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

North Dakota’s Emergency Medical Technicians are under the jurisdiction of the North Dakota State Department of Health (DOH). The licensing agency notes that EMT training is pursued by professionals in various fields, from athletic training to fire fighting.

The licensing process largely parallels the national certification process. However, there are some differences. North Carolina, unlike the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, will credential candidates under age eighteen if they are otherwise qualified. The Department of Health notes that it is necessary to submit a state license application even if one is already nationally certified.

Select a North Dakota EMT Topic:

License Levels and Scope of Practice

EMT is considered a Basic Life Support (BLS) license. North Dakota also recognizes licensees at the Advanced EMT level; this is considered an ALS classification.

The Division of EMS and Trauma has provided a document that compares the scope of practice of emergency response personnel at various levels; it includes various classifications that have been in common usage around the nation at different points in time.

EMT Education

The Emergency Medical Technician must complete an approved program. A list of EMT initial courses appears on the Department of Health website (http://ndhealth.gov/EMS/Training/EMS_Courses.htm). North Dakota training institutions are state-licensed.

Programs are typically completed within six months. A North Dakota EMT program will include approximately 150 hours of training and will be based on National EMS standards (http://www.ndhealth.gov/EMS/personnel.html). These standards are set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and have been adopted by most U.S. states.

The Examination Process

EMT candidates must go through a two-part examination process that in most cases also results in national certification through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, or NREMT.

One examination tests practical skills. It is administered under the conditions (and oversight) described in state rule. It may be administered by the training institution. However, the student may need to travel for testing. The examination is offered four times a year in Bismarck.

An EMT candidate at the basic level can expect to complete six stations. Included are the following:

  • Patient trauma assessment
  • Patient medical assessment
  • Spinal immobilization
  • Bag valve mask
  • Cardiac management/ AED

The sixth station may be any of the following: supplemental oxygen, upper airway adjuncts/ suction, bleeding control/ shock management, long bone immobilization, joint dislocalization immobilization, or traction splint.

A candidate who fails three or fewer stations may be allowed to retake the failed stations on the same day. In all cases, a candidate who fails four or more will be required to retest on a later date.

The testing site reports testing results to the Department. The Department determines retesting policy, including the number of times that a candidate is allowed to retake the exam.

The other examination tests cognitive understanding of EMT roles and duties. A candidate who has been authorized by his or her program will be allowed to schedule an examination through the Pearson Vue assessment company. There are multiple North Dakota sites, some of which are located on college campuses. The fee must be paid prior to ATT issuance; it is $70 in 2016 and will increase to $80 in 2017.

The Application Process

Application is required at multiple stages along the way. In-state applicants will first complete paperwork at the student stage. The course coordinator will be responsible for submitting materials at the onset of the program; this is the case with both EMT and AEMT programs. An application will again be submitted when an EMT is added to the roster of an EMS service.

Personnel applications can be downloaded from the website of the Department of Health (http://www.ndhealth.gov/EMS/forms.htm). The applicant will note his or her affiliation. If the individual is being added to an EMS roster, the squad leader / manager will sign the application.

The application also asks whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a felony or had action taken against a healthcare license. An applicant who answers yes must provide documentation. (If the applicant has previously disclosed the same transgression to the licensing agency, however, this is not necessary.

North Dakota has implemented an online system.

Advanced EMT Requirements

An Emergency Medical Technician who seeks licensure at the AEMT level will complete another training program of approximately 150 hours; basic EMT training is a prerequisite. The program will be based on national AEMT standards.

The candidate will again take cognitive and practical examinations. The Advanced EMT examination is administered under conditions set by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. These are described on the NREMT website (https://www.nremt.org/nremt/about/reg_aemt_history.asp).

The AEMT candidate will again complete trauma assessment, medical assessment, and cardiac management skills stations. He or she will also be tested on IV and medication, ventilatory management, supine spinal immobilization, and pediatric intraosseous infusion skills. There will be one ‘random skill’.

The cognitive examination is also administered via computer at Pearson VUE assessment centers. The fee is $100 in 2016, $115 afterward.

License Maintenance

The DOH website describes two renewal pathways: one for licensees who hold current national certification, the other for those who do not. North Dakota notes that its recertification requirements are those of the NREMT. North Dakota licenses with 2016 renewals are set to expire on June 30; this is slightly later than the NREMT recertification deadline.

EMTs will find continuing education opportunities listed on the Department of Health website (http://www.ndhealth.gov/EMS/EMSTrainingOpportunities.html).

Additional Information

The Division can be reached by phone at 701-328-2388 or 866-382-3367 or by email at ‘dems at nd.gov’. Mail can be sent to the following address:

North Dakota Department of Health
Division of EMS and Trauma
600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 301
Bismarck, ND 58505-0200

The Division publishes an occasional newsletter (http://www.ndhealth.gov/EMS/DEMSTNewsletters.html).

North Dakota has a state professional organization, the North Dakota EMS Association (www.ndemsa.org).