Becoming an EMT in Colorado
Colorado EMT training is geared towards the goal of making professional employees with a strong medical knowledge base. Colorado emergency medical technicians (EMT) will go through EMT training which is similar or the same as many other states. A Colorado EMT starts by going through an EMT program and then must pass the National Registry of EMT (NREMT) exams for certification. Next the candidate needs to apply for Colorado EMT certification, which is also known as a Colorado EMT state license.
Scroll down for detailed information about each step in the Colorado EMT training process along with the Colorado scope of practice guidelines.
Recognized Colorado EMT License Levels
• Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
• Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT)
• Emergency Medical Technician Intermediate (EMT-I)
• Paramedic (EMTP)
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Education
(CDPHE) as of June 2017 there were 17,383 Colorado certified EMS providers. New Colorado EMTs can currently train for three levels of licensure; however, Colorado recognizes a total of four EMT license levels.
EMT Training in Colorado
EMT training in Colorado is offered at many colleges, Universities, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) training centers. Colorado EMT candidates can enroll in basic EMT classes, AEMT classes or Paramedic courses.
The basic EMT class is a good way to enter the healthcare field because it requires no previous experience in medicine and can usually be completed in one semester.
In Colorado, becoming an EMT can offer future career opportunities working with:
Critical Care Transports
Colorado EMT training programs teach students basic life support (BLS) and emergency response while teaching basic medical knowledge. Colorado EMTs are able to respond quickly and appropriately to adult, pediatric and geriatric patients of all ages.
Colorado EMT training schools prepare students to respond to medical and traumatic emergency situations including falls, car accidents, heart attacks, drownings and gunshot wounds.
After completing a training program Colorado EMTs can assess patients, complete patient care records, identify signs and symptoms of illness or injury, and perform life saving interventions while providing transport to a medical facility.
Colorado EMT School Requirements
Each school training program has a set of requirements or prerequisites that students must meet in order to get accepted into the different levels of EMT training. Each Colorado EMT school can have slightly different requirements.
Here is a list of common prerequisites for many Colorado EMT schools. Some of these won’t need to be completed until the first two weeks of class.
→ Colorado EMT training students must be 18 years of age on or before the first day of class.
→ If you attend a Colorado EMT training program through a college you may need proof of college level reading and composition. Students can use ACT or SAT scores, college transcripts, Accuplacer or COMPASS tests as proof.
→ Colorado EMT training programs usually require a Criminal Background Check.
→ A urinalysis Drug Screen may be required of Colorado EMT students.
→ A Physical Exam or a Physical Abilities Statement may be required of Colorado EMT training candidates.
→ Students signing up for Colorado EMT training need to show proof of Immunization Records or Titers for the following:
• MMR (Measles, Mumps & Rubella)
• Chicken Pox (Varicella)
• Tetanus, TDaP, or TD depending on the EMT program.
→ Colorado EMT training candidates need to have a current flu shot.
→ Colorado EMTs must have a negative TB test done within a year of applying to school.
→ Applicants to Colorado EMT training programs will have the choice of getting Hepatitis B vaccinations or signing a rejection slip.
→ Colorado EMTs will need to have an American Heart Association BLS CPR card for the Healthcare Provider (HCP). Some Colorado EMT training schools will teach the CPR class as part of the course.
→ Proof of health insurance may be required by many Colorado EMT training programs.
Colorado AEMT School Requirements
Advanced emergency medical technicians will need to meet all of the above prerequisites for basic EMT school along with the following:
→ Colorado AEMT school applicants should already have a Basic EMT certification.
→ Candidates for AEMT training in Colorado must have a high school diploma, GED, or an equivalent.
→ AEMT training in Colorado will require a DOT Drug Screen/eScreen with synthetics.
Colorado Paramedic School Requirements
Paramedic school is a more rigorous EMT training program and often has a more difficult set of standards for acceptance than lower level EMT programs.
Colorado paramedic school applicants will need to meet all of the above EMT and AEMT prerequisites along with the following:
→ Paramedic school applicants in Colorado should have a current EMT-Basic, Advanced EMT or EMT-Intermediate certification.
→ Colorado Paramedic courses will require students to complete an Application for acceptance to the Paramedic Program.
→ Some Paramedic training programs may ask for an essay, a resume, or letters of recommendation.
→ Some Colorado Paramedic schools will require or highly recommend IV Therapy and Basic EKG Interpretation Certifications.
→ Paramedic training programs require a completed physical from all students.
→ Many Paramedic programs have an Entrance Exam which must be passed to get accepted.
→ Anatomy and Physiology may be required as prerequisites or co-requisites for some Colorado Paramedic training programs.
Colorado EMT Certification
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is the state agency responsible for the certification of EMS providers in Colorado. They also handle the oversight of EMS education programs.
According to the CDPHE there are a total of 17,838 EMS providers working in Colorado. See the table below for specifics.
In order to get a Colorado EMT certification candidates will have to complete a Colorado EMT training program and then pass both National Registry of Emergency Medical Technician (NREMT) exams.
The NREMT exams are the Psychomotor exam which is a hands on test and the Cognitive exam which is a written test. For more details about both of these tests check out our National Registry of EMT exams page.
The NREMT psychomotor exam will be introduced to students by their Colorado EMT training instructor. Colorado EMT training schools will prepare students for the NREMT psychomotor exam and instructors will usually help students set up a test date and time at the end of EMT training.
If your instructor doesn’t help arrange the psychomotor exam, you can contact the Colorado State EMS Office and arrange it yourself.
Check out our 7 expert tips before you take the NREMT Psychomotor exam.
The National Registry of EMT cognitive exam is a written test administered via computer. Colorado EMT candidates can go online at the National Registry of EMT website to register for a test date and time once they have completed EMT school.
After passing both the NREMT exams, Colorado EMTs will be sent a letter of congratulations along with their EMT certification in the mail. Once a Colorado EMT receives their certification they will probably be wondering:
Can I start working as an EMT now?
The answer is:
At this point they are nationally certified as an EMT by the National Registry of EMTs. The next step is to apply for a State of Colorado EMT certification.
(Cont. below for Page 2)