Emergency Medical Services

Are you a person who is interested in providing emergency care, basic and/or advanced life support services to the critically ill or injured person? If so, then you should consider a career in the emergency medical services. The EMS curriculum provides both the classroom and clinical experiences necessary to meet the criteria established by the Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Emergency Medical Services and Highway Safety and the National Standard Curriculum. At Richland Community College, the student may select from three levels of training: EMT Basic (Certificate), Advanced EMT (Certificate), and Paramedic (Certificate and AAS). After successful completion of each level, the student is eligible to apply for examination to attain State licensure at that level.

The EMS program is offered in cooperation with St. Mary’s Hospital Emergency Services and utilizes clinical experiences at St. Mary’s Hospital, Decatur Memorial Hospital and Decatur Ambulance Service.

Career and Technical Education Options

Entry Requirements

EMT Basic Certificate: pass reading test, HLTH 110 CPR, or current BLS Health Care Provider CPR certification for the length of the course, 18 years of age, and high school diploma or GED

Advanced EMT: current BLS Health Care provider CPR certification, current EMT license for the length of the program

EMS Certificate/Degree: current BLS Health Care provider CPR certification, current EMT license or higher for the length of the program

Licensed paramedics who have completed their training at another institution have the opportunity to complete the associate of applied science degree at Richland. Please contact the Health Professions' office for details.

Length of Study

The EMT Basic can be completed in one semester, the Advanced EMT in two semesters, and the Paramedic in six semesters.  Support courses in health, English, biology, psychology, mathematics, and other general education electives are required to complete the certificate and degree programs.

Employment Outlook

Employment opportunities include ambulance services, hospitals, and rescue squads within industry and fire or police departments.


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