The Virginia Emergency Medical Technician

You’re going to be there when a lot of people are born, and when a lot of people die. In most every culture, such moments are regarded as sacred and private, made special by a divine presence. No one on Earth would be welcomed, but you’re personally invited. What a honor that is.

-Thom Dick

What does a EMT do?

EMTs are health care professionals who work on ambulances to respond to 911 calls. Emergency calls can range from life threatening issues, such as cardiac arrests or gun shot wounds, to minor complaints, such as sore throats or sprained ankles. These calls bring EMTs to a wide variety of locations, including patients’ homes, businesses, and even out on the street. Once on scene with the patient, EMTs efficiently treat any life-threatening issues, such as difficulty breathing or major bleeding.

In rural areas, EMTs are a crucial link between the hospital and a widely distributed population. In urban areas, EMTs act in concert with police and firefighters to coordinate life-saving care with major hospital centers.

Virginia Office of EMS

Prerequisites for EMT

In order to become an EMT in the state of Virginia the student must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be proficient in reading, writing and speaking the English language.
  • Be a minimum of 16 years of age at the beginning date of the EMT course. If you are less than 18 years of age, a completed parental permission form with the signature of a parent or guardian verifying approval for enrollment in the course will be required by Frontline Educators.
  • Have no physical or mental impairment that would render you unable to perform all practical skills required at the EMT level.
  • Obtain CPR certification during the EMT course. Frontline Educators will have a mandatory AHA CPR Course built into every class schedule. The student will be required to maintain this certification so that it is current at the time of testing.
  • Not have been convicted of or found guilty of any crime, offense or regulatory violation, or participated in any other prohibited conduct identified in state EMS regulation 12VAC5-31-910.
  • Be clean and neat in appearance. The student will be expected to follow all uniform guidelines as put forth in the Frontline Educators class rules.
  • May not be under the influence of any drugs or intoxicating substances that impairs your ability to provide patient care or operate a motor vehicle while in class or performing clinicals, while on duty or when responding or assisting in the care of a patient.


Emergency Medical Technician is a four year certification in Virginia. Once the student successfully passes the course which includes the psychomotor test they will then be cleared to take the National Registered EMT Cognitive exam. Upon completed of the written NREMT exam the student will automatically receive the VA EMT certification, which allows you to practice in Virginia, and the NREMT certification.

Virginia EMT Certification

Example Certification by the Virginia Office of EMS

This is a four year certification that will allow you to practice as an EMT, under the license of an Operational Medical Director. During that four year timeframe the student must get forty hours of continuing education. You will manage this through a portal hosted by the Virginia Office of EMS. Every EMT in Virginia is assigned a unique certification number that is placed on their certification card as a QR code.

When attending a verified class, either online or in-person, the student must enter in their certification number or have their card scanned to receive credit for the course. See the table below for a breakdown of required hours.

Category 1 TopicsTotal Hours
Airway, Oxygenation and Ventilation1.5
Category 2 TopicsTotal Hours
Local OR Individual Continued Competency Requirements20

NREMT Certification

Virginia does not have their own cognitive exam and instead funnels all EMT students through the NREMT process. This means that upon completion the student is dual certified. The NREMT certification is a two year certification that can be renewed by getting the above Virginia required hours in that timeframe. The student does not need to keep their NREMT certification but it does offer some benefits.

The Recognition of EMS Personnel Licensure Interstate CompAct (REPLICA) is the only national multi-state compact for the Emergency Medical Services profession. This means that the student would be extended a “Privilege To Practice” in remote States for qualified circumstances. In short, if you plan on traveling or moving to another state, the NREMT certification would make gaining that states certification much easier VS having to take another EMT program. You do not have to keep NREMT however, if you plan on staying in Virginia.

States that participate in REPLICA
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