EMT and paramedic training, licensing and certification in the state of Colorado are governed through the Colorado Board of Health, Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment: Emergency Medical and Trauma Services. This state bureau must approve all the applicants and certifications before the individual can be employed in the state as an EMT.
During the past year, there have been some important changes regarding EMS education and EMT certification in the state of Colorado. This includes changes made in the terminology for the four EMS levels Colorado has for certification:
Emergency Medical Technician Basic – is now changed to Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
The next level of certification, which has only been recently added, is Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT)
Emergency Medical Technician Intermediate/99 – now -EMT-Intermediate (EMT-I)
Emergency Medical Technician Paramedic – is now changed to – Paramedic
In addition, the term “EMS Provider” has been added to the definitions to mean “all levels of emergency medical technician certification as issued by the department”. There is no fee to become state certified as an EMS provider in Colorado.
Certification Programs and Requirements:
Currently there are more than 40 EMT training programs in Colorado. These programs will be responsible for revising their curriculums to meet the new Education Standards for the EMT, AEMT and EMT Paramedic levels. The curriculum for the EMT-I level has not changed. Programs that currently teach at the EMT-I level are automatically recognized to teach at the AEMT level as well.
A student interested in EMS training and who wants to become certified in the state of Colorado must be 18 years of age; complete CPR certification; pass a background check; provide fingerprints.
Colorado EMS students who successfully complete their initial EMS courses must pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians’ (National Registry) practical and written examinations in order to become nationally registered and be awarded certification in the state of Colorado.
There are changes coming regarding the EMT -I level. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, the National Registry will not be providing a registration examination at the EMT-I level. States, such as Colorado, who wish to continue to use it for assessment, will be able to use the National Registry which will provide the exam as an assessment examination. After Jan. 1, 2014, individuals who successfully pass the National Registry EMT-I assessment examination will be able to apply for Colorado EMT-I certification.
Recertification as an EMS provider is every three years in the state of Colorado and the CO EMS provider will continue to be recertified if they meet the current recertification requirements (i.e., National Registry registration or within six months of expiration date and completion of minimum CEUs and skills attestation, current CPR certification, and current ACLS certification for EMT-I and Paramedic levels.)
If you have a current NREMT certification from another state, but want to be EMS certified in Colorado, you must you must complete all Colorado application requirements and submit the application packet to the EMTS Section, Certification Unit. The state of Colorado does not have reciprocity with any states. This application packet can be found on the COEMS website.
EMTs may also transition (or bridge) to a new (or higher) level of EMT practice and certification. The state of Colorado has several accredited EMS Education Centers which offer these courses and meet state and national requirements. Upon completion of the Colorado EMT training or paramedic program, applicants who successfully pass the National Registry examination process are then eligible to apply for state certification. Additionally, EMT Intermediate to paramedic advancement (or bridge) programs must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Those individuals interested in specific information on bridge and EMT advancement programs, may contact a Colorado approved Education Center.
The AEMT (Advanced Emergency Medical Technician) level will require 36 hours of continuing education (same number of hours as the EMT level).
More changes to CO EMT training and certification are expected, so be sure to stay updated prior to pursing EMT training in Colorado.
Requirements for pursuing training are fairly similar in each region, and details of these are somewhat common state to state. Read the articles found in EMT Training Top Tips and Paramedic Training Best Tips for details and a list of these requirements.
Further information regarding EMS certification in the state of Colorado can be found by contacting the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment HFEMS – 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South Denver, CO 80246-1530 Phone: (303) 692-2980.
For licensing and certification: (303) 692-2836 OR email: firstname.lastname@example.org