EMT Program Frequently Asked Questions (EMT FAQ):

Disclaimer: The following information is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing. We frequently review and update this page to ensure accuracy, however, information may change without our knowledge. Please verify with your state, local, or national registry officials that the information is correct before relying on it to make a decision. If you notice anything that is listed incorrectly, please email us to let us know.

Last Update:  August 28, 2020


What’s the difference between Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)?

While the titles are similar, EMTs complete almost double the training hours as their EMR counterparts.  The EMR program (formerly known as Medical Response Technician – MRT – or First Responder – FR) was established with the intent to provide basic first aid treatment for sudden illness and injuries.  As EMRs serve in the first tier of emergency response, the EMR typically has other public safety duties such as a firefighter or police officer.  Workplace safety teams commonly train to the EMR level so that they can render first aid care to individuals that become ill or injured at work until EMTs can arrive.  An EMR usually does not transport patients to the hospital.

EMTs have more advanced skills, are able to administer emergency medications, and are trained in the transport, stabilization, and ongoing assessment of patients.  Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies typically have crew members that are at the EMT, Advanced EMT, and Paramedic levels.  In Connecticut, EMS regulation requires that at least one EMT be in the patient care compartment during transport.

EMT candidates do NOT need EMR to obtain EMT certification.

How old do you have to be to become an EMT?

Participants must be at least 16 years old when they start EMT certification testing at the end of their course. Participants under 16 may complete EMT training but will be unable to start certification testing until after their 16th birthday. 

As of October 1, 2019 the National Registry of EMTs (NREMT) provides national certification to EMTs 16 and older.  Connecticut also provides state certification to EMTS

Are there any prerequisites for the EMT program?

EMT is an entry level into the field of Emergency Medical Services. Participants are not required to complete any prerequisite courses prior to beginning EMT.

Does Code One offer paramedic training?

Due to the number of paramedic programs in the Hartford and New Haven area and the limited availability of quality paramedic level clinical rotations, Code One does not currently offer paramedic training. Paramedic is not considered an entry level into EMS and many programs require at least 2 years experience as an EMT at a busy EMS service before starting paramedic training. Our recommendation for anyone wanting to become a paramedic is to complete EMT training and get at least a year of decent patient care experience before considering starting a paramedic program – it will make your training so much easier when you have a foundation of field experience to rely on. Many of our teammates are paramedics so you can also ask for their recommendations during class.

Can I get EMT certification if I have a criminal record?

It depends on your conviction. Please review the NREMT policy on criminal convictions. This policy provides information about whether or not the NREMT will grant registration based upon the severity and type of conviction. Although this policy provides a guide for issuing NREMT registration, it is at the sole discretion of the NREMT to approve or deny an application.

The State of Connecticut Office of Emergency Medical Services conducts a separate determination as to whether or not to grant certification based upon severity and type of conviction. OEMS will only make their decision when processing a candidate’s application for certification – this is only after the course and all testing has been successfully completed. OEMS does not publish a policy for its decision making nor will they provide an answer as to whether or not they will grant certification until they have a completed application. Please report any prior criminal convictions to your program director prior to the start of training so that we can verify with our clinical sites that they will admit you for this portion of the program.

Can I become an EMT if I have a disability?

Code One and the Office of Emergency Medical Services will provide reasonable accommodations for disabled program participants. Typically Code One matches any type of accommodation that the NREMT will provide during the certification testing process such as extra time for testing.

Since EMT certification requires the competent demonstration of psychomotor skills, all program participants will need to adequately perform required skill, such as CPR, to obtain certification. Reasonable accommodations for skills will be provided upon request and approval from OEMS. Please make any requests for accommodation to your program director.

Registration and Payment:

Do you have a payment plan for the EMT course?

Unfortunately we no longer have a payment plan available for the EMT program. We do accept all major credit cards for payment.

Are there any grant programs for EMT Tuition Assistance?

