LP Research Resources January 23, 2018

EMT Paramedic Training in North Carolina


EMT and paramedic training, licensing and certification in the state of North Carolina are governed by the NC Division of Health Service Regulation – North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services.  This state bureau must approve all the applicants and certifications before the individual can be employed in the state as an NC EMT.

The state of North Carolina and the NC Office of Emergency Medical Services also requires the individual who has completed EMT training to pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam and recognizes the exam certification if taken in other states.

Certification and training:

North Carolina has five levels of EMT training certification: Medical Responder, EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate (in NC this is between an EMT/85 and EMT/99), EMT-Paramedic and EMT-Advanced Practice Paramedic. In NC this EMT-Advanced PP is much like a paramedic; however they can do more advanced services in community preventative care.

EMT and paramedic training programs in North Carolina must meet minimum standards for coursework and clinical experience to be accredited. These programs vary in length and credit hours due to the variables in each program. In addition to the program course hours, clinical experience is required for each NC EMT training course program and EMS certification level.

Certification in the state of North Carolina requires an individual:

  • must be at least 18 years of age
  • must enroll in EMT-basic training and pass EMT certification (for advancement to Paramedic)
  • must pass a criminal background check
  • must possess current CPR certification
  • must have a high school diploma, GED or equivalent
  • must pass a drug screening
  • must have a valid NC driver’s license
  • must pass a physical

If you currently hold a North Carolina issued EMS credential, you may only apply for legal recognition at a higher or lower EMS credentialing level.

Reciprocity (referred to as Legal Recognition in NC)

Individuals who are certified as an EMT in other states, hold an NREMT card, or are certified through the National Academy of Emergency Dispatchers may seek issue of a North Carolina certification through a “Legal Recognition” process. To begin this process one must first be a resident of North Carolina. Next one must attend an EMS educational program in North Carolina, or work for a licensed North Carolina EMS provider.

North Carolina has a Credentialing Information System (CIS), which is used for Legal Recognition (Reciprocity). Forms are found online through the NC Office of Emergency Medical Services. There you will find easy to follow steps, including a tutorial allowing you to find your EMS certification number, including what to do if you cannot find your information. An individual must first create a CIS profile.

After you have created your profile, log into CIS, select “Profile” from the drop down menu on the left and choose “Request Legal Recognition.” After you have applied for legal recognition (reciprocity) online, you will receive an information packet in the mail. Once you complete and return the required information, the OEMS will keep your online application open for six months. You should allow a minimum of 60 days to complete this process.  If you have not been a resident of NC in the past 5 years, you will be required to pass a background check.

Additional Information and Contacts

Most North Carolina EMT training programs are through local community colleges and technical schools. Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, NC, Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, NC and Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, NC are just a few of the paramedic schools offering certification courses in NC.

There are additional requirements for pursuing EMT and paramedic training in each region, and details of these are fairly common state to state. Read the articles EMT Training and EMT Paramedic Training for details and a list of these requirements.

According to the United States Department of Labor: Employment of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and paramedics is expected to grow by 19 percent between 2006 and 2016, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services
Chief: Regina Godette-Crawford
Physical Address: 1201 Umstead Drive, Raleigh, North Carolina 27603-2008
Mailing Address: 2707 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-2707
Telephone: 919-855-3935
Fax: 919-733-7021

Questions: email McKenzie Cook at – mckenzie.cook@dhhs.nc.gov

For Reciprocity/Legal Recognition Questions:
call: Alesia Hester at 919-855-3956 or Gloria Currie at 919-855-3944