The Basic training program for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) has an overall objective to improve the quality of pre-hospital emergency care rendered to victims of accidents and sudden illness. As such, the course develops skills in symptom recognition and in all emergency care procedures and techniques currently considered to be within the responsibilities of an EMT providing emergency medical care with an ambulance service.

The course consists of didactic learning that follows the National EMS Education Standards published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).   This level is the entry level of training for personnel who intended to work in conjunction with an ambulance service in the Commonwealth. All initial training courses must be taught by a Department Accredited Training Institution.

This course has been developed for all individuals desiring to perform emergency medical care with an ambulance service. No prior experience or training is required of the course applicant. The applicant, in order to be eligible for the state EMT certification must:

  • be able to read, understand and communicate in English;
  • be 18 years of age;
  • abstain from the abuse of drugs which impairs professional judgment and/or practice;
  • be free from any physical or mental defect or disease which might impair his/her ability to provide emergency care within the scope of the EMTs training and responsibilities, or which might jeopardize the health or safety of the patient;
  • successfully complete an initial training course;
  • obtain National Registry of EMTs (NREMT) certification by successfully completing a Massachusetts practical examination and (NREMT) written examination.

Once an individual obtains NREMT certification, they must apply for Massachusetts certification in order to act as an EMT in the Commonwealth. The application and instructions can be found on our Certification page

Candidates are advised to explore the potential for employment (review help wanted ads, contact ambulance services about openings, etc.) before they enroll in an EMT training course. There are currently over 22,000 certified EMTs in Massachusetts.

If you are interested in obtaining emergency medical care (first aid) training, but do not intend to become involved as a professional EMT, it may be more appropriate for you to investigate the emergency first aid courses in your area. Call the non-emergency number of your local Emergency Medical Services provider to inquire about first aid courses in your area.

This information is provided by the Office of Emergency Medical Services within the Department of Public Health.