Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) FAQs

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) FAQs

What is the objective of the EMT original course?

The EMT original course is an intensive 200+ hour training program designed to train individuals to provide emergency care to patients in the pre-hospital setting based on the scope of practice defined by the New York State Department of Health and U.S. Department of Transportation Emergency Medical Technician curriculum. Students who successfully complete this course will be eligible to take the New York State Department of Health EMT Certification exam.

Do I need a high school diploma to register for this program?

Although it’s not necessary to possess a high school diploma or equivalent to register for this program, it is recommended that you complete a high school course of study prior to enrolling, as it’s likely to be required by potential employers. See how DCC can assist you with your high school equivalent.

How old must I be to become an EMT?

Students must be 17 years old by the last day of the month they are taking their NYS exam.

Do I need to have prior experience to register for this program?

No prior experience is necessary.

Are there any pre-admission or testing requirements?

There are no pre-admission or testing requirements. 

Is there a COVID vaccine requirement for this course?

Per SUNY guidelines, all DCC students (credit and credit-free) must be fully vaccinated to attend in-person classes and/or use any on-campus service or resource. SUNY is also mandating that any student with a regular on-campus presence must receive a booster vaccination when eligible.

How important is attendance?

Attendance is required, as the course is fast-paced. Any missed lab time must be made up in open lab, and classroom time must be made up per the instructor’s requirements. The attendance policy will be reviewed on the first night of class.

How much time outside of class is required for reading and homework each week?

Generally, students should allow for 15-18 hours each week for outside reading and additional assignments. In general, it is advisable to spend 2 hours per every lecture hour, and 1 hour per every lab hour. We have open lab sessions available during the week for additional practice by appointment.

Are there any required course materials?

Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured Digital Advantage Package, Twelfth Edition and AHA BLS for Healthcare Provider (2020) are the two required textbooks for the course. Please note that the Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured textbook is sold in digital format, physical textbook format, and as a bundle of both formats. Students will need to purchase at least the digital format for the course.

What forms of technology are required for class?

Access to a computer with reliable internet is required in order to complete online quizzes and homework. There are also mandatory FEMA classes that will need to be completed online. Reliable transportation to class is required.

When is the course offered?

The credit-free EMT original course is offered every semester. There is usually one morning section and one evening section. 

How often does class meet?

Class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the spring and fall semesters. Class meets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays during the summer semester due to the shorter length of the semester.

Where are the classes held?

The EMT original course is typically held in-person at the DCC Poughkeepsie campus. Occasionally, the course is offered at DCC Fishkill or other offsite locations.


Do you offer a clinical/externship?

A five-hour clinical experience involving contact with a minimum of 10 patients is mandatory for this course. The five-hour clinical experience will be arranged for each student at a local hospital. If the student does not have contact with at least 10 patients within those five hours, they will need to complete additional hours.

Hours may be available to ride on an ambulance. But this is done on a case by case basis and is based on the availability of shifts. If scheduled, this would be in addition to the hospital clinical.

Are there requirements for the hospital clinical?

Yes. Each student must have up-to-date immunizations and a current physical exam that does not expire until after the course is complete on file with the DCC Health Office. Students must also pass a background check and drug screening. The hospitals require that the students be fully vaccinated against COVID and boosted if eligible. A flu shot or flu shot declination waiver and a respiratory clearance are also required. It is important to have all of this paperwork on file within the first two weeks of the course.

Tuition & Other Costs

How much is tuition?

Credit-free course tuition is $700.

Are the clinical requirements and textbooks covered by tuition?

No. The student is responsible for the associated fees. The drug screening and background check together cost about $150. The required texts for the course are an additional fee not reflected in the cost of tuition. They cost approximately $300.

What if I belong to a volunteer fire/EMS agency, can I be reimbursed for tuition?

The student is responsible for full payment at the start of class. Upon successful completion of the state exam, many volunteer agencies may request reimbursement for your tuition through the NYS Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. You must have a NYS Department of Health 3312 form on file at the start of the class to be eligible.


How do I register for this program?

If you are paying via credit or debit card, registration is done online at http://www.sunydutchess.edu/easyreg If paying with check or money order, you must come to campus to the Registrar and Student Financial Service Offices.

When does registration open?

Registration for the fall semester usually opens in June, registration for the spring semester usually opens in November, and registration for the summer semester usually opens in March.

Is this course offered for college credit as well?

The EMT original course is offered as a credit course during the spring and fall semesters. Tuition for the credit course is assessed at current credit hour costs. For more information on how to register for credit courses, please consult the Registrar’s Office. For assistance please email registrar@sunydutchess.edu or call 845-431-8020.


How do I become certified as an EMT?

Upon successful completion of the EMT class, students are eligible to take the NYS Practical Skills Exam. After passing that, they may sit for the NYS Written Exam. They will be certified after passing the written exam.

What is the certifying agency?

New York State is the entity that issues completion cards after successfully passing the practical skills and written exams.

What are the costs for the certification exam?

Exams are scheduled with a PSI testing center. There is a fee of $28 to take the NYS exam. Students are also eligible to take the National EMT exam at a Pearson testing center. That exam fee is $70.

Do you offer the certification exam on campus?

No, you must go to a testing center.

How soon will I know if I have passed?

You will receive a printout as soon as you complete the NYS exam. If you passed, the printout can be used as a temporary card. National results usually take 3-5 days.

Is certification necessary to work in the industry?

EMT certification is required by most ambulance agencies to work on the ambulance.

Will there be additional training requirements after I am certified?

Newly certified EMTs will be able to function as a first responder, volunteer, or paid staff after state certification. Additional training requirements like Emergency Vehicle Operations will be conducted at your agency.

How long is my certification active?

EMT certification must be renewed every three years.

How do I keep my EMT certification active?

There are two ways. One is to enroll in an EMT Refresher class and recertify. The other is to enroll in the Continuing Medical Education (CME) program, which requires a specific number of CME hours, and you recertify by attending classes which cover specific areas of the curriculum. Many of these CME classes are offered free by local hospitals and EMS and fire agencies.

Do I need to be certified in CPR prior to taking this class?

No, per NYS, all students will be taking CPR as part of the course.  

Additional questions?

If you have additional questions, please contact the Dutchess Community College EMS Programs office at 845-431-8390. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have regarding our programs.