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How to Become an EMT in Colorado

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At the beginning of 2010, there were more than 15,000 registered Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) in the state of Colorado. Becoming a Colorado EMT requires a straightforward but sometimes intensive process of study and testing. Following initial Colorado EMT training and successful testing and certification by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), you'll be ready to apply for certification to apply your skills as a Colorado EMT.

Becoming a Colorado EMT

Check the websites of the NREMT and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to confirm that you meet their eligibility conditions to apply for certification as an EMT. Disqualifying criteria may include criminal convictions or certain types of disabilities, among others.

Determine the type of training you need based on the skill level of EMT you wish to become. If you've never served as an EMT, you'll need to begin by taking the EMT-Basic or Initial course. If you've previously served as an EMT in Colorado or elsewhere, your application and training process may be shortened. Check with CDPHE to ascertain your individual requirements.

Select an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) education program that is recognized by the state of Colorado. There are more than 100 state-recognized EMS programs in Colorado.

Complete the EMS education course and obtain written documentation from an EMS program official or other Colorado medical director attesting to your EMS skills. You may now apply to take the NREMT exam.

Take the NREMT exam. Following passing and certification, you are ready to apply for your Colorado certification. For your first application you also will need to submit a modest fee (check with CDPHE for exact amount) to cover the cost of the mandatory criminal background and fingerprint check.

Apply for a job as an EMT following Colorado state certification. Keep extra copies of your documentation. Remember that Colorado requires continuing education for all levels of EMT certification. Your Colorado state EMT certificate is valid for three years.

Tip

If you have successfully completed all certification requirements and are otherwise fully eligible, but are awaiting the results of your background check, you may apply for a 90-day provisional license pending background check results.

Warning

It is illegal to work as an EMT in Colorado without Colorado state certification, even if you've been certified as an EMT in other states and/or by NREMT.

About the Author

Aaron Zvi has been a writer and photojournalist for 10 years in Washington, D.C., and the Middle East. A student of political science and psychology from the University of Maryland, he also does technical and market analysis for a green technology company. His work has appeared in local newspapers, commissioned research and a patent or two. He began writing professionally in 1998.

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