A paramedic is a specialist healthcare professional who responds to emergency calls for medical help outside of a hospital. Paramedics mainly work as part of the emergency medical services (EMS), most often in ambulances. The scope of practice of a paramedic varies among countries, but generally includes autonomous decision making around the emergency care of patients.
Not all ambulance personnel are paramedics, although the term is sometimes used informally to refer to any ambulance personnel. In English-speaking countries, there is an official distinction between paramedics and emergency medical technicians (or emergency care assistants), in which paramedics have additional qualifications and are accountable to a professional regulatory body.