EMT and paramedic training, licensing and certification in the state of Wisconsin are governed by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. This state bureau must approve all the applicants, and their certifications before the individual can be employed in the state as an EMT.
The state of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Health 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. In addition, passing of a state approved exam is also required before state licensing is issued.
Wisconsin levels of certification:
Wisconsin has five levels of EMS training for certification or licensing: Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) also known as First Responder, EMT-Basic, EMT-Advanced, EMT-Intermediate and EMT-Paramedic. Emergency Medical Responders (EMRs) are levels that are certification. Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and EMT paramedics (EMT-P) are licensed EMS levels.
Training programs in Wisconsin in must meet minimum standards for coursework and clinical experience to be accredited. These Wisconsin EMT courses 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 Wisconsin training program level.
To become a certified in the state of Wisconsin an individual:
• must be at least 18 years of age
• must enroll in EMT-basic training and pass EMT certification
• 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
Training information and requirements:
• WI EM/First Responder requires 60 hours of training courses, yet there are some programs which provide a more generic First Responder course in 40 hours.
• WI EMT-Basic training consists of 140 hours of instruction including classroom, practical and emergency room education.
• WI EMT-Advanced consists of an additional 100 hours of training after the 140 hours required to complete the EMT-Basic course. Approximately 60 of these hours are spent in the classroom, and the remaining 40 hours are spent in the emergency room for hands on training.
• WI EMT-Intermediate training consists of at least 335 hours of additional EMT training. Almost 2/3 of this training takes place in the classroom with the remaining time spent in various departments of the hospital, in the back of an ambulance, and working with an instructor while practicing their skills. This training teaches the student to be able to administer more than 20 different medications, including cardiac medications and narcotics, as well as perform a variety of advanced procedures.
• WI EMT-Paramedic is the highest level of EMT training certification and licensure. It requires at least 1,000 hours of courses. About half of the training time takes place in the classroom with the remaining hours being spent in several hospital departments and in the ambulance working with licensed paramedics.
Licensing and Employment
A training for Paramedic License and certification information including applications and the renewal process can be found at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website – www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/ems. Information on refresher courses can also be found through the website. The state of Wisconsin has a fairly new online application process called E-Licensing. It can be used for licensing and credentialing qualified individuals in Wisconsin and shall be used by all levels from Emergency Medical Responder through Paramedic.
Wisconsin EMS personnel must also renew their Wisconsin certification every two years. This recertification requires completing continuing education (CE) courses, known as refresher courses during each certification period.
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.
License Reciprocity for the State of Wisconsin
All EMS personnel who are licensed or trained in other states may qualify for EMS licensure in Wisconsin. All EMS levels of training are required by the state of Wisconsin to hold current National Registry certification in order to be licensed in Wisconsin. Eligible applicants without current National Registry certification will need to pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam. Electronic applications are submitted through Wisconsin E-Licensing, so you will first need to create a Wisconsin E-Licensing account.
The state of Wisconsin also requires documentation and materials in order to determine license eligibility. These require an individual to:
• Complete a Reciprocity License application in Wisconsin E-Licensing.
• Complete the Verification of Out-Of-State Licensure and submit it to the state EMS office(s) that you hold or have held an EMS license for. This is available through
• Possess a valid NREMT number for the EMS level you are applying for.
• Submit a copy of the Certificate of Completion for an approved Terrorism Awareness course. If you have previously completed this course, you do not need to repeat it.
• Pay an administrative fee of $50 must be submitted with any reciprocity application.
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.
Wisconsin Schools and Courses
Wisconsin has numerous EMT and First Responder training courses and there are several schools in Wisconsin that offer two year or four year degrees in Emergency Medical Services.
Most of these programs are through local community colleges and technical schools. Northeast WI Technical College, Oshkosh FD Training Center, and Lakeshore Technical College are just three EMT paramedic school programs in Wisconsin offering certification courses of all EMS levels.
Further information can be obtained by contacting the Department of Health Services / 1 West Wilson Street Madison, WI 53703 /General Phone Number: 608-266-1865 OR
Emergency Medical Services – Helen Pullen @ Helen.Pullen@wisconsin.gov / phone: 608-266-1568 OR
Emergency Medical Services, Training Centers and Emergency Medical Training – Fred Hornby @ Frederick.Hornby@wisconsin.gov / phone: 608-266-8853