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EMT Frequently Asked Questions

Published on . Last modified on February 10, 2015

This is our frequently asked questions section.  Here you will find common questions that we’ve encountered over the years as well as general information on being a EMT.

EMT TRAINING COURSES

  1. Where can I find a list of approved EMS training programs for California?
  2. What is the curriculum; length of training; cost of training; and schedule of course?
  3. Are there paramedic training programs in Monterey County?

NATIONAL NREMT EXAM

  1. What if I have a question about the NREMT exam or registration process?
  2. What do I need to do after I pass the NREMT exam?
  3. Do I need to maintain my NREMT eligibility (card)?

EMT CERTIFICATION APPLICATION PROCESS

  1. Can I mail my EMT certification application, materials, and fees to the EMS Agency, or do I have to make an appointment to apply?
  2. I have a criminal history; can I become an EMT?
  3. What criminal convictions will prevent me for becoming an EMT?
  4. Initial EMT Certification – Requirements
  5. Renewal EMT Certification – Requirements
  6. Where is my California EMT accepted?
  7. How long will it take to get my EMT certification card?
  8. What kind of EMT certification card will I receive?
  9. How long is the EMT certification card valid?
  10. What if I move or change my name?
  11. What happens if I lose or damage my permanent EMT card?
  12. Why did the EMS Agency not process my application?
  13. Why did the EMS Agency deny my application?
  14. What if I fail to disclose a past incident or conviction on my EMT application (signed affidavit)?
  15. What if I have an EMT certificate from another state?
  16. Do I need an ambulance driver’s license to be EMT certified?
  17. Can the EMS Agency help me find a job as an EMT?

CONTINUING EDUCATION

  1. What are the differences between Continuing Education (CE) and an EMT Refresher Class?
  2. Where can I find Approved CE Providers for California?
  3. Where can I find approved on-line CE Providers accepted by California?
  4. Where can I find approved EMT Refresher classes?
  5. How long do I need to retain my CE Certificates?
  6. Can I use my AHA Healthcare Provider CPR Certification for CE credit?
  7. What portion of my CE requirement needs to be Instructor Based?
  8. I am in paramedic school…does that count?
  9. Why wouldn’t the EMS Agency accept my CE paperwork?
  10. Are there local training opportunities if I’m not affiliated (working) with an EMS Provider?

SKILLS COMPETENCY VERIFICATION

  1. When do I need to do verify my EMT skills?
  2. How do I document that I have completed my Skills Verification?
  3. Who can certify my EMT skills/competency?
  4. Can my field training officer certify my EMT skills?
  5. Can I have my supervisor, relative, or co-worker verify my skills?
  6. How long does it take to verify my EMT skills?

EXPIRED EMT CERTIFICAION

  1. What happens if my EMT certification expires?
  2. My certification is about to expire…can I apply for an extension?
  3. My EMT certificate has expired (less than six months).  What do I do now?
  4. My EMT certificate has been expired for more than six months but less than one year.  How can I renew my certification?
  5. My EMT certificate has been expired for more than a year but less than two years.  How can I renew my certification?
  6. My EMT certificate has been expired for more than two years.  Can I renew my certification?

DISCIPLINE

  1. What if I get into trouble?
  2. What happens if I have subsequent arrest and/or conviction after a negative Live Scan report?
  3. Who can take action against my EMT certificate?

EMT TRAINING COURSES

1. Where can I find a list of approved EMS training programs for California?

CECBEMS Approved Continuing Education Courses and EMS Training Programs.

Note: List includes Monterey Peninsula College, Hartnell College, Monterey Peninsula College (ROP), and neighboring counties.

2. What is the curriculum; length of training; cost of training; and schedule of course?

You need to contact the respective training providers for registration information.

3. Is there paramedic training program in Monterey County?

Yes; certified by another county.  See Monterey NCTI Paramedic Program.

NATIONAL NREMT EXAM

1. What if I have a question about the NREMT exam or registration process?

Direct your question to the NREMT at www.nremt.org or call (614-888-4484)

2. What do I need to do after I pass the NREMT exam?

An NREMT card certifies that you have passed the state certification exam and are eligible to become certified in California. The NREMT does not authorize you to perform EMT level services in California. You must complete the California certification process to obtain EMT certification in California. Reminder: In California your NREMT eligibility expires two (2) years after you pass the computer-based NREMT exam; not the expiration date on your NREMT card.