Yes. Our courses are approved by Workforce Alliance / American Job Centers for residents of the Greater New Haven Area. More information on the Health Careers Advancement Project is here.

Code One accepts students funded by various other agencies including the Department of Children and Families and local housing authorities. If you receive personal financial assistance, please check with your sponsor to see if you qualify for a training grant. We are happy to provide funding agencies any information required for approval.

Related Article: What is the cost of an EMT Course?

Related Article: How to Pay for an EMT Course?

When do EMT classes start?

Code One offers accelerated daytime courses in East Hartford several times per year. Evening courses in Woodbridge and East Hartford are available quarterly.

Check our schedule at code1web.com/emt to see when courses are starting.

Where do I register for my EMT course?

EMT Participants may register for training online. You can choose your course format (5 week or 13 week) and the start date of your course. We can also register you in person at any of our offices during business hours.

Register for EMT Training Here

How do I pay for my EMT class?

When you register online you can choose to pay your course in full or to pay a $200 deposit to hold a seat in the class.

EMT Course deposits are nonrefundable but you may transfer a deposit to another class session within 1 year if you are unable to attend the original course.

We will email an invoice for your course balance within 1-2 business days of registration. The balance of your payment is due by the first day of class.

What payment methods do you accept for the EMT Program?

We accept all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express), check, and cash.

Can you invoice my fire/EMS/police department for EMT training?

Yes. During registration enter the discount code “INVOICE” and include in the comments field all details needed for us to issue the invoice to your agency (department, contact name, address, email, and purchase order number if it’s needed on the invoice).


Is attendance required to all classes?

We encourage participants to attend all course sessions so they do not fall behind on course content. We realize that this may not always be possible so we provide limited flexibility with absences. OEMS and NREMT both have minimum participation hour requirements for EMT programs that we must strictly adhere to. We build extra days into each class to account for missed sessions due to illness or weather. Excessive absences, even for legitimate reasons, may prohibit you from completing the course due to minimum hour requirements. We request that all students notify their lead instructor prior to class if they will be absent and submit any due assignments prior to the start of class.

Participants that exceed one unexcused absence (an absence or tardiness in which the lead instructor was not notified prior to class starting) are dismissed from the program.


Do you provide a clinical externship?

Code One provides 16 hours of ambulance ride time and 4 hours of observation time at a NREMT practical exam for each participant. We have partnerships with several EMS agencies which allows flexibility in scheduling internships outside of class time. Externships are scheduled following the course midterm.

Do I need any immunizations to attend clinical rotations?

For the safety of students, EMS crews, and patients, all students should be current with their CDC recommended vaccinations prior to starting training. This includes the current influenza, tetanus vaccination, and a tuberculosis skin test. EMT Course Participants may need to present vaccination records upon request.

What do I wear to clinical rotations?

EMT Course Participants are issued a shirt to wear for their clinical assignments.  Please wear dark EMS pants or slacks with dark shoes or boots to your clinical rotation.  Dark jackets or fleeces are acceptable for cold weather and should not have any logos or designs on them.

What do I need to bring to clinical rotations?

You should arrive early to your clinical assignment (crews will leave without you if you are late!) with a notepad, pen, stethoscope (issued in class), and your assignment sheet/evaluation (printable from Code One Web Course Tools).

Testing and Certification:

What tests do I need to take for EMT certification?

After successfully completing your EMT classroom training, you’ll need to take the National Registry of EMTs (NREMT) cognitive (written) and psychomotor (practical) exams.

The practical exam is offered every 2-3 weeks by Code One in East Hartford. The exam consists of five stations which tests EMT skills based upon the NREMT skill sheets. The skills stations tested are:

  • Patient Assessment / Management – Medical
  • Patient Assessment / Management – Trauma
  • BVM Ventilation of an Apneic Adult Patient
  • Cardiac Arrest Management / AED
  • Random Skill (Long bone / Joint Immobilization / Bleeding Control / Shock)

Code One’s EMT training program utilizes the same equipment and skill sheets that are used on the EMT practical examination. This ensures our students are familiar with equipment and prepared for their exam.

