EMT License Requirements: Steps to Become an Emergency Medical Technician in Idaho

Idaho Emergency Medical Technicians are licensed by the Idaho EMS Bureau. They are considered Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers. Prospective EMTs must complete approved training programs and then pass two separate examinations. By meeting initial requirements in Idaho, a provider can simultaneously achieve national certification. This will make it relatively easy to achieve licensure in most other U.S. jurisdictions; however, it will still be necessary to apply to the EMS office or licensing agency in each state of practice.

Idaho also recognizes Advanced EMT, or AEMT, status. AEMTs have some advanced skills such as IV therapy and medication administration, but have a scope of practice well below that of paramedics; their training programs are much shorter than those of paramedics.

EMS providers also need to meet requirements at the agency level. This process may be termed credentialing.

Select an Idaho EMT Topic:

Educational Standards

Idaho educational standards are based on the National EMS Standards. Programs must have state approval. Approved courses are listed on the website of Idaho Health and Welfare (Education); a prospective student can click on ‘initial EMS’.

The Examination Process for Idaho EMT

Idaho EMTs complete the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) examination process. There are two components.

The cognitive examination, which is computer adaptive, is administered in an identical manner at testing sites around the nation. Candidates initiate the process by creating accounts with the National Registry. They must pay fees and verify course completion before they will be allowed to schedule.

Testing centers are located in the following Idaho cities: Boise, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Falls, Lewiston, Pocatello, and Twin Falls. Some Idaho candidates may wish to test in other states; the Bureau notes that there is an assessment center in Spokane, Washington.

The practical examination consists of various skills stations; the Bureau notes that the entire process may take as long as eight hours. A list of upcoming practical examinations can be found on the ‘education’ page of the EMS website (healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Education). The Bureau has provided skill sheets; these describe the expected procedures in detail. Joint immobilization, long bone immobilization, trauma assessment and management, and bleeding control are among the expected skills at the EMT level.

Practical examinations are sponsored by various host sites. Idaho candidates submit practical examination applications; these can be accepted by email or fax. Some sponsoring sites charge a fee.

The Bureau has provided an informational brochure about the practical examination process.

There is a local element to scope of practice. Some EMTs will be expected to be competent in skills that are not among those generally required at the EMT level. They will need to complete ‘optional modules’. Some EMTs may, for example, do IV therapy, though this is generally a skill for Advanced EMTs or paramedics.

The Application Process

Idaho providers submit their initial license applications after they have completed the examination process and secured affiliation with an Idaho EMS agency. Application materials can be downloaded from the website of the Idaho EMS Bureau.

The applicant will need a copy of his or her photo identification card.

Applications can be accepted through multiple channels; some applicants choose to hand-deliver them to the office in Boise.

Prospective EMTs must have criminal background checks processed by the Department of Health and Welfare. They are to use the EMS Bureau ID number. They are directed to the Criminal History Unit website for details about the background check process (https://chu.dhw.idaho.gov). The current cost is $65. The CHU website lists 11 locations. Applicants may instead mail fingerprint cards. The licensing agency notes that background checks are processed more quickly when an applicant travels to one of the CHU fingerprinting sites (healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Reciprocity_instructions.pdf).

Out-of-State EMTs

Out-of-state Emergency Medical Technicians are directed to submit license verification requests to all states where they have either held licensure or applied for licensure.

Out-of-state EMTs must meet state-specific requirements (Reciprocity PDF). They may need to take transition courses if their educational programs were not based on the set of standards currently used in Idaho. There are two components: didactic and skills; the didactic portion may be completed online. A list of transition courses is available from the Bureau.

Reciprocity applicants must complete Idaho Extrication Awareness (EA) training even if they do not need to take the transition course. All Idaho EMTs must complete a landing zone course as well.

Reciprocity candidates are directed to apply for assessment examination through the NREMT.

Renewal Requirements

An EMT is expected to complete 48 continuing education hours during each 36-month period. Continuing education falls into 12 broad categories; the EMT will need to have some training in a majority of these categories. All EMTs are expected to have training in pediatric assessment and management.

The EMS Bureau has provided instructional videos about the renewal process. The website also includes an optional CE tracker.

Requirements for Advanced EMT Certification and Licensure

AEMT candidates must again complete approved programs and go through a two-step examination process.

The AEMT examination, unlike the EMT examination, has a set number of questions. Like the EMT examination, it is computer-delivered. Candidates apply to the National Registry and wait for approval before registering. The fee is $100.

The AEMT practical skills test must meet standards set by the National Registry. AEMT skill sheets can be downloaded from the National Registry website. Practical skill stations include cardiac arrest management/ AED, IV and medication, pediatric intraosseous infusion, and ventilatory management, among others.

Additional Information

Licensing information is available from the Idaho EMS Bureau (Provider Licensure). The Bureau can be reached by email at ‘IdahoEMS at dhw.idaho.gov’ or by telephone at 208-334-4000 or 877-554-3367. ‘Provider Licensure’ can be reached by email at ‘EMSProvLic at dhw.idaho.gov’.