3. Do I need to maintain my NREMT eligibility (card)?

Whether you maintain (renew) your NREMT eligibility is up to you. There is no California requirement to maintain NREMT currency once you are California EMT certified. NREMT eligibility renewal requirement are located at www.nremt.org and are independent of the California EMT certification process.

EMT CERTIFICATION APPLICATION PROCESS

1. Can I mail my EMT certification application, materials, and fees to the EMS Agency, or do I have to make an appointment to apply?

We accept applications/materials/fees by mail or in person. Illegible photocopies or fax copies are not accepted. The EMS Agency is located at the Monterey County Health Department; 1270 Natividad Road, Salinas, CA 93906. The EMS Agency is staffed from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday; holidays excluded. It is best to call ahead to facilitate the delivery of your packet or if you have questions. The EMS Agency can be reached at (831) 755-5013 or (831) 755-4948.

2. I have a criminal history; can I become an EMT?

There are certain criminal convictions (see Item #3 below) for which EMT certification will NEVER be granted to applicants. There are other convictions which require applicants to wait up to ten (10) years before applying for an EMT certification. State statute requires applying for EMT certification within two (2) years of completing the EMT Training Course; so you should consider whether to take an EMT course with a criminal background – recognizing your certification may be delayed or denied.

3. What criminal convictions will prevent me for becoming an EMT?

Per California Code of Regulations (Section 100214.3 of Title 22) the medical director shall deny or revoke an EMT or Advanced EMT certificate if any of the following apply to the applicant:

(1) Has committed any sexually related offense specified under Section 290 of the Penal Code.

(2) Has been convicted of murder, attempted murder, or murder for hire.

(3) Has been convicted of two (2) or more felonies.

(4) Is on parole or probation for any felony.

(5) Has been convicted and released from incarceration for said offense during the preceding fifteen (15) years for the crime of manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter.

(6) Has been convicted and released from incarceration for said offense during the preceding ten (10) years for any offense punishable as a felony.

(7) Has been convicted of two (2) or more misdemeanors within the preceding five (5) years for any offense relating to the use, sale, possession, or transportation of narcotics or addictive or dangerous drugs.

(8) Has been convicted of two (2) or more misdemeanors within the preceding five (5) years for any offense relating to force, threat, violence, or intimidation.

(9) Has been convicted within the preceding five (5) years of any theft related misdemeanor.

4. Initial EMT Certification – Requirements

EMT Application: The application (EMT Application) must be complete; with original signature and date. This includes the Affidavit page of the application. If applicable, written explanation (statement) and verified court records of any affirmative response on the Affidavit page needs to accompany your application. The application is posted on the web page.

Copy of Proof of EMT Training: Completion certificate must be dated within two (2) years of application submission. You need to provide either a California Approved EMT Training Course certificate or documentation of successfully completing an out-of-state EMT-Basic Training Course that meets California’s requirements.

Fee ($75): Provide a cashier’s check or money order issued to the EMS AUTHORITY for $75. The application fee will be forwarded to EMS Authority for you. No personal checks, cash, or credit cards are accepted.

Copy of Proof of Identity and Age: A current driver’s license or ID card issued by the DMV or DOD Military ID card meets this requirement. You must be at least eighteen (18) years of age to certify as an EMT.

Copy of National Registry Certificate Card and Exam Certificate. Your NREMT eligibility period is two (2) years from passing the computer-based NREMT exam.

Copy of CPR Card: CPR card that is equivalent to the American Heart Association Healthcare Provider level. Online CPR training without a hands-on demonstration of skills is not accepted.

Background Investigations: All applicants must submit a FBI and California DOJ criminal background check request through the Live Scan Program.

The Monterey County EMS Agency must be listed as the Agency authorized (ORI AA880) to receive criminal history and subsequent information. Ensure you use Live Scan application (form) that is posted on Monterey County’s web page at Live Scan Application

Complete two Live Scan applications and submit them to the Live Scan service provider. The service provider will return one of the completed applications to the candidate.

Monterey County LiveScan Fingerprint Locations: See the DOJ web page at http://ag.ca.gov/fingerprints/publications/contact.php#monterey.

The FBI and DOJ LiveScan reports are sent directly to the EMS Agency; not to the applicant. The EMS Agency will notify the applicant of detrimental information from the Live Scan reports that may be a basis for discipline action (denial, suspension, probation, revocation). The applicant has the right to review the negative report and provide explanation; the applicant does not receive a copy of positive or negative Live Scan reports.  