The cognitive exam is conducted at Pearson Vue testing centers by appointment. The NREMT uses a Computer Adaptive Test to assess competence in each topic area. More information about the test can be found on the NREMT website.

Do I need any additional training or certifications beyond the EMT program?

Yes. Effective Jan 1, 2020, the State of Connecticut requires by law that all new EMR, EMT, AEMT, and Paramedic applicants have a current certification in Mental Health First Aid. The Connecticut General Assembly passed a requirement which went into effect January 1, 2020 mandating Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) certification for initial EMR, EMT, AEMT, and Paramedic certification or licensure in Connecticut. A supplement to the General Statutes released in March 2020 modified this requirement to only apply to Paramedic initial licensure. As there has been so much back and forth with this requirement with additional legislation pending, Code One believes that MHFA training is very important for all levels of EMS provider and we are continuing to offer the MHFA training and certification as part of the EMT program at no additional cost to our students.

Participants also must complete National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) and CPR certification training.

Code One includes all necessary training and certifications as part of the EMT program at no additional cost.

How long do I have once class is completed to take the EMT testing?

We recommend graduates take exams as soon as possible while content is still fresh.  Candidates have two years from course completion to successfully complete the practical and cognitive examinations.

What if I fail my practical exam?

EMT Candidates who fail practical examination stations will need to repeat stations at a future exam date. There is no limit on the number of attempts to pass the psychomotor exam.

Practical exam results are distributed 3-5 business days following the exam. Candidates testing in Connecticut can take their initial and repeat station examinations at any testing center (does not need to be the same location as their initial attempt).

  • One station failure – meet with two EMS Instructors to complete a Review and Retrain verification
  • Two station failure – repeat these failed stations at another exam session. Register for repeat exams here.
  • Three station failure from an exam prior  to October 15, 2018 – repeat these failed stations at another exam session.
  • Three station (after October 15, 2018),  four station, or five station failure – repeat the entire examination at another exam session. Register for the full exam here.

Exam results are posted to NREMT 4-6 weeks after passing both the written and practical exams.

What if I fail my EMT cognitive exam?

Cognitive exams are repeated at Pearson Vue Testing Centers. Exam results are posted to your NREMT account 2-3 business days after your exam attempt.

If you fail the cognitive exam there is a short waiting period before you’re eligible to retest.

Here are the rules for how many times you can repeat testing:

  • First three attempts provided upon completion of EMT course
  • Three additional attempts provided after completion of NREMT Remedial Training
  • Candidate must repeat EMT course after 6 failed exam attempts. Testing cycle starts over after completion of subsequent EMT course.

Do I need to complete my EMT testing in a particular order?

The psychomotor and cognitive exams may be completed in either order.

Are there accommodations made in testing for persons with disabilities?

Yes, both OEMS and the NREMT will make reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Please contact your instructor for details.


Will I be able to obtain my NREMT EMT certification from Code One’s EMT course?

Yes. Graduates of Code One’s EMT program receive NREMT certification upon successful completion of training, application, and certification testing.

Will I be able to obtain my Connecticut EMT certification from Code One’s EMT course?

Yes.  Code One’s EMT programs are approved by Connecticut Office of Emergency Medical Services and result in certification from Connecticut upon successful completion of training, application, and certification testing.

How long are my Connecticut EMT and NREMT certifications valid for?

Starting January 1, 2020, Connecticut EMT certifications will be valid for two years and will match the expiration date of the EMT’s NREMT certification.

NREMT certifications expire every two years on March 31.

EMT certifications issued prior to January 2020 were valid for 3 years.


What happens if my NREMT certification lapses?

EMTs who originally had NREMT certification and have held continuous state certification in Connecticut will be eligible for a one-time reinstatement in January 2020 under the Mark King Inititative.

