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Medical First Responder Training and Certification Program Information

Oct 14, 2019

Medical first responder training programs are offered both at community colleges and through private and public emergency service providers. These programs may also serve as continuing education credits for EMTs and paramedics.

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Essential Information

Background and physical checks, may be required for admission into a medical first responder training and certification program. Graduates of the program will be prepared to take national certification exams to become medical first responders. Each program sets its own prerequisites. Typically, applicants must meet an age limit - usually 16 or 18 years old. Some programs also require applicants to have a high school diploma or its equivalent.


Medical First Responder Training and Certification Programs

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has developed a national standard curriculum guide for medical first responder training programs. The curriculum includes 48-63 training hours and is designed so that graduates will be able to give emergency medical care with no or limited medical equipment. Students commonly learn:

  • Stress management
  • Ethical responsibility and scope of practice
  • Managing musculoskeletal injuries
  • Childbirth and infant care
  • Airway anatomy and physiology
  • Basic life support

Popular Career Options

Medical first responders are a step below the Emergency Medical Technician-Basic level. While training does not lead to a specific career, it may be beneficial for a variety of professionals including police officers, bus drivers, firefighters, rescue workers, factory workers, and private citizens.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), EMTs and paramedics were projected to have a much faster than job growth rate of 7%, from 2018-2028. As of May 2018, workers in this field made an average annual salary of $37,760.

Certification and Continuing Education Info

The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians grants certification for medical first responders. To be eligible for the certification, individuals must complete a state-approved first responder course that meets the U.S. Department of Transportation First Responder National Standard Curriculum, hold a current health care provider CPR credential and complete a state-approved medical first responder psychomotor exam as well as a cognitive exam. Recertification is necessary, and eligibility requirements include working for a medical, rescue or patient healthcare facility and actively utilizing your skills.

For those who want to take it further, EMT-Basic level training is the next step. Coursework builds on the information learned in the medical first responder courses and may include training in ambulances or medical facilities; 100 hours of training is typically required in these programs. Following EMT-Basic level is the EMT-Intermediate level and then the paramedic level, which is the most advanced level of training. At each level, the training covers a broader scope of practice and requires an increasing number of training hours.

While medical first responder training and certification programs don't actually prepare students for jobs as EMTs, these programs do provide workers in other emergency response fields, such as police officers and firefighters. Certification is available through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians and requires a variety of education, credentialing and physical eligibility standards.

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