EMT License Requirements: How to Become an Emergency Medical Technician in Alabama

Alabama Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are under the jurisdiction of the Office of Emergency Medical Services. They are considered to be Emergency Medical Service Personnel, or EMSP.

Emergency Medical Technicians operate at a level above Emergency Medical Responder but well below that of paramedic. There are two levels: EMT and Advanced Emergency Medical Technician, or AEMT. Some practitioners are licensed at the intermediate level; however, new licenses are not issued at this level.

Licensure is based largely on certification by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. The individual will need some state-specific training.

There is a separate qualification process for emergency vehicle operations certificate.

Select an Alabama EMT Topic:

EMT Education Standards

An EMT will need to meet requirements described in the functional job analysis, described by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. He or she must, for example, be able to crawl on uneven terrain and withstand difficult weather conditions.

The individual will begin by enrolling in an approved EMT program. Most Alabama programs are sponsored by colleges. According to state rule, the program may be hosted by any of the following:

  • Accredited college or post-secondary institution
  • Accredited hospital or medical center
  • Recognized EMS-related organization

Whatever the setting, an Alabama program will teach the approved curriculum.

The Department of Public Health has provided a list of approved EMS programs (http://www.adph.org/ems/Default.asp?id=814).

An Alabama EMT must have current protocol training. Individuals who complete Alabama programs can expect to have protocol training that is current as of the time of graduation. Prospective EMTs are directed to contact a regional office if they need to take a protocol class. The Office of EMS has provided contact information for the six regional offices (http://www.adph.org/ems/Default.asp?id=813).

The Examination Process

There are two components to the examination process: cognitive and practical. The cognitive examination and practical examination are administered separately.

An Alabama candidate will take the practical examination as part of the training program. Prospective test takers may, however, direct their questions and comments to the Office of EMS.

The cognitive examination is taken after all program requirements have been met. The candidate can set up an account and submit an application through the NREMT website. A $70 fee will be assessed. The NREMT can issue Authorization to Test (ATT) only after it has received confirmation of eligibility. An approved candidate will be allowed to schedule his or her own certification examination. The examination is computer-adapted and is available on an ongoing basis through Pearson Enterprises.

Reciprocity

Reciprocity is granted based on National Registry certification. It is available at the EMT and AEMT level. Those at the intermediate level are eligible for EMT status.

The Application Process

Application forms can be downloaded from the website of the Office of EMS (http://www.adph.org/ems/Default.asp?id=815).

Applicants will need to submit copies of their NREMT certification.

Applicants who answer “yes” to disclosure questions (for example, criminal history or mental or physical conditions that could impair practice) must provide personal statements and related documentation.

An initial applicant will need to sign the criminal history release form and have it notarized.

The initial license fee is $10.

The Renewal Process

Licenses are renewed on a two-year basis. The EMT will need current Alabama protocols and current NREMT certification.

The Office of EMS has provided a summary of continuing education opportunities offered at the regional level (http://www.adph.org/ems/Default.asp?id=813).

Advanced Emergency Medical Technician Requirements

An Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) has training in some Advanced Life Support (invasive) procedures. Training is much shorter than that which is required of a paramedic; the University of South Alabama notes that one purpose of the credential is to allow rural and volunteer systems to provide low risk advanced skills, even if they cannot afford paramedic staffing.

An individual must earn EMT certification before AEMT certification. After completing an approved program, the prospective AEMT will need to successfully complete examination requirements at the AEMT level. He or she will again apply through the NREMT. At this level, the fee for cognitive examination is $100.

The AEMT-level practical examination is administered in a standardized manner. It covers the following: medical assessment, trauma assessment, cardiac management, IV and medication, pediatric intraosseous infusion, and spinal immobilization. The candidate will also be assessed on one of four random skills. Again, candidates should expect to receive testing information from their program.

Additional Information

Related career articles include: “How to Become a Paramedic in Alabama” and “How to Become an Emergency Dispatcher in Alabama

Information about Emergency Medical Technician requirements is available from the Alabama Office of EMS (http://www.adph.org/ems/Default.asp). The Office of EMS posts an annual newsletter which includes updated information for service providers (http://www.adph.org/ems/index.asp?id=3253). The Office can be reached by email contact form (http://www.adph.org/ems/Default.asp?id=803) or by telephone at (334) 206-5383. The ‘license requirements’ document and annual newsletter include additional contact information.

Rules are posted on Department of Public Health website (http://www.adph.org/ems/Default.asp?id=811). There are periodic revisions. The most recent revisions were published in 2013.

The Alabama Emergency Medical Services Association is an additional professional resource, but is not involved with the licensing process (http://www.aemtaonline.com).