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EMS Training Programs Summary

This document lists the requirements for enrollment in each of the training programs currently offered by the Virginia Office of EMS.  These are divided into three categories:


 

The Basic, Intermediate and Paramedic programs provide for a gradual increase in the complex depth and comprehensive breadth of EMS knowledge for the student.  An individual may begin at either the Emergency Medical Responder/First Responder or Emergency Medical Technician  level.  Each higher-level program reinforces  basic skills and adds specific additional lifesaving techniques.

The EMS Instructor programs are designed to educate  individuals who wish to become responsible for training activities.

Since the inception of the first Emergency Medical Technician course in 1971, each of these programs have been developed and are constantly evaluated to keep up with the rapid evolving field of prehospital care.  The programs listed below are  based upon the Virginia EMS Education Standards (VEMSES) which are a derived from the National EMS Education Standards (NEMSES).

BASIC LIFE SUPPORT PROGRAMS

The following Basic Level EMS Programs are offered in Virginia:

ADVANCED LIFE SUPPORT PROGRAMS

The following Advanced Level EMS courses are offered in Virginia:

EMS EDUCATION COORDINATOR PROGRAM

The following EMS Education Coordinator Program is offered in Virginia:


BASIC LIFE SUPPORT PROGRAMS


Prerequisites for Basic Level Programs

Eligibility to attend an Emergency Medical Responder/First Responder, Emergency Medical Responder/First Responder Bridge, or an Emergency Medical Technician course in Virginia requires that you must:

(1) Be proficient in reading, writing and speaking the English language.

(2) Be a minimum of 16 years of age at the beginning date of the certification course.  If less than 18 years of age, you must provide the course coordinator with a completed parental permission form with the signature of a parent or guardian verifying approval for enrollment in the course.

(3) Have no physical or mental impairment that would render them unable to perform all cognitive and psychomotor skills required for that level of certification.

(4) Hold current certification in an Office of Emergency Medical Services approved Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) course at the beginning date of the course.  This certification must also be current at the time of state testing.

(5) Not have been convicted of or found guilty of any crime, offense or regulatory violation, or participated in any other prohibited conduct identified in state EMS regulations as follows:

(A) Have never been convicted or found guilty of any crime involving sexual misconduct where lack of affirmative consent by the victim is an element of the crime.

(B) Have never been convicted of a felony involving the sexual or physical abuse of children, the elderly or the infirm.

(C) Have never been convicted or found guilty of any crime (including abuse, neglect, theft from, or financial exploration) of a person entrusted to their care or protection in which the victim is a patient or is a resident of a health care facility.

(D) Have never been convicted or found guilty of any crime involving the use, possession, or distribution of illegal drugs except that the person is eligible for affiliation or enrollment five years after the date of final release if no additional crimes of this type have been committed during that time.

(E) Have never been convicted or found guilty of any other act that is a felony except that the felon is eligible for affiliation or enrollment five years after the date of final release if no additional felonies have been committed during that time.

(F) Are not currently under any disciplinary or enforcement action from another state EMS office or other recognized state or national healthcare provider licensing or certifying body.  Personnel subject to these disciplinary or enforcement actions may be eligible for certification provided there have been no further disciplinary or enforcement actions for five years prior to application for certification in Virginia.

(G) Have never been subject to a permanent revocation of license or certification by another state EMS office or recognized state or national healthcare provider licensing or certifying body.

(6) All references to criminal acts or convictions under this section refer to substantially similar laws or regulations of any other state or the United States.  Convictions include prior adult convictions, juvenile convictions, and adjudications of delinquency based on an offense that would have been, at the time of conviction, a felony conviction if committed by an adult within or outside Virginia.

(7) Be clean and neat in appearance.

(8) May not be under the influence of any drugs or intoxicating substances that impairs your ability to provide patient care or operate a motor vehicle while in class or performing clinicals, while on duty or when responding or assisting in the care of a patient.

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Emergency Medical Responder/First Responder (4 year certification)

The Emergency Medical Responder/First Responder (EMR/FR) program is a minimum of 63-hours developed to provide training in the provision of emergency care for those who are likely to be the first medical personnel responding to the scene of an accident, fire, or medical emergency.  The emphasis of the course prepares the responder to address immediate life threats and injuries until more highly trained personnel are available. 

This training is appropriate for professionals such as firefighters, law enforcement officers, school bus drivers, postal employees, and large segments of industry such as miners or factory workers and as an introduction to prehospital medicine.