Total cost for a Live Scan is about $75: Includes DOJ and FBI processing fee, and agency ‘rolling charge.’ The applicant assumes this expense

Live Scan reports are usually provided within seventy-two (72) hours of submission. If you have an arrest and/or conviction in your background– your report could take several weeks/months. The time depends on how long it takes the DOJ/FBI to process your fingerprints and records. If you have a positive conviction-history, we recommend submitting your Live Scan application as soon as possible and advising the EMS Agency of your intentions/actions.

Contact the EMS Agency for guidance if you are planning to submit a Live Scan application outside of California and requesting an exception.

The requirement to complete the Live Scan process needs to be completed only once with the Monterey County EMS Agency. Live Scan submissions for other agencies, does not satisfy the EMT certification requirement even if used for EMT certification with another County. Live Scan reports cannot be shared between agencies or unauthorized individuals.

5. Renewal EMT Certification – Requirements

EMT Application: The application (EMT Application) must be complete; with original signature and dated. This includes the Affidavit page of the application. If applicable, written explanation (statement) and verified court records of any affirmative response needs to accompany your application. The application is posted on the web page.

Fee ($37): Provide a cashier’s check or money order issued to the EMS AUTHORITY for $37. The applicant fee will be forwarded to the EMS Authority for you. No personal checks, cash, or credit cards are accepted. There is an additional $38 EMS Authority fee to process your Live Scan report if you are renewing your certification and transferring certifying entity.  If you are transferring certification from another county your fee is $75 not $37.

Copy of CPR Card: CPR card that is equivalent to the American Heart Association Healthcare Provider level. Online CPR training without a hands-on demonstration of skills is not accepted.

Copy of EMT Certification Card: A copy of your permanent state EMT card.

Background Investigations: A new Live Scan background investigation for certification renewal is only required when you allow your EMT certification to lapse more than one (1) year or if you are transferring you certification from one certifying entity (i.e., San Cruz) to a new certifying entity (i.e., Monterey).

Continuing Education (24 Hours): A copy of a twenty-four (24) hour Refresher Course certificate or copies of Continuing Education (CE) certifications (See CE Information more additional information).

Skills Verification: A copy of your completed Skills Verification form.

6. Where is my California EMT accepted?

A California EMT certification card is valid statewide regardless of the local certifying entity.  You are not allowed to apply for a California EMT certification at more than one agency.

7. How long will it take to get my EMT certification card?

Once all of your certification requirements have been met, the Monterey County EMS Agency will issue (provide via email) a forty-five (45) day temporary card to you. The temporary card allows you to perform EMT level services in California as of the effective date on the card. Normally, this certification process takes less than ten (10) business days if all requirements have been met. We do not issue cards the same day an application is submitted.  Your permanent EMT certification card will be issued (mailed) to you by the California EMS Authority within 3-4 weeks of completing your certification requirements and being entered into the California EMT Central Registry.  

8. What kind of EMT certification card will I receive?

Your forty-five (45) day temporary EMT certification card is paper with an embossed seal and EMS Medical Director’s signature. The permanent EMT statewide card is gray, plastic, and laminated (size of a credit card). Printed on your card is your name, Central Registry six-digit identification number (EXXXXXX), effective and expiration dates, and your status (active, probation, etc.). You need to sign the permanent card when received. If you are asked to produce your card while working, you need to have your card immediately available.

9. How long is the EMT certification card valid?

The card expiration is no longer than two (2) years. Initial expiration is dependent upon the date when you passed the NREMT exam. If you are using your paramedic license for your EMT certification; your expiration will be linked to your paramedic license expiration date.

10. What if I move or change my name?

You are required to notify the EMS Agency of any address or name change within thirty (30) days of such action. Name changes also require copies of court documentation, marriage certificate, etc.

11. What happens if I lose or damage my permanent EMT card?

Immediately notify the EMS Agency. The Agency will contact/request the EMS Authority send you a replacement card at no charge, and document your lost card.

12. Why did the EMS Agency not process my application?

In most cases an application was not processed because it was incomplete; not signed; illegibility; etc. In these cases, the EMS Agency will contact you to explain and/or request additional information/material. However, if you fail to respond to the EMS Agency’s request within thirty (30) business days, your application will be considered abandoned (destroyed) and your fee (if provided) will be returned (mailed) to you. 

13. Why did the EMS Agency deny my application?

If your application is denied upon submission of all materials, you will be sent a letter with an explanation. The denial of an EMT certification is an extensive process than normally involves either fraud or incidents revealed in the LiveScan background investigation.

