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EMT Certification FAQs

Where can I find initial EMT courses?

Visit our Training and Education webpage for a list of EMT training programs in the region.

Where can I find continuing education (CE) units?

Continuing education is available from many sources: local agency providers, colleges, even online. Information on some of these opportunities is available on our training and education webpage, including a list of online training resources. All CE units must be earned from a local California EMS CE provider, or a CE Provider accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE), and must list the provider number directly on the certificate. Please note that CAPCE was known as the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for EMS or “CECBEMS” until July 1, 2016. CVEMSA will accept CE issued by CECBEMS-approved providers during the transition, as the standards and requirements of CAPCE are identical; the only change was to the name of the accrediting body.

Continuing education credit may be also granted for completion of college courses in physical, social or behavioral sciences (e.g., anatomy, physiology, sociology, psychology). Ten (10) CE hours will be awarded for each academic quarter unit, fifteen (15) CE hours will be awarded for each academic semester unit.

What is the difference between continuing education (CE) and refresher courses?

Continuing education courses are typically one to two hour courses on a variety of topics. Multiple courses are taken to obtain the needed number of hours. Often conferences offer one or more days of continuing education credits. Refresher courses are typically 24 hours in length (spread over multiple days or evenings) and are focused on teaching commonly used skills and learning experiences. CVEMSA will accept a maximum of twelve (12) hours of issued CE per day.

Why would I choose a refresher course over continuing education courses?

If you work as an EMT, continuing education classes are a good way to learn about different topics. If you are not working in the field, a refresher course is a good way to get an overview of all the subjects and skills you are expected to know.

How do I obtain my EMT initial certification or recertification?

The procedures for obtain certification from the Coastal Valleys EMS agency is available on the EMT Certification/Recertification webpage.

Is there a time limit to apply for certification with the agency?

You have two years from the date of your initial EMT course completion to apply for EMT certification. Applications submitted after two years will not be accepted.

Why did you deny my application for EMT certification or recertification?

There are occasions when an application has been filled out wrong, has the wrong CPR class, has been submitted with CE units earned during a past certification cycle, or includes CE unit certificates that do not list the CE provider number.

In these cases, we will send you a letter explaining what is wrong with your application. Your application will be processed when you submit the necessary materials.


Why did you not accept my EMT skills verification form?

Usually it is because your skills verification form is missing necessary information. All skills verification forms must include the certification/license number of the individual verifying competency. If the skills are verified by an individual certified/licensed outside the Coastal Valleys EMS region, a copy of the verifying individual's certification card of license must be included.

Can I work as an EMT with an expired card?

No, you may not work as an EMT or represent yourself as an EMT if your card has expired. One day late is the same as six months late. There are no extension of your expiration date.

My certification has expired. What must I do to get recertified?

Information on the procedures for lapsed EMT certification is available on the EMT Certification/Recertification webpage.

My certification has expired. Why must I take a written skills competency verification exam?

State law requires that, if you submit you recertification application after your card has expired more than 12 months, you must pass the National Registry skills and written examination. This exam can usually be found at a training institution that offers EMT courses. For more information contact the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).

Why do I need a background check for my EMT certificate?

As of July 2010 the State of California EMS Authority required all EMT certificate applicants to submit to Criminal Offender Record Investigation (CORI) with subsequent arrest notification to the EMS Agency as a condition of certification. See the EMT Background Investigation FAQ for complete information.

Contact Us

Coastal Valleys EMS Agency
195 Concourse Blvd., Suite B
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 565-6501
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