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Emergency Medical Technician (4 year certification)

The Emergency Medical Technician  (EMT) certification program is designed to train an individual to function independently in a medical emergency.  This course provides the basic knowledge and skills needed to deliver Basic Life Support (BLS) care and is required to progress to more advanced levels of prehospital patient care.

The course requires a minimum of 144 hours of classroom and skills instruction and 10 hours of Clinical/Field rotations for a total of 154 hours of training.  Virginia certification requires successful completion of a standardized cognitive and psychomotor skills examination.  This course is designed to train individuals to serve as a vital link in the chain of the health care team.  This includes all skills necessary to provide emergency medical care as an attendant-in-charge with a basic life support ambulance service or other specialized rescue service.

Upon successfully completion of the training program, the student will be capable of performing the following functions:

(1) Recognize the nature and seriousness of the patient’s condition or extent of injury to assess requirements for emergency care.

(2) Administer appropriate emergency care to stabilize the patient’s condition.

(3) Lift, move, position and otherwise handle the patient in a way as to minimize discomfort and further injury.

The EMT training program is based upon the Virginia EMS Education Standards derived the USDOT National EMS Education Standards.

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ADVANCED LIFE SUPPORT PROGRAMS


EMT-Enhanced (3 year certification)

The Emergency Medical Technician-Enhanced Virginia Standard Curriculum represents the minimum required information to be presented within a course that leads to a Virginia EMT-Enhanced certification eligibility. All skills and subjects contained in the curriculum for EMT-Enhanced are covered in a minimum of 102 hours of instruction plus a minimum of 48 hours devoted to clinical rotations in the Emergency Department and in the field.

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Intermediate (3 year certification)

The Intermediate program is designed to certify technicians to a mid-level of pre-hospital advanced life support care in Virginia.  This program fulfills all the requirements of the Virginia EMS Education Standards at the Intermediate level.

All skills and subjects contained in the curriculum for Intermediate are covered for a minimum of 272 hours of instruction with a minimum of 68 hours devoted to extensive clinical rotations in specialty units.  In addition to the above, the candidate must complete a minimum of 10 patient contact calls in which they act as the Field Team Leader (FTL) on an ALS ambulance.  Clinical rotations of this type are not usually available for lower level providers.  These additional clinical rotations include time spent in OR/Recovery Units, Critical Care Units, Labor & Delivery Units, Pediatrics, Emergency Department, Family Practice, Mental Health Clinics, Dialysis Clinics, Neurovascular Rehabilitation Clinics, Detoxification Units, and Extended Care Facilities.

The Intermediate program is designed to educate the technician in the following areas of pre-hospital care:  preparatory skills, airway management and ventilation, patient assessment, trauma, medical, special considerations and assessment based management.

In Virginia, all initial Intermediate programs are required to satisfy the testing guidelines established by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.  Upon successful course completion and National Registry EMT – Intermediate 99 certification, For Virginia trained Intermediates, successful certification at the NREMT – Intermediate 99 level will automatically lead to a Virginia Intermediate certification.  NREMT-99 certified technicians trained outside of Virginia  must apply for Virginia certification before being allowed to practice at this level.  After receiving Virginia credentials, the Intermediate has the option to maintain National Registry Intermediate certification without affecting their Virginia certification; however, Virginia certification must be maintained in order to provide patient care at this level.

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Paramedic (3 year certification)

The Paramedic program is designed to certify the technician to the highest level of pre-hospital advanced life support care available in Virginia.  This program fulfills all the requirements of the Virginia EMS Education Standards at the paramedic level.

The Paramedic program expands on the skills and subjects contained in the Enhanced and Intermediate courses with a minimum of 781 hours of instruction.  Of these hours, a minimum of 136 hours is devoted to extensive clinical rotations in specialty critical care units.  Additional hours may be required to complete all the required competencies.  Clinical rotations of this type are not usually available for lower level providers to attend.  These additional clinical rotations include time spent in OR/Recovery Units, Critical Care Units, Labor & Delivery Units, Pediatrics, Emergency Department, Family Practice, Mental Health Clinics, Dialysis Clinics, Neurovascular Rehabilitation Clinics, Detoxification Units, and Extended Care Facilities.

The Paramedic program is designed to educate the technician in all areas of pre-hospital patient care.  These areas include instruction in: pre-hospital environments, preparatory skills, airway management and ventilation, patient assessment, trauma care, medical patient management, obstetrical/gynecological conditions, pediatric patients, neonatal care, psychiatric and behavioral emergencies, special considerations, and assessment based management.

