EMT Training in California

For those of you looking into becoming an EMT in California, the first website you need to visit is the California Emergency Medical Services Authority. There you will find the most thorough list of documents and resources with information on obtaining your California EMT certification and licensure instructions.EMT training

The CEMSA is a California state government department charged with regulating the medical training for EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, paramedics, firefighters, peace officers and lifeguards. It also operates the California Paramedic licensure program, which works with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) to administer written and field tests for all applicants wishing to become a licensed paramedic in California.

Steps to Become an EMT in California

My first recommendation for all prospective California EMS personnel is to read the excellent California EMS Program Eligibility document under “Certification and Testing” from the EMS Personnel/EMT section of the CEMTA website.

It includes a detailed explanation of all EMT levels, which California defines as EMT-I (level one or Basic), EMT-II (level two or Intermediate) and EMT Paramedic. Also included on page 4 is a very detailed table with minimum eligibility requirements for all three levels, including student eligibility, minimum training requirements, minimum scope of practice, notable optional skills, written skills and exams, length of certification and licensure, continuing education, and certification and license provisions. Lastly, the document includes a multi-county local EMS Agency directory with complete contact information. Simply locate your county EMS agency and contact them for more specifics on employment opportunities.

Top California EMT Schools and Training Facilities

Here is a list of the top EMS schools in California, including community colleges and private EMS training organizations.

City College of San Francisco EMT Program

The EMT training program at City college of San Francisco is part of the Health Care Technology Department, within the school of Health and Physical Education. Programs available within health care technology include certification, licensure, and associates degrees. The HCT department is truly diverse and provides specialized training coursework for both in-hospital, as well as pre-hospital professions, which the EMT training program obviously falls under. Individual programs are accredited by both local and national accrediting agencies and specifics are provided with each program.

Peggy Guichard, Department Chair
Health Care Technology Department
1860 Hayes Street, Room 100A
San Francisco, CA 94117
Telephone: (415) 561-1967
Fax: (415) 561-1999
Email: mguichar@ccsf.edu
San Francisco City College EMT Program

Unitek Education

Unitek claims to be one of only two programs in the entire country offering EMT certification in only 2 weeks of intense training. The program includes a local ride-along, so you can see for yourself if being an EMT is the a good career choice for you. Unitek Education also offers additional testing assistance for those that don’t keep up with the intensive training sessions and just want a little extra help getting through.

Unitek also claims to offer the instructional advantage of having only one advanced instructor for all training sessions, which contrasts with other programs that use several instructors. Multiple instructors may confuse students due to the differing teaching styles of each instructor. As a result, Unitek boasts a much higher first time NREMT pass rate than the national average. Unitek has two California locations, one in Fremont and one in Sacramento.

Unitek EducationBlue EMT Badge
4670 Auto Mall Parkway
Fremont, CA 94538
phone: 510 – 249 – 9125
toll free: 1-888-825-6273
Unitek Education EMT Program

American River College EMT Program

The EMT Basic program at American River College (PMED 100) outlines the EMS system, provides assessment training, and training specific to pathophysiology of common neurological, respiratory, and cardiac related emergencies. It is a one-semester basic training course for EMTs who intend to become ambulance attendants, covering an assortment of medical skills, including all emergency medical care required for a well trained EMT. The American River College EMT program also places high emphasis on EMT student skills in recognition of illnesses, injuries and proper procedures of emergency care.

After completion of the ARC EMT Basic course, students are eligible to take the County of Sacramento Division of Public Health Emergency Medical Services certification exam.

Dean: Steven Boyd
Program Director: Grant Goold
Phone: (916) 484-8902
Counseling: (916) 484-8572
American River College EMT Program

California EMS Academy

the California EMS Academy is a stand alone training institution specializing in emergency medical technician training. The EMT course includes patient assessment, basic airway management, use of the Automatic External Defibrillator trauma patient stabilization. After completion of 150 hours, a certificate of completion is awarded to the student.

California EMS Academy also provides an accelerated six week course that takes place Tuesday through Friday every week with 4 hours of lecture or skills.

California EMS Academy
2700 Middlefield Rd.
Redwood City, CA 94063
Phone: 650-701-0739
Fax: 650-701-1968
California EMS Academy EMT-B Program

National College of Technical Instruction

The National College of Technical Instruction, like the CA EMS Academy is a private college dedicated to EMS training and was founded in 1988 in Sacramento California. NCTI has grown into a nationwide training institute and claims to be the nations largest private college of EMS, specializing in EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, EMT-Paramedic, Emergency 911 Dispatcher, and EMS continuing education. Although most of the NCTI training locations are on the west coast (Eight facilities in CA alone), and no matter where you are in CA, there should be an NCTI training facility accessible to you. NCTI also has numerous facilities throughout the country and the north east.

The EMT Basic course fulfills all the training requirements mandated by the State of California in Title 22 of the Health and Safety Code for Emergency Medical Technicians. As stated by the NCTI site

The EMT course is a hands-on, interactive experience. Upon successful completion of this course students will be eligible to take the National Registry exam. This can lead to employment in a wide range of job opportunities to include: Ambulance EMT, Firefighter EMT, Emergency Room Technician, Private Industry EMT, Special Events Standby EMT (sporting events, concerts, state and county fairs, etc.) and others.

National College of Technical Instruction
333 Sunrise Avenue, Suite 500
Roseville, California 95661
(916) 960-6284
(888)609-6284 (toll free)
NCTI Website

California Institute of Emergency Medical Training

CIEMT is another private institution dedicated to EMS training, and is available to those in Long Beach area of southern CA. CIEMT provides an accelerated EMT Basic training that lasts only 21 days consisting of evening classes held from 4:00PM to 10:00PM every weekday. It is offers students the skills and knowledge to work at the EMT Basic level. The course prepares students in all areas of traditional EMT-B training and to pass the National Registry Exam. The program is intended for those who want to gain employment as a firefighter, EMT in a hospital, and Ambulance driver or attendant.

California Institute of Emergency Medical Training
2669 Myrtle Ave #201 – 203
Signal Hill (Long Beach), CA 90755
Phone (562) 989-1520
CIEMT EMT-Basic Program

Links and Resources

Accredited EMT and Paramedic Programs (Scroll down to CA)
California EMS Authority

Feedback and Suggestions

If you are an EMS professional, or are attending EMT/EMS classes at any of the above institutions, or even one I haven’t included, I’d appreciate your feedback on your experience in the below comment form. Also, if you feel a particular EMS training institution that isn’t mentioned above is deserving of being mentioned, please also let me know in the form below. I’m sure others referencing this page would appreciate your help as much as I do!

John Furst

JOHN FURST is an experienced emergency medical technician and qualified first aid and CPR instructor. John is passionate about first aid and believes everyone should have the skills and confidence to take action in an emergency situation.

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