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: Burea of Labor Statistics 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 Paramedicine degree to take the EMT or Advanced EMT courses. Admissions Department (541) 383-7500.

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

3. What does "Department Approval" mean?

Department Approval requires you to contact the EMS Program Director for approval prior to registering for a course. Certain EMT and SFS prefix classes require department approval prior to registration, due to needed certifications or affiliation(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. Information and policy concerning this process is included above through OHA Division 30, Chapter 409 Rules for Health Professions Programs link.
  2. Students must take and pass with a C+ or better EMT151 and EMT152 to pass and 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 students take 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 students do not complete EMT152 within that time-frame, 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 day. In addition to scheduled class times, students are required to complete 12 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 day. In addition to scheduled class times, students are required to complete 12 hours of clinical time at either Bend or Redmond Emergency Rooms and eigh 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 accredited institution. See Paramedicine Selection process handbook for details regarding entry into the Paramedic courses at COCC.

7. How do I become a Paramedic through COCC?

Please see Paramedicine Selection Process 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 re-certification requirements. Please contact the State of Oregon EMS office at numbers below:

Phone: 971-673-0520
FAX: 971-673-0555
TTY: 971-673-0372

COCC Continuing Education department offers EMT refresher courses.

Please contact the Continuing Education office at 541-383-7270 to find when an EMT refresher is offered.

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

  1. Contact the Director of EMS 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 schedule your exam through the PearsonVue website.
    2. If you failed your Practical exam.
      1. Review available testing dates and locations through Oregon EMS office website on the Exam Schedules page.
      2. Contact COCC Paramedicine program Director with site and date information. Program director will contact appropriate site to see if you are able to test at that location. NOTE: COCC students may not contact other sites directly. This 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 any fire department you may be interested in to check on availability and requirements for becoming a member. Each each agency will have its own requirements, such as interviews, physical tests, written tests, etc.

12. I want to be a First Responder.

COCC does not offer First Responder training. It is handled through individual EMS agencies.

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 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 application 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 certification?

In Central Oregon the EMT certification will allow you to volunteer at a fire department, work as an ER technician, on an ambulance, 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 the same 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.

COCC uses OAR 407-007 as its guide in determining eligibility for a student with a criminal history.


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 paramedic in Oregon, COCC's paramedic selection process is geared towards students working towards the Paramedicine degree. See the Paramedicine Selection Handbook to see what courses you think may transfer in from your Bachelors degree. You can also complete the ParamedicineTransfer 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.


21. How well do COCC graduates perform in paramedic certification exams?

Over the past three years COCC's average pass rate for the paramedic National Registry of EMT cognative (written) exam was 90.3 percent, with 70 percent passing on the first attempt. The psychomotor (skills) exam pass rate over the same period was 98.6 percent, with 94.4 percent passing on the first attempt.


22. How often and where are COCC Paramedic Program graduates employed?

Precise placement data is not yet available regarding the number of graduates employed in a medical discipline. Anecdotally, COCC graduates gain employment with EMS transport agencies as EMTs and Paramedics; with private medical clinics and hospitals as medical assistance, emergency department technicians, specialty technicians and other roles; and as EMTs and Paramedics in other specialty roles such as outdoor emergency care and special-event medical coverage.


23. How many students who start the Paramedic Program actually graduate?

Over the past three years the retention rate for COCC paramedic students is nearly 98 percent. We work extensively with each student to ensure as much success as is possible while retaining our high academic standards. Numerous opportunities are available for individual and group tutoring, as well as one-on-one advising and counseling.


24. How much does it cost to get a Paramedicine degree at COCC?

This depends on the amount of college experience you already have. A student with no prior college courses can expect to spend about $14,000, excluding living expenses, to get an Associate Degree of Applied Science in Paramedicine. This amount could be more or less, depending on how many courses you have to take at COCC. A student who needs a little extra help meeting the math or writing requirements, for example, will likely spend a little more. A student who already has a college degree may need fewer COCC courses, therefore spending less. A wide variety of financial aid may be available. Check with the COCC Financial Aid Office and the COCC Foundation for information about financial aid.