To participate the EMT program, you must meet the following prerequisites:

  • Provide proof of medical insurance for the duration of the program.
  • Obtain medical clearance from a physician, as described below.
  • Have a current CPR certification for healthcare providers: Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers from either the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. Please visit our BLS page for details.

Age Requirement: You must be at least 18 years old to be certified as an EMT in California. If you are not yet 18 years old, you may enroll in the course six months prior to your 18th birthday with the understanding that your certificate of course completion will be withheld until you turn 18. If you are under the age of 17½ you may still take this course, however, you will not be eligible for certification as an EMT in California.

The EMT program can be challenging, especially if students have limited experience with the physical sciences or human anatomy and physiology. We recommend all EMT students take our EMT Preparation course, which will familiarize you with basic medical terminology and body systems.

Medical Clearance
You must provide copies of the following on the first day of the course. When enrolling, please download the Medical Requirements Document (pdf) for your physician’s completion including the items listed below.

  1. Physical exam: Proof of a physical examination within the past 6 months, signed by a physician, stating you have no physical limitations for participating in the classroom and clinical components of the course.
    Clearance for Mask Fit Testing: Your physician must also certify that you are able to participate in mask fit (respirator) testing. The actual mask fit testing will be performed during the course. The mask and testing materials are included in your course fee. The mask fit testing done in class requires men to shave their facial hair, e.g., beard or stubble, if it interferes with the seal of the mask. If you choose NOT to shave, you must provide your own optional air-purifying respirator (PAPR) in order to meet this mandatory course requirement. The cost for a PAPR unit is not included in the course fee.
  2. Proof of the following immunizations:

    • Hepatitis B vaccine/immunity: Hepatitis-B vaccine (start of 3 shot series) or signed refusal form.
    • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR): Proof of MMR vaccine or a positive MMR titer.
    • Tuberculosis: A negative TB skin test within three months of the beginning of the course. If you had a positive reaction to a previous skin test, please submit documentation of a negative chest x-ray.
    • Varicella: A varicella vaccination (or proof of immunization or a positive varicella titer).
  3. Copy of health insurance card: You must provide proof of health insurance or worker's compensation insurance for the ride along portion of the program. You are responsible for all payment for medical care related to exposure/injuries/illnesses.

Background Checks
Background checks are not required for completing the EMT course or passing the NREMT-B exam. The local certifying agency for EMTs and most employers hiring EMTs will require a background investigation to determine if an applicant has a criminal history. In addition to background checks, some employers will have applicants complete a DOT physical and require a good driving record to drive an ambulance.