Frequently Asked Questions

1. What can you tell me about EMS?

Here is a website that provides generalized information about Emergency Medical Services (EMS), EMT, EMT-Advanced and the Paramedic career fields:

 Occupational Outlook Handbook for EMS

To learn about EMS:

2. Do I have to register as a student at COCC to take the EMT or EMT-Advanced class?

Yes, you must register as a student through the Admissions Department. You must take all required entrance placement exams or provide exam scores from another college. You do not have to seek the EMS degree to take the EMT or EMT-Advanced courses. Admissions Department (541) 383-7500.

How do I get started?
See: Getting Started at COCC

 3. What does "Department Approval" mean?

Department Approval requires you to contact the EMS/SFS Program Director for approval prior to registering for a course.  Certain EMS and Structural Fire classes require department approval prior to registration due to needed  certifications or affliation(See below: What is affiliation?).  

Immunization requirements for registration in all EMS certification courses - EMT , Advanced and Paramedic levels:
Required immunization requirements. OHA Division 30, Chapter 409 Rules for Health Professions Programs

4. What are the requirements to become an EMT in Oregon?

Please see the Oregon Department of Health-EMS & Trauma OAR 333.265 pertaining to EMS:

5.How to I become an EMT through COCC?

  1. Students must obtain Department Approval from the program director. 
    1. Department approval process for EMT requires students to acknowledge that they will need complete a background check, upload copies of required immunizations and complete a 10-panel urine drug screen.  Inormation and polciy concerning this process is included above through OHA Division 30, Chapter 409 Rules for Helath Professions Programs link.
  2. Students must take and pass with a C or better EMT151 and EMT152 in consecutive terms to be eligible for EMT licensure. 
  3. Students must pass EMT 151 prior to being allowed to enroll in EMT152. 
  4. Students cannot take EMT151 and EMT152 during the same term. 
  5. When a student takes EMT151 they have one academic year to complete EMT152 (Example EMT151 is taken during the fall  or winter terms, student has until Spring 2016 term to complete EMT152).
    1. If student does not complete EMT152 within that timeframe, they will need successfully complete EMT151 again prior to being enrolled in EMT152.

EMT151 is a 5-credit course that typically meets twice a week for four hours a night. In addition to scheduled class times, students are required to complete 16 hours of clinical time at either Bend or Redmond Emergency Rooms.

EMT152 is a 5-credit course that typically meets twice a week for four hours a night.  In addition to schduled class times, students are required to complete 16 hours of clinical time at either Bend or Redmond Emergency Rooms and 8 hours on an ambulance through an approved site. 

6. Do I have to have a degree in EMS to be a Paramedic in Oregon?

No, but anyone wishing to be a paramedic in the State of Oregon must have an Associates degree or higher from a regionally accreditated instiution.  See EMS Selection process handbook for details regarding entry into the Paramedic courses at COCC.

7. How do I become a Paramedic through COCC?

Please see EMS SelectionProcess Handbook for requirements into the second year Paramedic Program. The first year is open enrollment. Students will work toward completing the entrance course work and then apply to a competitive admissions process.

8. I need to re-certify. How to I obtain continuing education hours?

Please see the Recertification website on the Oregon Department of Health Services website for recertification requirements. Please contact the State of Oregon EMS office at numbers below


COCC Continuing Education department offers EMT refresher courses. 

Please contact their office at 541-383-7270 to find when they will be offering the next EMT refresher. 

9. I failed my EMT National Written/Practical exam. What do I do next?

  1. Contace the Director of EMS/SFS for assistance on the next step in the process.
    1. If you failed the written exam, you will need to login in to your NREMT account and pay for another written exam.  Once the testing fee is paid you will schule your exam through the PearsonVue website.
    2. If you failed your Practical exam.
      1. Review avaialbe testing dates and locations through Oregon EMS office website on the Exam Schedules page. 
      2. Contact COCC EMS program Director with site and date information.  Program director will conact appropiate site to see if you are able to test at that location.  NOTE:  COCC students are not to be contacting other sites directly, this process must go through the college.

10. I want to know my National Registry exam results.

The NREMT will send you an official letter with your results 2-6 weeks after your exam or you may see your results within you account on the NREMT website.

11. What does "Affiliation" mean? How do I become affiliated?

Affiliation means that you are a member of a fire department in COCC's college district.  To become affiliated you  should contact a fire department you may be interested in to check on availability and requirements for becoming a member as each agency has their own requirements i.e. interviews, physical tests, written tests etc. 

12. I want to be a First Responder.

 COCC does not offer First Responder training. 

13. Do you teach Wilderness First Aid?

The Health & Human Performance Department offers this class. Please contact them for details.

14. I am a Nationally Registered EMT. How do I get certified in Oregon? How do I seek "Reciprocity"?

Please check the Oregon DHS-EMS Reciprocity site for directions on how to complete the process. COCC EMS program does not offer classes at this time to assist persons with reciprocity.

15. I plan to apply to PA or Medical school. Will becoming an EMT help me?

Any medical experience that you can get may be used on your applciation for your program,   We suggest that each student evaluate the program they are interested in to determine if the EMT or Paramedic certifications will assist them in the application process.

16. What can I do with an EMT-Basic certification?

In Central Oregon the EMT-Basic certification will allow you to volunteer at a fire department, work as an ER technician, on an ambualnce, or on the National Ski Patrol.

17. What are the physical requirements for the job?

Please contact the Oregon DHS-EMS & Trauma Division with questions:

  • State of Oregon EMS Staff Listings
  • Rules & Statutes
  • OAR 333.265
  • Be physically and mentally qualified to perform the duties of an EMT;
  • Be free from addiction to controlled substances or alcoholic beverages, or currently rehabilitated;
  • Be free from epilepsy, or diabetes or, if not free, has been free from any lapses of consciousness for a period of at least 180 days

18. If I have a criminal record can I be an EMT?

COCC uses one standard for any person entering an Allied Health profession program at the college.  Students can read the requirements at COCC policy for OHA Division 30, Chapter 409 Rules for Health Professions Programs  Students can also go to OAR 333.265 for rules pertaining to EMS licensure.

19. I have a Bachelors degree. Do I need an EMS degree to become a Paramedic?

While you do not need an Associates degree specifically in EMS to become a parmedic in Oregon, COCC's paramedic selction process is geared towards students working towards the EMS degree.  See the EMS Selection Handbook to see what courses you think may transfer in from your Bachelors degree.  You can also complete the EMS Transfer Evaluation Request

20. I have questions about my current EMT certification.

Please see the Oregon DHS for Certification questions. As an educational institution we try to help but they are the governing body of all Oregon Certifications. Here is their Frequently Asked Question List which may help you. 

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