14. What if I fail to disclose a past incident or conviction on my EMT application (signed affidavit)?

Failure to disclose your involvement in a current investigation or criminal charges; or any conviction for a misdemeanor or felony offense in California or in any other state or place, including entering a plea of nolo contendere or no contest, including any conviction which has been expunged (set aside) under Penal Code 1203.4 is considered FRAUD in the procurement of a certificate. This may result in disciplinary action and denial of your certificate. Any incident or conviction in your past must be disclosed each time you apply for certification. It is your responsibility to provide the verified court records/documents and detailed statement (explanation). In addition, you must disclose if you had a certification, accreditation, or professional healing arts license denied, suspended, revoked, or placed on probation; or if you are currently under formal investigation or disciplinary action.  Again, it is your responsible to provide necessary documentation and a written explanation of facts that describes action and/or remediation.

15. What if I have an EMT certificate from another state?

Regardless if you are or not EMT certified in another state, you need to be currently registered by the NREMT and complete the process for initial California EMT certification.

16. Do I need an ambulance driver’s license to be EMT certified?

No, the ambulance driver’s license is a separate process.

17. Can the EMS Agency help me find a job as an EMT?

The EMS Agency does not provide hiring assistance, referrals, or recommendations.

CONTINUING EDUCATION

1. What are the differences between Continuing Education (CE) and an EMT Refresher Class?

EMS Continuation Education (CE) courses are typically one (1) or two (2) hour courses on a variety of topics. Multiple courses are taken to satisfy the EMT recertification (renewal) requirement. Conferences, workshops, training days, and exercises may offer EMS CE credits. The twenty-four (24) hour EMT Refresher is a multi-day class by one of our EMT Training Programs. Approved refresher courses meet the training hour requirement and complete the Skills Verification exam.

2. Where can I find Approved CE Providers for California?

See California Approved Continuing Education Providers for all California EMS CE 2 Providers.

3. Where can I find approved on-line CE Providers accepted by California?

See CECBEMS link at Approved CECBEMS Providers.

4. Where can I find approved EMT Refresher classes?

EMT Refresher classes are annually offered by approved EMT Training Programs located at California EMT Refresher Courses

5. How long do I need to retain my CE Certificates?

California EMT regulations require applicants to retain their EMS CE Certificates for four (4) years.

6. Can I use my AHA Healthcare Provider CPR Certification for CE credit?

A CPR card is not a CE certificate.  You may receive a CPR card as part of an approved EMS CE course.  The number of CE hours for the course is determined by the EMS CE provider; a CE certificate for your CPR training is needed if you plan to use towards your renewal.

7. What portion of my CE requirement needs to be Instructor Based?

At least half of the twenty-four (24) hours of Continuing Education must be in an ‘instructor based’ format and cover topics in the US 2DOT Education Standards.

8. I am in paramedic school…does that count?

If you are a student in a paramedic program, or have been in the past two (2) years, the school may issue you a letter for CE credit. The letter needs to reflect your status as a paramedic student, completed curriculum, date of training, etc.

9. Why wouldn’t the EMS Agency accept my CE paperwork?

Your EMS CE certificate was older than two (2) years.

Your EMS CE certificate was missing or incomplete (i.e., attendee name, certification number, course name, CE hours awarded, location, date, etc.); or appears to be altered.

Your EMS CE certificate was issued by a non-approved CE Provider.

Your CE certificate did not cover topics in the US DOT Education Standards.

10. Are there local training opportunities if I’m not affiliated (working) with an EMS Provider?

EMS training opportunities are annually offered by local public safety agencies, at no cost, to the attendees. The schedule for theses training opportunities are located at EMS Training Calendar.  Contact the training event’s coordinator for more information and registration.

SKILLS COMPETENCY VERIFICATION

1. When do I need to do verify my EMT skills?

Done at the end of your EMT training course (initial certification)

Part of your twenty-four (24) hour EMT Refresher Class (renewal)

When you renew your EMT certification (every two years) and elect not to complete an EMT Refresher Class.

2. How do I document that I have completed my Skills Verification?

Complete the State of California EMT Skills Competency Form (EMSA – SVC 8/10). The Skills Form at Skills Verification Form  is only valid for two (s) years from the date of verification.  

3. Who can certify my EMT skills/competency?

Qualified individuals that are licensed or certified as an EMT; AEMT; Paramedic; Registered Nurse; Physician’s Assistant; or Physician in California AND designated by an approved EMS Provider to verify EMT skills.

