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EMT FAQs

EMT Frequently Asked Questions

We are constantly updating our FAQs based on questions that are asked over and over again in order to place helpful information at your fingertips. Before you e-mail or call, please read through our "FAQs" to see if your question has already been answered. They are conveniently organized by level so that you can jump directly to the section that may contain the information you are looking for. There are also many direct links to pertinent forms and applications sprinkled throughout the answers.

EMTs | AEMTs | Paramedics | First Responders

Questions

Online Transition Courses Approved!

The State of California EMS Authority (EMSA) announced the approval of three (3) ONLINE NREMT Transition Courses on July 17, 2015:

These transition courses are a requirement for continued registration with the National Registry of EMT's (NREMT) as part of NREMT's commitment to fully implement their transition to the current National EMS Scope of Practice Model, National Education Standards, and Instructional Guidelines, which is also the goal of the EMS Authority.

In 2009, the national standards and instruction guidelines for EMS providers were updated by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Agency. These changes were made to ensure that the EMS providers are being trained and knowledgeable in current medical practices, thus ensuring continued quality care for the general public.

The updates also created a gap between the prior standards and what is being taught today, which is addressed through approved transition courses. The suggested curriculum for the transition courses relies heavily on the work produced by the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) in their gap analysis of the differences between the prior National Standard Curricula and the new National Education Standards. In coordination with a variety of stakeholders, the EMS Authority created a guideline to ensure this gap in education was addressed. All approved transition courses are in compliance with these guidelines.

Local transition courses are also still available and are approved by the Local EMS Agencies. A list of programs that provide these courses and more detailed information can be found on the EMT page of EMSA's website: http://www.emsa.ca.gov/EMT.

Completion of a transition course is not necessary to maintain California EMT certification or paramedic licensure.

If you have questions, please contact Betsy Slavensky at (916)431-3717 or betsy.slavensky@emsa.ca.gov.

EMT Certification Frequently Asked Questions

  • What do I need to do to become an EMT?
  • In order to be eligible to become a certified EMT in California, you will need to complete an approved EMT training program. Courses are offered through community colleges and private- post secondary schools. EMT courses are at least 120 hours of which 110 hours are didactic and 10 hours of supervised clinical experience. Once the student has successfully completed the program, s/he will receive a Course Completion Record which will be valid to apply for certification testing for a maximum of twelve (12) months from the date of course completion. Certification testing is required by state regulation to be eligible for certification as an EMT in California [Title 22, Div 9, Chap 2, Art 4, section 100079(a)(3)]. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians EMT-Basic exam is the approved certification exam. At the conclusion of the course, students are instructed as to the procedure for scheduling the National Registry examination. A course completion record or National Registry certification alone do not constitute EMT certification in California.

  • Do the final written and skills exams I took through my EMT training program count as the certification exam?
  • Your training program skills exam is accepted as the practical portion of the National Registry exam. You will need to complete the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians written exam, in addition to the training program final written exam.

  • How do I sign up for the National Registry exam?
  • Here is a summary of the testing process. Go to the National Registry web site to register for an exam.

  • Does my EMT course completion certificate or my National Registry EMT certification mean I am certified as an EMT in California?
  • No. In order to be a certified EMT in California, you must apply to a local EMS agency to complete the certification process.

  • How do I apply for EMT certification with Nor-Cal EMS?
  • Complete the following items and submit all materials in one complete packet to Nor-Cal EMS:

    1. Complete the EMT Initial certification application. (Incomplete applications will be returned.)
    2. Submit a photocopy of your Course Completion Record from an approved EMT Training program;
    3. Submit proof of successful completion of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) EMT-Basic certification exam to include a photocopy of your National Registry EMT certification card and certificate from the National Registry of EMT's;
    4. Submit a photocopy of your CPR;
    5. Submit a photocopy of your driver's license;
    6. Submit the established certification fee as indicated on the application.
  • How long is my State EMT certification valid?
  • Your EMT certification is valid to the expiration date on your National Registry certification card.

  • Is my Nor-Cal EMS EMT certification valid throughout the state?
  • Yes. Any EMT certification issued in California is valid throughout the state of California.

  • I completed my EMT training at a program in another county. What do I need to do to become certified through Nor-Cal EMS?
  • You will need to provide a course completion certificate, proof of AED training, proof of successful completion of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians EMT-Basic certification exam within the past two years, provide a valid and current CPR card, pay the certification fee and complete a Nor-Cal EMT Certification Application.

  • I have an out-of-state or National Registry EMT certificate and would like to get a California certificate. What do I need to do?
  • If you have an out-of-state EMT certificate, you will need to successfully complete the www.nremt.org NREMT exam and apply for certification with a local EMS Agency.
    If you have a current National Registry certification, you will need to apply for Initial EMT certification with a local EMS agency. The expiration date on your California certification will be the same date as listed on your National Registry certification.

  • Is Nor Cal EMS notified by the Continuing Education Provider that I have completed CEU's?
  • No. Nor Cal EMS is not notified by continuing education providers that you have completed cue's. You are responsible for maintaining your own continuing education records.