Beyond this period, EMTs would need to obtain reinstatement of their lapsed certification from NREMT by completing continuing education requirements and then retesting the cognitive and psychomotor examinations.

More information on reinstating a lapsed NREMT certification is here.

What steps do I need to take to renew my EMT certification in Connecticut?

As of January 1, 2020 Connecticut requires EMR, EMT, and AEMT providers to complete ongoing education using the NREMT National Continued Competency Program (NCCP). The recertification process requires EMS providers to complete 40 hours of continuing education training in prescribed topic areas.

More information on the updated Connecticut EMT recertification requirements is here.

How do I get my Connecticut EMT certification reinstated once it has expired?

A Connecticut certification (EMR, EMT, AEMT, EMSI) that has expired remains valid for ninety (90) days.

A certification that expired less than 2 years may be reinstated by completing the required NCCP continuing education requirements. The applicant must submit an approved “Reinstatement Application” which is available on the OEMS website.

A certification that has expired more than 2 years may be reinstated by completing initial EMT training and completing the NREMT cognitive and psychomotor exams.


How do I transfer my EMT certification to another state?

It depends on the state. Most states will require current NREMT certification and a verification of your certificate from the state(s) in which you have held EMT certification.  Some states require a background check, fingerprinting, competency testing or the completion of a state protocol training program. Other states have reciprocity agreements with their neighbors which allows easy transfer. 

The best way to determine how to transfer EMT certification is by checking with the Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) in the state that you’re seeking to become EMT certified.  The NREMT has a helpful listing of all state OEMS department

9 thoughts on “EMT Program Frequently Asked Questions (EMT FAQ):”

  1. I took the emt class but not the test. Because of covid-19 I really want to go to work as an EMT, but there is no way to take the exam. What can I do? Will they accept me under a modified test I can take at home?

    1. Hi Marley – it depends on what state you’re in. The NREMT has started a provisional certification program where they grant certification to EMTs who pass their class and the cognitive (written) exam at Pearson-Vue. These exams are still available during the pandemic. NREMT has suspended psychomotor (practical) testing until the crisis resolves and these exams are offered again. Provided your state has adopted NREMT provisional certification or something similar, you can go to work in EMS after passing the written exam and take the practical exam later to get your full certification.

    2. Testing has resumed with precautions in place for EMT certification. The NREMT also has a provisional certificate available which can be obtained by taking the cognitive exam only (no practical) however your state or employer may not accept the provisional credential.

  2. I have no medical knowledge whatsoever.. but after helping with the victims of the 2020 Easter tornadoes, I really want to pursue getting my EMT license to see what direction I want to take… Is there any classes/ studies/ knowledge I should have before hand?

  3. I completed my EMT class and passed the cognitive exam and am scheduled to take the practical, BUT because of COVID my ride time (clinicals) were all canceled, if I pass and get certified am I able to work as an EMT or do I have to find somewhere to get the clinical hours? Any feedback is appreciated, thank you!

    1. Hi Erin, if you took your course with Code One, you’re able to sign up for ride time once clinical resumes. The state recently lifted the clinical restriction but we are awaiting permission from our clinical sites to resume accepting students.

  4. I took my emt course in 2018 and graduated may of that year. I passed the practical but, was unsuccessful on the cognitive 3 times. I know what i’m talking about when it comes to this stuff I am a really bad test taker. I later went to fire school where my course lapsed and i was able to get a extension which is where I received two of the three unsuccessful scores. Currently I am in the line of work because I am a firefighter. Is it possible for me to challenge the test or possibly just take a refresher course to take the test again? I live in florida and I didnt know if they had or currently have a state licensure.

    1. Great question, thanks for reaching out. From a NREMT standpoint, the EMT course needs to be completed in the prior two years so it would seem that you would need to repeat the initial course. Florida may have different rules, so I’d suggest checking with the office of emergency services there to find out the time window for testing.

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