LP Research Resources December 6, 2016

EMT Paramedic Training in Utah

EMT levels and certification in the state of Utah include important upcoming changes. Be sure to read this article carefully.

EMT and paramedic training, licensing and certification in the state of Utah are governed by the Utah Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. This state bureau must approve all the applicants and their certifications, before the individual can be employed in the state as an EMT.

EMS Licensing

As of September 2012 Utah will be phasing out two levels of EMT training and certification. The result is the state of Utah Education Standards listing four EMT levels. Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (A-EMT), and Paramedic. EMT replaces EMT-Basic, Advanced EMT replaces EMT-Intermediate, and Paramedic is updated.

The state of Utah and the Utah Bureau of Emergency Medical Services also requires the individual who has completed EMT and EMS paramedic training to pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam and recognizes the exam certification if taken in other states. In addition, passing of a state approved exam is also required before state licensing is issued.

Certification and Training –  Important Changes

By September 2012 Utah will phase out two levels of training and certification. The result will be the state of Utah Education Standards listing four EMT levels. Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (A-EMT), and Paramedic. EMT replaces EMT-Basic, Advanced EMT replaces EMT-Intermediate, and Paramedic is updated.

  1. For the new levels the difference between an EMT-Basic and the new EMT involves a few changes and though none are extremely significant, here is a list of the following skills which are new to the EMS training:
  • Use of oxygen humidifiers
  • Use of partial rebreather masks
  • Use of simple face masks
  • Use of Venturi masks
  • Obtaining a pulse oximetry value
  • Use of automated transport ventilators
  • Use of mechanical CPR devices
  • Application of mechanical patient restraint
  • Assisting a patient with his/her prescribed medications nebulized/aerosolized
  • Administration of aspirin by mouth
  • Use of an auto-injector (self or peer)

Patient care has not changed. Patient Assessment however includes new terminology that more closely mimics other health care professionals, i.e.:

  • Primary Assessment
  • History taking
  • Secondary Assessment
  • Monitoring Devices
  • Reassessment

Current EMT-basic will need to take the new EMT written exam when your recertification time comes up. Once all recertification requirements are met a new EMT certification and badge will be awarded.

2. Differences between an EMT-Intermediate and the new Advanced EMT:

EMT-Intermediate EMTs transitioning to the new Advanced EMT will find the following skills are new to this EMT training level, as well as some that are already at the EMT-I level.:

  • Insertion of supraglottic airways; airways not intended for insertion into the trachea
  • Use of oxygen humidifiers
  • Use of tracheostomy mask
  • Tracheobronchial suctioning (already-intubated patient)
  • Use of mechanical CPR devices (requires additional specialty training and device approval)
  • Application of mechanical patient restraint (not a new skill, but new information)
  • Insertion of intraosseous infusion in children
  • Administration of aerosolized or nebulized beta agonists (I-85s could previously only assist a patient with his or her own prescription medication and now they administer it as an EMS medication)
  • Allow self-administered nitrous oxide
  • Administer intramuscular epinephrine and glucagon
  • Administration of intranasal naloxone
  • Administer intravenous naloxone or 50% dextrose
  • Administration of subcutaneous epinephrine
  • Blood glucose monitoring

Some of the skills and services an EMT-I holds and can perform will not be allowed to be used as an A-EMT until recertification is met.

Initial Certification Process

The steps to become a Utah certified EMS professional are as follows:

  1. Sign up for a Bureau-approved EMS certification course.
  2. Complete and submit the following forms (found online at the Bureau of EMS):
    • An application for Certification, Recertification, and Reciprocity
    • A student Acknowledgement of Bureau Policies and Procedures
    • A declaration of Understanding of Technical, Academic, and Physical Standards
  3. Submit a photo of yourself for your EMS ID badge. If necessary, the photo can be taken at the Bureau of EMS.
  4. Submit a copy of current CPR course completion. The course must be accredited through current American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines.
  5. For EMT-IA and Paramedic, individuals need to submit documentation of current course completion of the following:
    • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
    • Either Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) or Pediatric Education for Prehospital Professionals (PEPP)
  6. Submit certification fees.
  7. Undergo a criminal background check.
  8. Individuals who have lived outside Utah anytime in the past five years must be fingerprinted.
  9. Submit current documentation of a tuberculosis test.
  10. Complete an EMT training course and be recommended for certification by the training course coordinator.
  11. After submitting an application, posting the required fees and completing the EMT training course, individuals must next schedule to take the practical exam and/or written exam for your certification level.

Utah EMTs and paramedics must also renew their certification every 4 years.

License Reciprocity for Utah

If you have passed the NREMT exam and/or are certified from another state you will still need to pass a transition course in order to become certified or licensed as an EMT in the state of Utah. EMS professionals who are certified in other states or the armed forces may apply for reciprocity through the following reciprocity steps.

Sign up to attend a Reciprocity Orientation. This is not a mandatory requirement, but it is highly encouraged. Individuals can review the Reciprocity Orientation Meeting Schedule and contact the Bureau of EMS to sign up.

  1. Complete and submit the following forms (found online at the Bureau of EMS):
    • Application for Certification, Recertification, and Reciprocity
    • Reciprocity Acknowledgement of Bureau Policies and Procedures
    • Declaration of Understanding of Technical, Academic, and Physical Standards
  2. Submit a photo of yourself for your EMS ID badge. If necessary, the photo can be taken at the Bureau of EMS.
  3. Submit proof of current state (or armed forces) EMT certification or your National Registry of EMTs (NREMT) identification card. The Bureau of EMS will verify your certification status.
  4. Submit a copy of current CPR course completion. The course must be accredited through current American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines.
  5. For EMT-IA and Paramedic: Submit documentation of current EMT training course completion of the following:
    • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
    • Either Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) or Pediatric Education for Prehospital Professionals (PEPP)
  6. Submit documentation of 25 hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) within the past year.
  7. Submit certification fees.
  8. Undergo a criminal background check.
  9. Individuals who have lived outside Utah anytime in the past five years must be fingerprinted.
  10. Submit current documentation of a tuberculosis test.
  11. After submitting an application, posting the required fees and completing the EMT training course, individuals must next schedule to take the practical exam and/or written exam for your certification level.

Additional Information

The Utah Bureau of Emergency Medical Services has an online Certification System, available for all EMS certification verification and listings of upcoming EMS courses. In addition, all forms requiring notarization can be notarized at the Bureau of EMS office.

Most Utah EMT training programs are through local community colleges and technical schools. Valley State College, in Provo, and Ogden’s Weber State University  are just two Utah paramedic schools offering certification courses.

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.

Contact Information

Further information can be obtained by contacting the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and EMS Office.

Mailing Address:
Bureau of Emergency Medical Services
Utah Department of Health
PO Box 142004
Salt Lake City UT 84114-2004

EMS Office:
3760 S Highland Dr., Floors 4 & 5
Salt Lake City, UT
(Do not mail to this address; use the mailing address, above)
Phone: 801-273-6666