  • Is there a "grace period" for renewing my EMT certification?
  • No, there is no grace period. You may not function as an EMT once your certification has expired. You have two (2) years from the date of expiration to complete the certification process without repeating the full EMT training program.

  • Do I have to take the written and skills exams to maintain my EMT certification?
  • You are not required to take the written exam again as long as your certification has not lapsed for more than 12 months. An EMT Skills Verification and a 24 hour EMT refresher course or 24 hours of Continuing education and are required every two years for recertification. You will need to complete an application for EMT Re-Certification and submit it along with all required documentation to Nor-Cal EMS to process your EMT recertification. See question “What do I need to do to maintain and re-certify my EMT certification” below.

  • How do I obtain my EMT skills competency verification?
  • Skills competency is verified by direct observation of an actual or simulated patient contact. Skills competency [Form EMSA SCV (07/03)] will be verified by an individual who is currently certified or licensed as an EMT, AEMT, Paramedic, RN, PA, or physician and who is designated by an EMS approved training program (EMT training program, paramedic training program or continuing education provider) or an EMS service provider; EMS service providers include public safety agencies, private ambulance providers and other EMS providers.

  • What do I need to do to maintain and re-certify my EMT certification?
  • Current certification or lapse of less than six (6) months:

    1. Successfully complete an approved EMT twenty four (24) hour refresher course within the prior two (2) year period or, provide documentation verifying completion of a minimum of twenty four (24) hours of approved BLS continuing education within the prior two (2) year period. And all of the following:
    2. Provide a copy of your EMTcertification card;
    3. Provide a copy of your driver's license;
    4. Provide a valid and current CPR card;
    5. Provide proof of AED Training ;
    6. Submit a completed skills competency verification form, (EMSA-SCV 07/03);
    7. Complete a Nor-Cal EMS EMT re-certification application;
    8. Pay the established application fees for either current or lapsed certification. See application for application fees.

    For a lapse of six (6) months or more, but less than twelve (12) months:

    1. Successfully complete an approved EMT twenty four (24) hour refresher course within the prior two (2) year period OR
      provide documentation verifying completion of a minimum of twenty four (24) hours of approved BLS continuing education within the prior two (2) year period AND:
    2. Provide documentation of an additional twelve (12) hours of continuing education for a total of thirty six (36) hours and all of the following:
    3. Provide a copy of your expired EMTcertification card;
    4. Provide a copy of your driver's license;
    5. Provide a valid and current CPR card;
    6. Provide proof of AED Training;
    7. Submit a completed skills competency verification form, (EMSA-SCV 07/03);
    8. Complete a Nor-Cal EMS EMT re-certification application;
    9. Pay the established application fees for lapsed certification. See application for application fees.

    For a lapse of twelve (12) months or more, but less than twenty four (24) months:

    1. Provide a copy of the expired EMT certificate;
    2. Successfully complete an approved EMT twenty four (24) hour refresher course within the prior two (2) year period;
    3. Provide documentation of an additional twenty four (24) hours of continuing education for a total of forty eight (48) hours;
    4. Provide documentation of successful completion of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) certification exam within the past two (2) years;
    5. Provide a valid and current CPR card;
    6. Provide proof of AED Training;
    7. Submit a completed skills competency verification form, (EMSA-SCV 07/03);
    8. Complete a Nor-Cal EMS EMT re-certification application;
    9. Pay the established application fees for lapsed certification. See application for application fees.

    For a lapse of twenty four (24) months or more from expiration, complete an entire EMT basic course and National Registry testing. Applicants must then complete the initial Nor-Cal EMS certification process.

  • How do I know if a course is offering continuing education credit for prehospital personnel?
  • There are many “approved” continuing education providers throughout our region and the state. Only CE classes/events sponsored by approved CE providers, including those approved by other California EMS agencies or the State EMS Authority will be accepted for EMT recertification. The course provider must issue a certificate with their California Prehospital Continuing Education provider number and the number of hours for which the course is approved. CME and BRN numbers/hours are not valid for EMT or paramedic continuing education (approved Nor-Cal EMS CE Providers).

    Continuing education should be BLS in nature and within your scope of practice. CE's may be obtained from approved continuing education web sites. You are required to contact the course sponsor(s) with regard to that organization's status as an approved prehospital CE provider. At least 50% of the required CE hours must be in a format that is instructor based which means that instructor resources are readily available to the student to answer questions, provide feedback, provide clarification and address concerns (e.g., on-line CE courses where an instructor is available to the student). This includes any additional CE requirements placed on an applicant due to an expired certificate.

  • I have had a misdemeanor and/or a felony conviction, will this preclude me from certification?
  • Not necessarily. All applications are screened on an individual basis. Depending on the seriousness of the conviction, your application will be reviewed by the certification investigation department and you will be contacted by a staff member.

  • I have disclosed a previous or pending conviction on my application. How do I find out what the status of my application is at this time?
  • You will be contacted by a certification investigation staff member regarding the status of your application in a timely manner.

  • I have mailed my application for certification or re-certification. How will I know if it has been received?
  • Because of the volume of applications we process, it is recommend that you send your application "Return Receipt Requested".

  • My certification is about to expire. Can I apply for an extension?
  • No. Extensions are not allowed.


Other AEMTs, Paramedics, and First Responders

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