First Responder Class Minnesota with School Options

There are 14 schools within Minnesota that have first responder courses. Read an overview of the 10 largest schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

Essential Information

Individuals have a large number of schools with which they may complete first responder training. A first responder (or those working in emergency medical response) is the first level of emergency medical services training and is often completed by those who continue on to become emergency medical technicians (EMTs). First responder training does not lead to eligibility to work as an EMT or paramedic. First responder training is usually a single course and includes CPR and first aid training; in order to maintain certification, refresher classes are needed every two years.

The following 10 schools are the largest in Minnesota that offer stand-alone first responder courses.


Anoka Technical College

Anoka Technical College is located in Anoka and offers training and courses for first responders as part of the emergency medical services (EMS) system. The curriculum follows the DOT's requirements and meets the requirements established by the EMSRB. The First Responder-Initial course consists of 3 credits that explore methods for assisting EMS providers, such as checking vital signs, administering oxygen, using a defibrillator and clearing airways. The First Responder-Refresher course is a single credit that leads to recertification of first responders. It covers the most recent field policies, procedures and guidelines.

Century College

White Bear Lake's Century College is committed to transforming students' lives, communities and the world. Students interested in first response can complete the Emergency Medical Responder course or the Emergency Medical Responder Refresher course. The 3-credit emergency medical responder course prepares students to manage patient care until ambulance personnel arrive and the refresher course prepares students for re-certification. Both courses meet state requirements.

Hennepin Technical College

Hennepin Technical College, which is located in Brooklyn Park, offers both a First Responder course and a First Responder Refresher course. The courses are for people who are likely to be the first to arrive on a scene, including rescue personnel, firefighters, ski patrol, law enforcement, school nurses or camp counselors. The refresher course is a 16-hour course that incorporates both hands-on demonstration and lectures designed to update existing knowledge. Both courses meet state first responder requirements.

Inver Hills Community College

The Associate in Science in Emergency Medical Services at Inver Hills Community College in Inver Grove Heights is designed to prepare students for state certification as an emergency medical technician, a paramedic or a first responder. Courses familiarize students with emergency medical services, emergency responses to crises and EMS operations. Enrollees complete 2 field skills labs and a patient care experience. They can also join clubs, such as the Emergency Medical Services Student Association.

Mesabi Range Community and Technical College

Mesabi Range Community and Technical College in Virginia offers first responder refresher certification. The course familiarizes students with the EMS system and prepares them for recertification.

Northland Community and Technical College

In Thief River Falls, students attending Northland Community and Technical College can complete programs and courses designed to prepare them for the workforce. The 40-hour First Responder Training program meets Minnesota's requirements for first responders. It's designed for individuals who have previously completed healthcare provider CPR and addresses methods for stabilizing victims until emergency personnel arrive. The First Responder Refresher training takes 16 hours to complete and simply refreshes students' field skills.

Ridgewater College

Ridgewater College, which is located in Willmar, is committed to providing students with a quality, professional and affordable education through more than 100 different degree programs. The First Responder Basics course exceeds the first responder requirements for the state of Minnesota and, with additional training, students can meet the requirements for EMT-Basic Certification. The First Responder Refresher course re-familiarizes students about the legal aspects of providing emergency care, treating fractured bones, controlling bleeding, handling blood borne pathogens and administering CPR.

Rochester Community and Technical College

Rochester's Rochester Community and Technical College provides a learner-centered school that's committed to excellence, innovation, teamwork, respect and fun. Students can use the facilities at the fitness center, including the kinesiology lab and the indoor field house. The First Responder Basic course trains students to provide oxygen, check vital signs, conduct an initial assessment and assist EMS providers in emergency situations. The First Responder Refresher course ensures that first responders with an existing or recently-expired license are familiar with new medical practices and procedures.

South Central College

South Central College has been providing students in the North Mankato area with degree and training programs since 1946. Learners can select from a 48-hour First Responder Initial course that prepares them to assist emergency medical technicians by caring for patients until they arrive. The course is scheduled as necessary by local fire departments, police departments, auxiliary departments and other first responder departments. The 16-hour First Responder Refresher course updates first responders with changes in the field and care procedures so they are able to help patients and renew their certification.

St. Cloud Technical and Community College

At St. Cloud Technical and Community College, students can only complete the Emergency Medical Responder course, formerly the first responder course. The initial responder course meets the state and national requirements for first responders, familiarizes students with the EMS system and teaches them to use defibrillators, administer CPR, open airways, give oxygen therapy and help people who are sick or injured. Upon completion of the program, students can register and earn certification as a first responder.

Career Requirements

According to License Minnesota, first responders are trained and certified to preserve and protect life, property, evidence and the environment when they arrive at an emergency scene (www.mn.gov). In Minnesota, to become a registered first responder, applicants must have successfully completed the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)'s training program at a school approved by the State of Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board (EMSRB).

The license is good for 2 years, and then students must take a refresher course within 12 months after the expiration date. Upon completing the courses, students can also earn first responder national registration by taking the national registry written test, if they've completed the skills examination within the last 2 years.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting First Responder Courses Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-16)
Anoka Technical College 2-year, public; large suburb First Responder-Initial Course,
First Responder-Refresher Course
$5,584*
Century College 2-year, public; large suburb Emergency Medical Responder Course,
Emergency Medical Responder Refresher Course
$5,391*
Hennepin Technical College 2-year, public; large suburb First Responder Course,
First Responder Refresher Course
$5,159*
Inver hills Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate of Science in Emergency Medical Services $5,288*
Mesabi Range Community and Technical College 2-year, public; remote town First Responder Refresher Certification $5,311 in-state, $6,493 out-of-state*
Northland Community and Technical College 2-year, public; remote town First Responder Training,
First Responder Refresher Course
$5,534*
Ridgewater College 2-year, public; remote town First Responder Basics Course,
First Responder Refresher Course
$5,406*
Rochester Community and Technical College 2-year, public; midsize city First Responder Basic Course,
First Responder Refresher Course
$5,638*
South Central College 2-year, public; small city First Responder Initial Course,
First Responder Refresher Course
$5,379*
St. Cloud Technical and Community College 2-year, public; small city Emergency Medical Responder Course $5,325*

Source: *NCES College Navigator


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