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

Mississippi’s Emergency Medical Technicians or ‘EMTs’ are licensed by the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, under the banner of the Mississippi State Department of Health. An individual who meets education and examination requirements in Mississippi will also earn certification through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. However, prospective EMTs should be aware that Mississippi sets some standards beyond those of the National Registry. Mississippi EMTs work under medical control.

Select a Mississippi EMT Topic:

Educational Standards

The student will need to complete a program that has been approved by the Mississippi Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. Programs that provide EMS training at the basic level are sometimes known as Basic Life Support schools. Most Mississippi programs are offered through the state’s community college system. Programs take approximately four months (or one semester) to complete. The Bureau of EMS has provided a list of schools (http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/47,0,307,368.html).

The Bureau has also provided information about national certification examination pass rates by program (http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/47,0,307,372.html). Prospective students can see the percentage who passed on a first attempt and the percentage that eventually passed.

Students can expect to meet a number of requirements prior to enrollment. They will need to be at least 18 years of age and have graduated from high school or attained a GED. They will be expected to have scored at least 10 on the TABE reading assessment or 16 on the ACT. (The minimum ACT score is 12 for those who took it prior to October of 1989.) Students in dual enrollment programs (those who are taking community college coursework while finishing high school) may be eligible for enrollment despite not meeting all stated requirements.

The student will complete CPR certification at the healthcare provider level before entering the EMT program. A physician will determine that the prospective EMT has the requisite physical fitness. Physical requirements include stamina, endurance, and motor coordination. The individual will need to be able to work long shifts. It may be necessary to lift more than 125 pounds (250 with the support of a partner). The individual will need a hepatitis B vaccination, if not before the start of class at least before the start of the clinical portion. The licensing agency notes that sponsoring community colleges may have their own requirements (http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/47,6490,307,368.html).

An approved program will include didactic and laboratory instruction and clinical and field experiences. A Mississippi student can expect at least 135 combined didactic/ laboratory hours. There will be at least 48 clinical and field hours. These minimums are somewhat above the minimums set by many states. The clinical/ field component will include at least ten hours in a hospital and at least five EMS runs. Over the course of the program, the student will learn to perform skills listed in the Mississippi scope of practice; these are listed in Rule 6.19.2 of administrative code. In addition to technical skills, the student will learn skills such as establishing rapport with patients.

A student who was trained in another state will need to provide a copy of the curriculum and objectives. An individual seeking licensure based on training received in another state will provide evidence that he or she will be working in Mississippi. BEMS will require a Jurisdictional Medical Control Agreement.

The Examination Process

According to administrative code, passing the National Registry examination process is a part of successful course completion. There are two separate components to the examination process.

The NREMT certification examination is administered via computer (http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/47,6490,307,368.html). The candidate will need to establish an NREMT account and wait for authorization. The examination costs $70 in 2016 but will go up to $80 in 2017. A candidate who must retake the examination will pay fees again.

The examination process also includes psychomotor, or practical skills, examination.

The NREMT website provides general information about examination (http://www.nremt.org/). Individuals may also call the Mississippi Bureau of EMS to request information about the National Registry examination process.

The Application Process

Application forms can be downloaded from the BEMS website (http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/47,0,307,62.html). The applicant will need to include a copy of his or her National Registry certification card.

The applicant will need a two by two photograph that conforms to standards set by the licensing agency. It must be color. The photo can be made at the Bureau of EMS office in Jackson; the Bureau does not charge for this service.

The training program submits some information such as a course completion roster that verifies completion of minimum standards.

The licensing fee is $35. Applications are to be mailed to the Bureau of EMS in Jackson.

Mississippi EMTs are required to maintain their national certification. Currently, Mississippi sets license expiration to coincide with national certification expiration (http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/47,6198,307,374.html). EMTs can visit the National Registry website for continuing competency requirements. They must also submit recertification paperwork to the Bureau of EMS. The same form is used for recertification as for initial licensing.

Intermediate Level Licensing

An EMT may qualify as an Emergency Medical Technician-Intermediate after completion of an EMT-I program and satisfactory performance on the National Registry’s Intermediate level examination. The individual will complete the Mississippi defibrillation curriculum as well as state-mandated modules of the national curriculum.

An out-of-state EMT-I may be granted licensure in Mississippi on the basis of certification as an EMT-Intermediate by the National Registry. However, licensure can be denied on the basis of inadequate education.

Additional Information

The Mississippi Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/47,0,307,371.html) can be reached by telephone at 601-576-7380. Office hours are 8:00 to 5:00 on weekdays.

Rules are revised periodically. There were revisions in 2015 (http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/47,0,305,60.html).