For Virginia trained Paramedics, successful certification at the NREMT – Paramedic (NREMT_P) level will automatically lead to a Virginia Paramedic certification.  National Registry NRP certified technicians trained outside of Virginia must apply for Virginia certification before being allowed to practice at this level.  After receiving Virginia credentials, the Paramedic has the option to maintain National Registry Paramedic certification without affecting their Virginia certification; however, Virginia certification must be maintained in order to provide patient care at this level.

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Registered Nurse to Paramedic Bridge Program (3 year certification) 

The Registered Nurse to Paramedic Bridge Program is designed to certify the Virginia Licensed Registered Nurse to the highest level of pre-hospital advanced life support care available in Virginia.  This program fulfills all the requirements of the Virginia EMS Education Standards at the paramedic level.

The Registered Nurse to Paramedic Bridge Program reviews the skills and subjects contained in the Virginia EMS Education Standards at the paramedic level with a minimum of 120 hours of didactic instruction and an additional 136 hours minimum devoted to extensive clinical rotations acquiring specific competencies.  Additional hours may be required to complete all the required competencies.  Clinical rotations of this type are not usually available for lower level providers to attend.  These additional clinical rotations include time spent in OR/Recovery Units, Critical Care Units, Labor & Delivery Units, Pediatrics, Emergency Department, Family Practice, Mental Health Clinics, Dialysis Clinics, Neurovascular Rehabilitation Clinics, Detoxification Units, and Extended Care Facilities.

The Registered Nurse to Paramedic Bridge Program is designed to educate the technician in all areas of pre-hospital patient care.  These areas include instruction in: pre-hospital environments, preparatory skills, airway management and ventilation, patient assessment, trauma care, medical patient management, obstetrical/gynecological conditions, pediatric patients, neonatal care, psychiatric and behavioral emergencies, special considerations, and assessment based management.

Virginia RN to Paramedics candidates are required to successfully obtain certification at the NREMT – Paramedic (NRP) level which will automatically lead to a Virginia Paramedic certification.  After receiving Virginia credentials, the Paramedic has the option to maintain National Registry Paramedic certification without affecting their Virginia certification.  However, Virginia certification must be maintained in order to provide patient care at this level.

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Prerequisites for Advanced Level Programs

To be eligible to attend an Advanced Level EMS course in Virginia you must: 

(1) Be proficient in reading, writing and speaking the English language.

(2) Be a minimum of 18 years of age at the beginning date of the certification course.

(3) Hold a current certification as an EMT or higher.

(4) Hold, at a minimum, a High School or General Equivalency Diploma.

(5) Have no physical or mental impairment that would render them unable to perform all practical skills required for that level of certification

(6) Not have been convicted of or found guilty of any crime, offense or regulatory violation, or participated in any other prohibited conduct identified in state EMS regulations as follows:

    (A) Have never been convicted or found guilty of any crime involving sexual misconduct where lack of affirmative consent by the victim is an element of the crime.

    (B) Have never been convicted of a felony involving the sexual or physical abuse of children, the elderly or the infirm.

    (C) Have never been convicted or found guilty of any crime (including abuse, neglect, theft from, or financial exploration) of a person entrusted to their care or protection in which the victim is a patient or is a resident of a health care facility.

    (D) Have never been convicted or found guilty of any crime involving the use, possession, or distribution of illegal drugs except that the person is eligible for affiliation or enrollment five years after the date of final release if no additional crimes of this type have been committed during that time.

    (E) Have never been convicted or found guilty of any other act that is a felony except that the felon is eligible for affiliation or enrollment five years after the date of final release if no additional felonies have been committed during that time

    (F) Are not currently under any disciplinary or enforcement action from another state EMS office or other recognized state or national healthcare provider licensing or certifying body.  Personnel subject to these disciplinary or enforcement actions may be eligible for certification provided there have been no further disciplinary or enforcement actions for five years prior to application for certification in Virginia

    (G) Have never been subject to a permanent revocation of license or certification by another state EMS office or recognized state or national healthcare provider licensing or certifying body.

(7) All references to criminal acts or convictions under this section refer to substantially similar laws or regulations of any other state or the United States.  Convictions include prior adult convictions, juvenile convictions, and adjudications of delinquency based on an offense that would have been, at the time of conviction, a felony conviction if committed by an adult within or outside Virginia.

(8) Be clean and neat in appearance.

(9) May not be under the influence of any drugs or intoxicating substances that impairs your ability to provide patient care or operate a motor vehicle while in class or clinicals, while on duty or when responding or assisting in the care of a patient.

(10) If in an ALS Bridge certification Program, must have completed the eligibility requirements for certification at the lower ALS level prior to the beginning date of the ALS Bridge Certification program. 

