LP Research Resources December 6, 2016

EMT Paramedic Training in Pennsylvania

EMT and paramedic training, licensing and certification in the state of Pennsylvania are governed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council (PEHSC). This state bureau must approve all the applicants, as well as their certifications, before the individual can be employed in the state. The state of Pennsylvania and the PEHSC also requires the individual who has completed PA EMT training and PA Paramedic training to sit for and pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam.

Pennsylvania EMS certification levels:

–  First Responder (FR) –  Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) –  Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic (EMT-P) –  Pre-Hospital Registered Nurse (PHRN) –  Health Professional MD/DO (HP MD/DO) Pennsylvania EMT training education 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 Pennsylvania program and paramedic training level. These programs must meet minimum standards for coursework and clinical experience to be accredited.

Certification Prerequisites

To become a certified in the state of Pennsylvania an individual: •        must be at least 18 years of age •        must enroll in EMT-basic training and pass EMT certification (for EMT 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 To join the emergency medical services (EMS) personnel in Pennsylvania you will need to take a First responder, Emergency Medical Technician training class, or a PA paramedic education class.  Once you have successfully completed the courses required, you will take a written and practical examination by means of the National Registry Emergency Medical Technician Exam (NREMT). The passing of the exam will provide you with an EMT certification card, issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Training Information and Requirements:

1. First Responder (FR):  you must be at least 16 years of age and a resident of the state of Pennsylvania.  Training will include, but is not limited to:

  • general patient assessment
  • classroom and practical lab courses
  • provide emergency care such as:
    • bleeding control
    • spinal immobilization
    • oxygen administration
    • the use of the automated external defibrillator (AED)
    • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation(CPR)

First Responder training in PA consists of courses totaling 58 hours in length. 2. Emergency Medical Technician: you must be at least 16 years of age and a resident of the state of Pennsylvania.  Training will include, but is not limited to:

  • general patient assessment
  • classroom and practical lab courses
  • provide emergency care such as:
    • bleeding control
    • spinal immobilization
    • oxygen administration
    • the use of the automated external defibrillator (AED)
    • complex immobilization procedures
    • airway management
    • may assist patients in the administration of certain medications
    • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation(CPR)

EMT training in PA consists of courses totaling approximately 140 hours in length.

Paramedic Training

Emergency Medical Technician – Paramedic (EMT-P): you must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the state of Pennsylvania. You must also hold a current CPR certification and current EMT certification to enter a Pennsylvania paramedic training program.  Training will include, but is not limited to:

  • the same skills as the First Responder and EMT, plus:
    • advanced patient assessment
    • airway management
    • intravenous fluid therapy
    • trauma management
    • pharmacology
    • cardiology
    • other medical skills

Paramedic training in PA consists of courses totaling approximately 14 months to two years depending upon the paramedic program, such as a paramedic certification verses a paramedic Associate’s degree program. The paramedic training courses in Pennsylvania will include classroom courses, practical labs, in-hospital clinical experiences and a field internship.

Paramedic Certification/Licensing and Employment

In the state of PA, EMT training certification cards are issued for three years. Pennsylvania Paramedic certification cards are valid indefinitely once paramedic training and licensing has been completed, however, continuing education is required. The continuing education, to keep EMT certification current for Pennsylvania paramedic training, can be obtained several ways, including:

  • Attending approved continuing education classes (which are held throughout various parts of the Commonwealth)
  • Attend state approved EMS Conferences
  • Participate in the Learning Management System (on-line continuing education)

This re-certification requires: 1.  First Responders: 16 hours of continuing education credits in three years,  and eight hours of those 16 must be medical/trauma. 2.  EMTs: 24 hours of continuing education credits in three years, and twelve of those 24 must be in medical/trauma. 3.  Paramedics are required to have eighteen hours of continuing education every year. Nine of those hours must be in medical/trauma. 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.

Pennsylvania Salaries

The average salary for candidates completing EMT training and finding employment is $16,090-$19,970/year.  The average salary for candidates completing paramedic training and finding employment is $25,310-$33,210/year. 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.

Contact Information

Further information can be obtained by contacting the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council (PEHSC) via email at pehsc@pehsc.org
or by calling: (717) 795-0740.    In Pennsylvania only: (800) 243-2367.

The following are EMS schools and programs in Pennsylvania that offer accredited EMT paramedic training:

Center for Emergency Medicine in Pittsburgh, PA has provided Pennsylvania EMT training for over 30 years, including EMT and paramedic training for students from many countries. CPR, EMT and paramedic training courses are offered. Harrisburg Area Community College in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has a paramedic training program that offers both a certificate and associate degree. The EMT paramedic certificate program is 33 credits; the EMT paramedic degree program is 79 credits, lasting 6 semesters. Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, PA offers an EMT training program, a paramedic certificate program and associate degree program for those interested in emergency medical training in Pennsylvania. The EMT paramedic certificate is a 37-credit, four-semester program. The paramedic degree is a 71 credit, 2 year Associate’s Degree paramedic program.