What is an EMT?

“Emergency Medical Technicians¬†provide out of hospital emergency medical care and transportation for critical and emergent patients who access the emergency medical services (EMS) system. EMTs have the basic knowledge and skills necessary to stabilize and safely transport patients ranging from non-emergency and routine medical transports to life threatening emergencies. Emergency Medical Technicians function as part of a comprehensive EMS response system, under medical oversight. Emergency Medical Technicians perform interventions with the basic equipment typically found on an ambulance. Emergency Medical Technicians are a critical link between the scene of an emergency and the health care system.”¬†[Source:¬†National EMS Scope of Practice Model]

What are the different EMS training levels?

  • Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) – the lowest level of responder, the EMR possesses simple skills to provide immediate life-saving care for critical patients. The EMR can render on-scene interventions while awaiting additional resources and may serve as part of a transport crew, but generally will not be the primary caregiver. State licensure as an EMR requires completion of a state-accredited training program.
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) – The EMT conducts basic, noninvasive interventions to reduce the morbidity and mortality of acute out-of-hospital emergencies. They have all the EMR’s capabilities, plus additional skills associated with patient transport. In many places EMTs provide the majority of out-of-hospital care, and in some places the highest level. State licensure as an EMT requires completion of a state-accredited program.
  • Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) – The AEMT has all the skills of the EMR and EMT, and can also conduct limited advanced and pharmacological interventions. This level allows provision of high-benefit, lower-risk advanced skills by systems that can’t support Paramedic-level care. In some jurisdictions, AEMTs may represent the highest level of out-of-hospital care. State licensure requires completion of a state-accredited program.
  • Paramedic – The Paramedic is an allied health professional who can conduct invasive and pharmacological interventions. Possessing all the skills of the lower-level providers, Paramedics can also conduct a broader range of interventions based on skills that are harder to maintain and pose greater risk to patients if done incorrectly. Paramedic care is based on advanced assessment and formulating a field impression. State licensure requires successful completion of an accredited Paramedic program at the certificate or associate’s degree level. [Source:]

What is the NREMT certification process?

Note: The following is from from July 10, 2020 and may have changed, please check on under the Important Links tab for most updated information.

Individuals applying for the Emergency Medical Technician national certification must meet the following requirements:

  1. Successful completion of a state-approved Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course that meets or exceeds the National Emergency Medical Services Education Standards for the Emergency Medical Technician.
    • Candidates must have completed the course within the past two years and the course Program Director must verify successful course completion on the National Registry website.
  2. Have a current CPR-BLS for “Healthcare Provider” or equivalent credential.
  3. Successful completion of the National Registry cognitive (knowledge) and a state approved psychomotor (skills) exams.
    • Passed portions of the cognitive and psychomotor exam remain valid for 24 months. For candidates with a course completion date prior to November 1, 2018, passed portions of each examination are valid for 12 months. Provided all other entry requirements are met.

Note 1: If the initial Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) educational program was completed more than two years ago, and the candidate is currently state licensed at the EMT level, the candidate must document successful completion of a state-approved EMT refresher course or 24 hours of equivalent continuing education topic hours within the past two years.

Note 2: If the candidate is not currently state licensed as an EMT and it has been more than two years from the completion of an approved EMT course, the candidate must complete a new state-approved EMT course prior to applying for National Certification.

What is the NREMT Cognitive Retest Policy?

Note: The following is from from July 14, 2020 and may have changed, please check on under the Important Links tab for most updated information.

After successful completion of an approved EMS education program, candidates are initially given three attempts to pass the cognitive examination (provided all other requirements for National EMS Certification are met). If a candidate is unsuccessful on an exam attempt, they may apply to retest 15 days after the last examination. After three unsuccessful examination attempts, EMT candidates must submit official documentation verifying the completion of a remedial training program.

Remedial Training Requirement: Remedial training is designed to provide candidates additional education and to improve their performance on subsequent examination attempts. After a remedial training program is complete, the candidate is given additional attempts to pass the examination (provided all other requirements for National EMS Certification are met). Candidates who fail to pass the cognitive exam after a total of six attempts attempts are required to complete an entire state approved education program. EMT’s require 24 hours.