPR, and assist with bandaging and splinting. Communication is crucial during these tasks, as it allows the ambulance driver to relay information to healthcare professionals and update them on the patient’s condition. Effective communication can be lifesaving in emergency situations.

To excel in communication and coordination, ambulance drivers should possess excellent listening skills, allowing them to understand and follow instructions accurately. They should be able to stay calm and focused in high-pressure situations, knowing that their actions can directly impact the lives of those they help. By maintaining effective communication, ambulance drivers can ensure that patients receive the appropriate level of care in a timely manner.

Key Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Communicating with team members, healthcare professionals, and emergency dispatchers
  • Coordinating with other emergency services
  • Providing emotional support to patients and their families
  • Administering first aid and basic medical assistance
  • Relaying information about the patient’s condition and treatment

Maintenance and Record-keeping

An ambulance driver has the responsibility of maintaining and keeping accurate records of their ambulance and equipment. This includes conducting regular inspections and adhering to maintenance schedules to ensure that the ambulance is in good working condition. The driver must have knowledge of the technical aspects of the vehicle, such as engine maintenance and repair, and be able to perform basic repairs when needed. They also need to keep a record of these maintenance activities, including any repairs made and any parts that were replaced.

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In addition to maintaining the ambulance, the driver is also responsible for keeping accurate records of their day-to-day activities. This includes recording the mileage and fuel consumption of the ambulance, as well as documenting any incidents or emergencies they responded to. These records are important for providing insights into the industry, as well as for future reference and accountability purposes.

Record-keeping also extends to patient care. Ambulance drivers may be required to document the patient’s vital signs, medical history, injuries, and treatments administered during transportation. These records are crucial for providing accurate information to healthcare professionals upon arrival at the hospital.

Skills and Traits

An ambulance driver must possess a combination of skills and traits to excel in their job. They should have excellent driving skills and be able to navigate through traffic safely and efficiently, often while using sirens and emergency lights. Strong communication skills, both verbal and written, are essential for interacting with patients, their families, and healthcare professionals.

Attention to detail is crucial for maintaining accurate records, as well as ensuring the safety and well-being of the patient during transportation. Ambulance drivers must be calm and focused under pressure, as they often work in high-stress situations and need to make quick decisions. They should also have a strong sense of empathy and compassion for patients, as they are often in vulnerable and distressing situations.

Physical Requirements and Certifications

Being an ambulance driver requires a certain level of physical fitness. They need to be able to perform tasks such as lifting and moving patients, often in emergency situations. A valid driver’s license and a clean driving record are mandatory, and additional certifications and specialized training may be required depending on the location and employer.

Certifications in areas such as CPR, Basic Life Support (BLS), and First Aid are common requirements for ambulance drivers. Some states or government agencies may require additional certifications, such as an Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC) certification, which covers the safe operation of emergency vehicles.

CPRBasic life-saving skills training
BLSAdvanced life-saving skills training
First AidEmergency medical response training
EVOCSafe operation of emergency vehicles

Ambulance drivers must also meet certain health requirements to ensure they are fit for the job. This may include a physical examination, pulmonary function tests, and psychological evaluations to assess their ability to handle the demands and stress of the job.


What are the responsibilities of an ambulance driver?

An ambulance driver is responsible for safely transporting patients to medical facilities, following traffic laws and regulations, and providing basic care to patients during transportation.

What qualifications are required to become an ambulance driver?

To become an ambulance driver, you typically need a high school diploma or GED, a valid driver’s license, and certification as an emergency medical technician (EMT).

What are the duties of an ambulance driver during an emergency situation?

During an emergency situation, an ambulance driver must safely and quickly navigate through traffic, communicate with dispatchers and medical personnel, provide basic first aid to patients, and ensure the ambulance is properly stocked and maintained.

Is there any on-the-job training required for ambulance drivers?

Yes, ambulance drivers typically undergo on-the-job training to learn how to operate emergency vehicles, administer basic medical care, and effectively communicate with patients and medical personnel.

What skills are important for an ambulance driver to have?

Important skills for an ambulance driver include good driving skills, the ability to remain calm in high-stress situations, effective communication skills, knowledge of basic medical procedures, and the ability to work as part of a team.

What are the main responsibilities of an Ambulance Driver?

An Ambulance Driver is responsible for safely driving the ambulance to and from emergency scenes. They must navigate through traffic and follow all traffic laws. In addition to driving, they also assist with patient care by providing basic first aid and medical assistance.

What qualifications are needed to become an Ambulance Driver?

To become an Ambulance Driver, one typically needs a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record. Some employers may also require a certification in CPR and first aid. In addition, strong communication and decision-making skills are important, as well as the ability to remain calm under pressure.

Dave Pennells

By Dave Pennells

Dave Pennells, MS, has contributed his expertise as a career consultant and training specialist across various fields for over 15 years. At City University of Seattle, he offers personal career counseling and conducts workshops focused on practical job search techniques, resume creation, and interview skills. With a Master of Science in Counseling, Pennells specializes in career consulting, conducting career assessments, guiding career transitions, and providing outplacement services. Her professional experience spans multiple sectors, including banking, retail, airlines, non-profit organizations, and the aerospace industry. Additionally, since 2001, he has been actively involved with the Career Development Association of Australia.