California, the most populous state with more than 37 million people and one of the largest by land area in the US, is a good place to become an EMT. With earthquakes being a common occurrence due to several faults, along with tsunamis, wildfires, floods, and landslides, becoming an EMT in California will help in saving a lot of people’s lives. If you are interested in working in the EMS field with one of the highest employment level in the US, you must take your EMT training in California.
There are many populated cities in California like Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Long Beach. Due to its size, there are also several metropolitan areas which include, San Diego metropolitan area, San Francisco Bay Area, and Greater Los Angeles Area.
There are several emergency medical care personnel in California:
- EMT-I or EMT Basic
- EMT-II or EMT Intermediate
In addition to the above EMT levels, there are also Public Safety Personnel which includes fire figthers, peace officers, and lifeguards. Public Safety Personnel often give pre-hospital medical assistance and they are trained in first aid and CPR. Many fire fighters are also required to be EMT-I trained as well as all ambulance attendants.
Advanced EMTs are certified EMTs with additional training in limited advanced life support or a certified EMT-II who have advanced EMT scope of practice and the optional scope of practice. Basically Advanced EMT is the new name for EMT-II as of Jan. 14, 2011 in California.
About EMT Training in California
EMT training in California is offered through approved EMT training programs. The training consists of at least 120 hours with 110 hours in didactic or classroom and laboratory and the remaining 10 hours in psychomotor or clinical training which require the student to have at least 5 actual patient contacts.
Students are trained in Basic Life Support, emergency first aid, CPR, and automated external defibrillation or AED. They should at least recognize respiratory and cardiac arrest and apply proper CPR until the patient can be transported or until Advanced Life Support is available.
After completing the EMT training in California, you have two years to take the EMT certification exam.
EMT Training in California Requirements
You have to be at least 18 years old to become an EMT in California. Depending on the school, they will also require the following:
- High School Diploma or GED
- Proof of immunizations
- Proof of drug test and background check
- Proof of legal residency;
- CPR card
Be sure to check with the school directly their requirements.
EMT Training Schools in California
A list of approved EMT schools can be found on EMS Authority site or get it here, the list include approved EMT training programs that are open to the public, while others are available to fire services or law enforcement and some only to their currently enrolled students and faculty. Some schools offer EMT training from 2-3 every year while others have EMT training program offering for twice as many each year. The cost entirely depends on each individual program an can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. Check first with the school for more details and make sure that their training program is approved.
Some of the EMT training schools in California that offer EMT-I courses include:
- American Health Education
- California State University – Fresno
- California Institute of Emergency Medical Training
- EMS Training Institute, Inc.
- Fast Response
- National Institute for Healthcare Education
- NCTI – Livermore
- North Orange County R.O.P.
- WestMed Training
EMT Certification in California
Certification of EMT in California is done by Local EMS agencies which is valid in the whole state while Paramedic licensure is handled by the EMS Authority with the NREMTs written and skills exams are given for initial applicants. Contact your Local EMS agency in your county for additional requirements if there’s any.
To become a certified EMT, you must pass the approved written and skills examinations. The skills exam may be given by the approved training program while the written computer based exam must be taken at an authorized site. The state of California uses the NREMT exam for certifying EMT-I.
After you’ve passed both the exam, you can be certified by the Local EMS agency or a public safety agency in your county which will issue a EMT certification card which is valid for two years from the date it was issued. You must recertify every two years with 24 hours of approved refresher course or 24 hours of approved EMS continuing education and must be competent in ten skills.
You can also advance to a higher level of responsibility after completing your EMT training in California and working as an EMT for a whole year in California.