Designated individual(s) of an approved EMT or Paramedic Training Program.

Designated individual(s) of an approved EMS CE Provider.

4. Can my field training officer certify my EMT skills?

Although your training officer is a licensed paramedic, he/she must also be designated for skills verification by an approved EMS Provider. 

5. Can I have my supervisor, relative, or co-worker verify my skills?

Section 1.C of Skills Competency Verification Form requires your signature and verifies the information you provided is accurate, and you demonstrated your skills to a qualified individual.  It is your responsibility to confirm the individual(s) verifying your skills meets the criteria for certifying your EMT skills (i.e., qualified AND designated).  Section 1.D of the Form reflects the approved EMS Provider (Certifying Authority) that designates the individual(s) verifying your skills. 

6. How long does it take to verify my EMT skills?

The length of the skills verification is dependent upon EMT’s professional experience and expertise; and forum of testing and/or observation.  Skills competency is verified by direct observation of an actual or simulated patient contact by a qualified and designated individual. On line skills verification is not accepted.

EXPIRED EMT CERTIFICATION

1. What happens if my EMT certification expires?

You may not work, perform, or represent yourself as an EMT after your certification expires. There are no extensions, waivers, or exceptions. You should submit your renewal application, fee, and materials to the EMS Agency at least thirty (30) days prior to certification expiration.  It is your professional responsibility to maintain your certification.   

2. My certification is about to expire…can I apply for an extension?

There are no extensions, waivers, or exceptions.

3. My EMT certificate has expired (less than six months).  What do I do now?

Complete twenty-four (24) hours of EMS Continuous Education (CE). No CE can be older than two (2) years. A twenty-four (24) hour EMT Refresher Class can also satisfy the CE requirement.

Complete the Skills Verification (competency) exam.

Submit application, fee ($37), and CPR card.

4. My EMT certificate has been expired for more than six months but less than one year.  How can I renew my certification?

Complete thirty-six (36) hours of EMS Continuous Education (CE). No CE can be older than two (2) years. A twenty-four (24) hour EMT Refresher Class can also satisfy 24 hours of the CE requirement.

Complete the Skills Verification (competency) exam.

Submit application, fee ($37), and CPR card.

5. My EMT certificate has been expired for more than a year but less than two years.  How can I renew my certification?

Pass the computer-based NREMT assessment exam.  Contact https://www.nremt.org for registering and scheduling the NREMT exam.

Complete forty-eight (48) hours of EMS Continuous Education (CE). No CE can be older than two (2) years. A twenty-four (24) hour EMT Refresher Class can satisfy half of the total CE requirements and may help in passing the NREMT assessment exam.

Complete the Skills Verification (competency) exam.

Complete (resubmit) an FBI and DOJ Live Scan Background Investigation.

Submit an application, fee ($75), and CPR card.

6. My EMT certificate has been expired for more than two years.  Can I renew my certification?

For EMT certifications than lapse more than two (2) years – you need to retake the entire EMT training process and complete initial EMT certification requirements.

DISCIPLINE

1. What if I get into trouble?

The EMS Agency and the EMS Authority receives a DOJ subsequent arrest notification within forty-eight (48) hours of any arrest in California. Depending upon the seriousness of the arrest, the EMS Agency may take disciplinary action against your EMT certificate. The action may include suspension and/or revocation.  It is best to advise the EMS Agency and your EMS Employer (if EMT employed) if you are arrested before the Agency receives the Live Scan subsequent arrest notification.  

2. What happens if I have subsequent arrest and/or conviction after a negative Live Scan report?

In addition to certification and recertification (renewal) actions, an EMT certificate may be suspended or revoked on subsequent criminal activity. If your initial Live Scan report is negative, and you are subsequently arrested, the EMS Agency and the EMS Authority will be notified by the California Department of Justice (DOJ). Currently, there are no FBI subsequent arrest reports. Depending on the incident, you may be requested to provide the EMS Agency with information on the arrest.

3. Who can take action against my EMT certificate?

The EMT certifying entity (EMS Medical Director) has statutory responsibility to take action against an EMT certificate holder when that person conducts themselves in an unprofessional manner or is a threat to public safety. Formal actions against an EMT certification, or denying an application for certification, must be in accordance with the California Health and Safety Code, the Administrative Procedures Act, and the relevant portions of the California Code of Regulations. All formal actions are subject to due process (i.e., notice, hearing, etc.) The Model Disciplinary Orders are used to determine the appropriate discipline based upon the conduct/incident.