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-Basic & EMT-Paramedic career fields:

For other career searches:

To learn about EMS:

2. Do I have to register as a student at COCC to take an EMT-Basic 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-Basic course. 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 certain certifications or affliation(See question #10 What is affiliation?). To register for EMT-Basic or EMT-Paramedic you will need to turn in your immunization records to be cleared for registration. See below.

      Central Oregon Community College (COCC)
      Emergency Medical Services Program
      Immunization Requirements 

Immunization requirements for registration in all EMT courses - EMT Basic, Intermediate and Paramedic levels:

All records must be valid official documentation from the medical facility that administered the immunization(s) with exceptions for the childhood measles injection, which may be documented by a parental/guardian statement (a form is available in the EMS Program directors office PON 220).

Measles Immunizations - Proof of two injections, at least one month apart. These can be infant or childhood records, but if you don't have the records, plan on getting boosters. These records are not required if you were born before 1/1/1957.

Hepatitis B Series (3 injections over a period of 6 months) - series must be started before permission to register is given. Additional injections submitted as received on schedule!

Current NEGATIVE Tuberculosis (TB) Test - Reading is taken 48-72 hours after you receive a skin injection. We need a photocopy of the test results.  TB test results are only valid for one year. Should that year expire during the course of the class, you will be required to submit verification of additional testing and results.

PHOTOCOPIES of the above listed immunizations must be delivered to Theo in the Natural Industrial Resources Department (PON) or faxed to 541-383-7509 before you may be cleared to register for EMT B, EMT I, and Paramedic classes.  If you have questions, call Nick Sphatt program director @ 541-383-7751.

If you are unable to obtain immunizations from your physician's office you may want to call:  the COCC Student Health Department (383-7586) or the Deschutes County Health Department (322-7400).

All record requirements can be waived with a physician's letter stating you cannot, for medical reasons, receive any of the above. Please note that it may be difficult to complete class requirements due to clinical and internship site regulations.

4. What are the requirements to become an EMT-Basic?

Please see the Oregon Department of Health-EMS & Trauma website:

Emergency Medical Services  OAR 333.265 See rule: 333-265-0025 Application Process to Obtain an EMT Certificate

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

Yes, to be certified as an EMT-Paramedic in the state of Oregon you must obtain an Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Services. See EMS degree requirements.

6. How do I become a Paramedic at 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.

7. 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. COCC does not offer an "official" Recertification Course. Beginning Winter term at COCC students will need to register for EMT 199 credits to sit in on didactic classes to obtain re-certification hours. Students must contact the instructor of record and obtain a syllabus and permission to attend class. The student is responsible for documenting all hours attended and obtaining the instructors signature. Only CURRENT students will be allowed in the lab portions of class. Please contact the state to find out what you need prior to contacting the instructor.

For additional questions please contact:
Shelley Shute, EMT Certification Coordinator
Ms. Shute is the information source for certification/recertification issues; reciprocity; EMT Reportable Actions regarding personal information (E4 Form); and EMT test results. (971-673-0533)

8. I failed my EMT-Basic National Written/Practical exam. What do I do next?

First you will need to apply for a second exam and pay all required fees. The state will send you an application. Once they receive your completed form and fees they will contact the COCC EMS Program Director and inform the school that you are, "Ready to test." Please see the below links for fee information. If you are a COCC student who needs to take the Written exam you may take it at the CAPP Center on campus. The Program Director will inform the CAPP Center that the student may test. It is up to the student to make an appointment for the exam.

If the student needs to retake the Practical exam the student must fill out the appropriate paperwork and pay the required fees. The state will contact the Program Director and inform the school that the student is, "ready to test". The student should see the "Exam Dates" link and pick a date and school where they would like to test. The student should contact the Program Director and they will contact the exam site for the student. Note there will be additional fees to test at most colleges up to $160.00 or more. It may take several attempts to find an exam site that will accept the student. The exam site will obtain contact information from the Program Director and contact the student with exam details. Students please DO NOT attempt to contact exam sites.   

Examination Process     Exam Fees    Exam Dates

For additional questions please contact:
Nancy Gillen, EMT Examination Coordinator
Ms. Gillen coordinates the EMT state examinations, student registrations, and distribution of examination materials.  She is the key contact for educational institutions and certifying officers. (971-673-0526)

9. I want to know my National Registry exam score. How do I find out my score?

The NREMT will send you a letter or you may see their website at:

If you give them your social security number you may check your score if it is available.

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

Affiliation means that you are a member of a fire department. You can be a paid employee, a volunteer or a student in a student program. To become affiliated you will need to contact a fire house and have a formal interview just like you would for a job. Different departments have their own requirements i.e. interviews, physical tests, written tests etc. See EMS Related Links for Fire house websites.

11. What is an EMT-Intermediate?

An EMT-Intermediate is not a stepping stone to become an EMT-Paramedic. An Intermediate is usually a certification sought by the rural provider. It adds IV skills, medications and cardiac skills to the EMT-Basic scope of practice. COCC does not offer this class at this time. Please see link for Oregon schools:  Intermediate

12. I want to be a First Responder.

 COCC does not offer First Responder training. Please see First Responders for information.

13. Do you teach Wilderness First Aid?

The Health & Human Performance Department Teaches the class. See HHP 253 Wilderness Advanced First Aid for details. 

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

Please see this link for Reciprocity issues: Reciprocity

Shelley Shute, EMT Certification Coordinator
Ms. Shute is the information source for certification/recertification issues; reciprocity; EMT Reportable Actions regarding personal information (E4 Form); and EMT test results. (971-673-0533)

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

The EMT-Basic certification may allow you to volunteer at a fire Department or work in the ER as a Patient Care Technician. This may gain you patient care experience for your application.

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 or work on the National Ski Patrol.

17. What are the physical requirements for the job?

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

  • 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?

All cases are judged on an individual basis.

OAR 333.265

Have an acceptable criminal records check made through the Law Enforcement Data Systems (LEDS) that is maintained by the Department of State Police or qualified vendor. If the results of the LEDS check shows "multi-state offender", or if the applicant indicates on the application they have a criminal record, then a nationwide criminal record check by fingerprint identification shall be requested of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as authorized by ORS 181.537. Any fee required by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to do a nationwide check shall be the responsibility of the applicant.

For questions contact:
Kristen L. Turley, EMS PreHospital Standards Representative
Ms. Turley is primarily responsible for licensing ambulance services/vehicles and authorizing EMS Medical directors. In addition to her primary duties, Ms. Turley also investigates EMS related violations and prosecutes violators. She also conducts training sessions within the state on EMS Prehospital Standards and process (971-673-0576)
Elizabeth E. Morgan, EMS PreHospital Standards Representative
Ms. Morgan is primarily responsible for licensing ambulance services/vehicles and authorizing EMS Medical directors. In addition to her primary duties, Ms. Morgan also investigates EMS related violations and prosecutes violators. She also conducts training sessions within the state on EMS Prehospital Standards and process (971-673-0530) 

Catherine Schmitz, PreHospital Standards Assistant
Ms. Schmitz serves as the support staff for inquiries regarding Prehospital Standards. (971-673-0532)


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

You will need the Associates of Applied Science in EMS. Register as a student. Send an official transcript to COCC and fill out a transcript evaluation form under the EMS major. This will show what course work from your degree will count toward the EMS degree. 

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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