(11) If in an ALS Bridge certification Program, must have become certified at the lower level prior to certification testing for the higher level of ALS certification.

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EMS EDUCATION COORDINATOR PROGRAM

Virginia EMS Providers interested in becoming an EMS Education Coordinator must meet the following requirements in accordance with 12 VAC 5-31-1549. The provider must:

  1. Make application online through the EMS Portal. Click here to see how to access the EMS Education Coordinator online application.

The pre-requisites are:

12VAVC-5-31-1549. EMS education coordinator prerequisites.

Prerequisites for certification as an EMS education coordinator are:

  1. Be a minimum of 21 years of age.
  2. Possess a high school diploma or equivalent.
  3. Hold current Virginia EMS certifications as an EMT or higher level Virginia EMS certification.
  4. Have three years medical experience with a minimum of two years verified field experience as an EMS provider at the appropriate  EMS level or two years of current Virginia licensure as  a registered nurse,  physician assistant, doctor of osteopathic medicine, or doctor of medicine.
  5. Must not have any EMS compliance enforcement actions within the previous five years

12VAC5-31-1551. EMS education coordinator certification process.

    1. Eligible EMS education coordinator candidates will submit an application to include endorsement from an EMS physician.
    2. Upon receipt and verification of the application, the eligible EMS education coordinator candidate will receive an eligibility to test letter and must complete a written and practical examination.
      1. The EMS education coordinator application is valid for a period of two years from either primary test attempt date or 180 days after the application is approved, whichever is less. During this period of time, the candidate cannot submit another EMS education coordinator application.
      2. An EMS education coordinator candidate written testing process shall have a primary and secondary attempt.
        1. Primary written testing attempt is the first attempt at the EMS education coordinator written testing process.
        2. Primary retest requires the candidate to retest the written test within 90 days of the date the primary test was attempted.
        3. Secondary written testing occurs when a candidate fails the primary attempt and either fails the primary retest or does not retest within 90 days of the primary written attempt.
        4. Secondary written test eligibility is initiated 90 days from the date of the failed primary retest or 180 days after the date of the failed primary test, whichever is less.
        5. Secondary written retest requires the candidate to retest the written test within 90 days of the date the secondary test was attempted.
      3. An EMS education coordinator candidate practical testing process shall have a primary and secondary attempt which cannot begin before the written primary test.
        1. Primary practical testing attempt is the first attempt at the EMS education coordinator practical testing process.
        2. Primary retest requires the candidate to retest that portion of the practical test failed. Same day retesting is allowed only if the candidate fails less than 75% of the practical test.
        3. Secondary practical testing is initiated after practical primary retest failure and requires the candidate test all practical stations.
        4. Secondary retest requires the candidate to retest that portion of the practical test failed. Same day retesting is allowed only if the candidate fails less than 75% of the secondary attempt on the practical testing.
    3. After successfully completing the written and practical examination, the qualified eligible EMS education coordinator candidate shall attend training as required by OEMS.
    4. All components of the EMS education coordinator certification process must be completed within two years from the end of the month of the primary test attempt or 180 days after approved and eligibility for testing is initiated, whichever is less.

If you meet the prerequisites, the next step would be to secure your Eligiblity Letter from the EMS Portal and register with your local Regional EMS Council to take the EMS Education Coordinator Pre-Test. Candidates can register online to take the EMS Education Coordinator Pre-Test by clicking here.

All qualified and endorsed EMS Education Coordinator Candidates who have passed the written Pre-Test are invited to a practical exam. Qualified, endorsed EMS Education Coordinator Candidates are invited to the next Instructor Institute based on the location and number of slots available. Traditionally we hold three Institutes a year, one in the winter, summer and fall. The Institute is 5 days, Saturday through Wednesday.
Providers who have current VDFP Instructor I or higher or a Masters Degree in Education may be exempt from some portions of the Institute. If you have these qualifications, please contact the Office of EMS for more information - 804-888-9120.

How long the process can take depends on where we are in our annual process as you begin your journey. You can see the deadlines to pass the written exam and dates/locations of the Institutes on our website:

http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/OEMS/Training/BLS_InstructorSchedule.htm.

The Office holds the winter Institute in metro Richmond, the summer Institute in conjunction with the VAVRS Rescue College at VA Tech and the fall Institute in metro Richmond. Practical exams are generally held in the same region as the upcoming Institute.

The only cost associated with the process is travel, food and lodging for the practical and time spent at the Institute. The amount varies depending on where we hold the Institute.

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Last Updated: 08-29-2014

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