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Levels of Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Licensure

In Oregon, there are four levels of EMS licensure: EMT, Advanced EMT (AEMT), Oregon EMT Intermediate, and Paramedic. The Oregon EMT Intermediate level is only recognized in Oregon. The other three levels also prepare students for a National Registry certification which is recognized by most states, so they are described here first.

EMT (previously called EMT Basic)

This is a logical starting point for anyone interested in working or volunteering in EMS or the Fire Service. EMTs are trained in medical patient assessment, basic airway management, trauma assessment and management, limited medication administration, and the use of automated external defibrillators (AED). This course is the starting point for students planning to go on to the Paramedic level. For students who want to be EMT licensed but are not planning to go on to further EMT or paramedic courses, these courses (ES131 and ES132, and their labs) can be taken alone. (For financial aid eligibility, students may be required to also enroll in other classes associated with the EMT Pathway Certificate program or the AAS in Paramedicine Degree). Registering for this course requires completion of an online Registration Process, but is not competitive-entry and students are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Local Employment: Locally, EMTs work primarily for private ambulance services, although there are also some opportunities as Emergency Department Technicians. Openings are limited, and hiring processes are very competitive. Starting pay is generally $10-$15/ hour.

Signing up for an EMT Course

Advanced EMT (AEMT)

Students must be licensed as an Oregon EMT and should be experienced and confident in their skills at that level before proceeding on to the Advanced EMT level. AEMT training expands on the basic skills and knowledge described for EMTs above. This training includes a more in-depth understanding of a variety of disease and injury processes and their appropriate management, as well as some additional skills such as intravenous access and some additional medication administration.

The course will be taught over three terms: EMS181 in fall term is 5 credits, EMS182 in winter term is 5 credits, and EMS183 is a 2 credit clinical course in spring term that includes Emergency Department and ambulance experience.

AEMT education or licensure is not required prior to entering a paramedic course, however some students may choose to become licensed and work at that level to gain useful field experience prior to entering paramedic training.

Employment: As this is a new level in Oregon, employment details are not well-established yet, but AEMTs are typically paid slightly more than EMTs, but substantially less than paramedics.

Signing up for the Advanced EMT Course

Paramedic

In order to become a licensed paramedic in Oregon, students must complete an A.A.S. degree in Paramedicine. The requirements for the degree are standardized at all community colleges in Oregon and most coursework is transferable. The "first-year" required courses are available in an open enrollment format and do not require an application or acceptance process. These courses can be taken in a single year, or spread over a longer period of time. Application to the paramedic course (the final year of the program) is a competitive-entry process. Students are selected based on experience, grade point average, and program readiness, as evaluated through an application, written test, interview, and a scenario-based assessment process.

Students must be licensed as an Oregon EMT and should be experienced and confident in their skills at that level before applying for the paramedic course. Paramedic training expands on the basic skills and knowledge described for EMTs above. This training includes advanced airway management, intravenous lines, ECG interpretation, understanding and administration of a large number of emergency medications, and an in-depth understanding of a variety of disease and injury processes and their appropriate management.

The RCC Paramedicine program is nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the EMS Professions (CoAEMSP).

Local Employment: Paramedic is the highest-paid licensed position in the EMS Profession with local entry-level salaries starting around $40,000- $50,000 per year. Many graduates find initial employment with private ambulance services, fire departments, or in hospitals as Emergency Department Technicians. Additional training and certifications (Firefighter, Critical Care, Flight Paramedic, etc.) often provide opportunities for additional jobs and higher wages.

Paramedic Course Application


Oregon EMT Intermediate

**Note: RCC has no EMT Intermediate courses scheduled at this time.**

The title EMT Intermediate means different things in different states, and in many cases those qualifications are not transferable across state lines. In Oregon, the EMT Intermediate level was designed for rural communities without the training facilities or budget to support a full paramedic level of care, but where it was recognized that there was a need for care beyond the EMT level. Today, many rural communities use EMT Intermediates as the highest level of EMS response, but EMT Intermediates also work in some Advanced Life Support (ALS) systems alongside paramedics.

Students must be licensed as an Oregon Advanced EMT (AEMT) and should be experienced and confident in their skills at that level before proceeding on to the EMT Intermediate level. This training includes many of the same ALS skills and similar information to paramedic training described above such as ECG interpretation, pharmacology, and recognition and management of disease and injury, although these topics are not covered to the same depth as in the paramedic course.

EMT Intermediate education or certification is not required prior to entering a paramedic course, however some students choose to become licensed and work at that level to gain useful field experience prior to entering Paramedic training.

Wages

EMT Intermediates are typically paid slightly more than EMTs but substantially less than paramedics.