Emergency Medical Responder

This is the first level of training that Pennsylvania offers for people who want to be able to help in a medical emergency (formerly known as first responder).

This course is designed for those people who may arrive at an emergency scene prior to the arrival of an ambulance. Examples would be industrial response teams, law enforcement personnel, fire fighters, park rangers, ski patrollers or any other rescue organizations.

The course provides knowledge and skills necessary for activating the EMS system and providing immediate care for life threatening illness and injury, controlling the scene and managing the patient until the arrival of an ambulance.

The course includes training in: the roles and responsibilities of the first responder; assessing the patient for injury or illness; cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); control of bleeding and prevention of shock; and airway control and maintenance.

The course includes a Pennsylvania practical skills evaluation and a written examination. Passing both will provide the student with a Pennsylvania State certification as an Emergency Medical Responder.

Although Emergency Medical Responders are not able to be the primary care giver on an ambulance, their help as a third caregiver is always greatly appreciated by the ambulance crew.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

The EMT – B course requires approximately 130 hours of instruction that includes the knowledge and skills required to provide basic prehospital emergency care. This program serves as the foundation for emergency medical services. The course follows the US Department of Transportation 1994 National Standard curriculum. It consists of 46 lessons.

The course teaches students the overall roles and responsibilities of the EMT; an overview of anatomy and physiology; assessment of injuries and illnesses; cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); control of bleeding and shock; care of muscular skeletal injuries, medical emergencies, childbirth, pediatric emergencies, environmental emergencies; lifting and moving of patients; automatic external defibrillation; and assisting patients with their own prescribed medications. Also included are skills needed to assess the scene, and properly move and transport patients to the emergency department.

The course includes a Pennsylvania State practical skills evaluation and written examination, which, if passed, will provide a PA state certification as an EMT.


Prerequisite: Pennsylvania State EMT Certification

The paramedic training program is an extensive and intensive course that significantly increases the knowledge and skills to an advanced level. It includes both clinical and field experiences as well as the classroom knowledge and skills. Based on the National Standard Curriculum from the US Department of Transportation, the knowledge and skills include: an in-depth review of anatomy and physiology; patient assessment; cardiovascular and respiratory emergencies; pediatric and geriatric emergencies; infectious diseases; fluid and shock therapies; electrocardiogram monitoring and interpretation of cardiac rhythms; Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) protocols; communications; manual defibrillation and external cardiac pacing; insertion of endotracheal and nasotracheal tubes; intravenous therapy; drug calculations and pharmacology; techniques for administration of emergency medications; performance of cricothyroidotomy and percutaneous transtracheal ventilation; decompression of a tension pneumothorax; and a review of the EMT-B knowledge and skills.

The course includes the National Registry practical and written examinations.

PA Prehospital RN (PA PHRN)

The PA Department of Health will recognize as a pre-hospital registered nurse, a registered nurse who meets the following requirements:

-Verification of PA Licensed RN in good standing

-Current BLS Healthcare Provider or Professional Rescuer CPR completion card

-Current ACLS Card

-18 years of age or older

-Successfully completes Pennsylvania Pre-hospital Registered Nurse Curriculum adopted by the PA Department of Health or a knowledge and skills assessment process adopted by the PA Department of Health

-Successfully completes the National Registry written PHRN Assessment Test

-Successfully completes the Emergency Medical Technician practical skills examination or EMT-Paramedic National Registry Practical Skills Exam

PHRN recognition is permanent. For additional information, including participating in a 4 hour refresher class, please contact Todd Nicholson at EMSI.

Todd can be reached at tnicholson@emsi.org and at 412/494-5581

PA Health Professional Physician

The PA Department of Health will certify as a Health Professional Physician, a physician approved as having met the requirements of the EMS Act.

The physician must be endorsed by the Regional Medical Director and provide the following:

Verification of a Pennsylvania Physician License

Copy of current ACLS certification

Copy of PALS certification

EMS Instructor Information

To request an EMS Instructor packet, please provide following information and email to Richard Kaufman at rkaufman@emsi.org Name, Address, Phone Number, Email address, PA EMS Certification Number and location of the education institute and year you completed your Instructor program OR received a degree in Education OR received your PA teacher certificate. 


NEW! Instructor Professional Development

The PA Department of Health Bureau of EMS; in an effort to enhance the EMS educational system has determined it to be necessary that all certified EMS instructors including those that are teaching Continuing Education be required to take Modules 1, 2, 3, and 4 to continue as educators.

Module 1 is currently available online on the LMS website.

Modules 2 and 3 must be conducted by the EMS Council.

The next EMSI Instructor Professional Development course will be tentatively scheduled for late 2014. Contact Rich at rkaufman@emsi.org or 412/494-5574 for more details.

Modules 1, 2, and 3 must be completed.

Module 4 is an evaluation of a class you are teaching.

All modules must be taken in consecutive order. Additionally, please fax or mail a copy of your completed Modules to Rich Kaufman at the EMS Council. Any question on this requirement may be directed to rkaufman@emsi.org at 412-494-5574

PHRN Prepare

The PHRN Prepare modules are designed to assist registered nurses with gaining additional knowledge that is beneficial as they challenge the process of the Prehospital Nurse certification.

The PHRN Prepare modules are conducted by Regional Council staff and assistants and are provided at no cost to the participants.

The PHRN Prepare modules are not mandatory, are not a requirement for certification, and are not considered an examination.  These modules are most beneficial for Registered Nurses with little or no prehospital experience.

PHRN Prepare – Module 1 ( 4 hours )

  • Next classe is May 30
  •  Is designed to familiarize the Registered Nurse with the initial application process and exam processes as they attempt to earn certification as Prehospital Registered Nurses.

Class Work includes the following:

  • An overview of the assessment and management of patients encountered in the prehospital setting.  ( Medical and Trauma )
  • Spinal immobilization of a patient that is found in various positions including those laying supine and those found in a seated position.
  • Splinting and the immobilization of bone / joint injuries
  • Bleeding control and shock management
  • Cardiac arrest management and the use of an AED
  • Oxygen administration and Bag Valve Mask Ventilation.

PHRN Prepare – Module 2 ( 7 hours )

  • The next classes are scheduled for June 20, 2014 and October 10, 2014.
  • Is designed to assist the Registered Nurse in preparing for the NREMT cognitive exam as it places a heavy emphasis on Advanced Life Support Skills utilized by prehospital providers.  Additionally, this module will allow the PHRN candidate to learn about and practice with equipment that is utilized by prehospital ALS providers who function with an ambulance or flight service.

       Class Work includes the following:

  •  Management of Cardiac Emergencies and the recognition of a STEMI
  • Advanced Airway Management
  •  Oral Intubation
  • Nasal Intubation
  • Digital Intubation
  • Alternative Airway Devices ( King LT and Combi-tube )
  • Prehospital utilization of CPAP devices
  •  Intraosseous access via manual and mechanical devices
  •  Pediatric patients
  • Adult patients
  • Prehospital Pharmacology
  •  ALS and BLS Trauma care
  •  Trauma patient intubation with spinal immobilization
  • Chest Decompression for Tension Pneumothorax
  • Emergency airway procedures
  • Shock management
  •  EMS operations
  •  Use of BLS and ALS protocols
  • Triage
  • Medical Incident Command