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

Oregon’s Emergency Medical Technicians are under the jurisdiction of the Professional Standards and Licensing Unit of the Emergency Medical Services & Trauma System.

Emergency Medical Technicians, or EMTs, must be at least eighteen years of age. They must hold high school diplomas or equivalent credentials.

Oregon recognizes EMT, Advanced EMT, and EMT-Intermediate designations. EMT and AEMT licensing is based on training and examination standards in common usage around the country; the EMT-Intermediate designation has a more state-specific element.

All three designations are below the level of paramedic. EMS providers at the EMT, AEMT, and EMT-I levels, unlike paramedics, are not required to hold college degrees. Oregon EMTs do, however, generally receive their training in a college setting.

Select an Oregon EMT Topic:

EMT Education Requirements

EMS providers at all levels complete state-approved programs. Oregon programs meet 2009 national curriculum standards. They include didactic and skills training. They also include state-specific curriculum such as Oregon statutes and rules. An EMT program at the basic level will include at least eight hours of training in an acute care department or other appropriate clinical setting and at least eight hours in a pre-hospital setting.

Oregon EMS & Trauma Systems has provided a list of approved course providers. Oregon programs are typically housed within teaching institutions, though approval can be granted to rural hospitals if they are otherwise unable to meet their staffing needs.

Examination Requirements

Oregon Emergency Medical Technicians go through both parts of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) examination process.

The practical, or psychomotor, examination includes skills stations. The examination is, as of early 2016, administered under standards delineated in the 2011 NREMT Psychomotor Examination User Guide. The practical examination process is coordinated through individual educational programs. Even candidates for re-examination can typically rely on the course director for scheduling. Upcoming practical examinations are listed on the EMS & Trauma Systems website (https://public.health.oregon.gov/ProviderPartnerResources/EMSTraumaSystems/EducationTraining/Pages/t-dates.aspx). Fees are due several weeks in advance. The examination will be under the administration of a licensing officer.

The cognitive examination is standardized. It is delivered via computer at testing sites around the country. Each candidate must have an NREMT account. The program will verify that all program requirements were met, thus authorizing examination. The approved candidate will register for examination at a Pearson VUE assessment center.

Information about the cognitive examination can be found on the NREMT website. The ATT, which is valid for 90 days, can be issued only after fee payment.

Background Check Requirements

The licensing agency runs state background checks on all applicants. Fingerprinting is not currently mandated for applicants who have lived within the state for a solid five years. Those who have lived elsewhere, though, for 60 or more consecutive days are required to have fingerprints made. The requirement applies to those who have worked in other states unless they meet the state’s definition of commuter.

Advanced and Intermediate Level Training

Higher level EMS programs build on lower level ones. A provider must hold EMT licensing before beginning Advanced EMT training. A prospective Advanced EMT will need to complete a field internship that includes at least 20 patient contacts.

An Advanced EMT will again complete both parts of the NREMT examination process. The registration process for the cognitive examination is similar, though fees are slightly higher. The practical examination is administered according to the 2013 NREMT Advanced Level Examination Coordinator Manual.

EMT-Intermediate actually represents training beyond the AEMT level. EMT-Intermediate programs may be offered by teaching institutions or EMS agencies. According to state administrative code, a person must maintain AEMT credentialing while completing EMT-Intermediate training.

Prospective EMT-Intermediates take a practical examination that meets standards described in Oregon Administrative Code 333-265-0024.

EMTs who are interested in expanding their scope of practice can again turn to the EMS and Trauma Systems website for information about course registration.

The Application Process

The education and application processes are closely interrelated. Students are registered with the EMS System within the first few weeks of classes. Some data will automatically be reported.

The applicant will need a passport photo. There is a $110 license application fee at the basic level. Fingerprinting, if required, carries an additional fee.

The application fee at the intermediate or advanced level is $125.

Supplemental forms such as re-examination applications can be found on the EMS & Trauma Systems website (https://public.health.oregon.gov/ProviderPartnerResources/EMSTraumaSystems/Pages/forms.aspx).

Out-of-State Emergency Medical Technicians

There are several eligibility pathways for individuals with out-of-state training. A prospective EMT who completed training in another state may be licensed in Oregon if he or she applies within two years of program completion, holds NREMT certification, and otherwise meets requirements.

Reciprocity can be granted at either the EMT or Advanced EMT levels; Oregon no longer accepts National Registry Intermediate-85 or Intermediate-99 certifications as the basis for reciprocal licensure.

A reciprocity applicant will need to document the status of his or her credentials. The Professional Standards and Licensing Unit will expect training to have been at the level required in Oregon. Reciprocity applications can be downloaded from the EMS & Trauma Systems website (https://public.health.oregon.gov/ProviderPartnerResources/EMSTraumaSystems/Pages/forms.aspx).

The Renewal Process

Licenses are renewed every two years. EMT and Advanced EMT licenses are renewed on the basis of either having met NREMT recertification requirements or having completed continuing education as specified in state administrative code. EMT-Intermediate licenses are renewed on the basis of continuing education. EMS providers should be aware that requirements change periodically. There were changes in 2015.

Additional Information

EMS & Trauma Systems can be reached at 971-673-0520 or ’ems.trauma at state.or.us’. Hours of operation are weekdays from 8:00 to 4:00.

EMS statutes and rules are available online (https://public.health.oregon.gov/ProviderPartnerResources/EMSTraumaSystems/Pages/rules.aspx).