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 two levels of training: 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 our local EMS System, 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

  • Certificate and Associate in Applied Science in Emergency Medical Services (Paramedic)
  • EMT Basic Certificate

Entry Requirements

EMT Certificate: eligible for ENGL 101 and MATH 091, HLTH 110 CPR within 2 years or current American Heart Association BLS Health Care Provider CPR certification for the length of the course, 17 years of age, and high school diploma or GED by end of program

EMS (Paramedic) Certificate/Degree: eligible for ENGL 101 and MATH 098, current American Heart Association BLS Health Care provider CPR certification, and current Illinois 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 can be completed in one semester and the Paramedic in six semesters.  Support courses in Health, English, Biology, Psychology, 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.

Paramedic Program Outcomes

Calendar Year Retention (%) NREMT Pass Rate (%) Job Placement (%)
2020 55.6% 80.0% 100%
2021 77.8% 71.4% 100%


The Richland Community College Paramedic program has been issued a Letter of Review by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP Executive Office). This letter is NOT a CAAHEP accreditation status, it is a status signifying that a program seeking initial accreditation has demonstrated sufficient compliance with the accreditation standards through the Letter of Review Self Study Report (LSSR) and other documentation. Letter of Review is recognized by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) for eligibility to take the NREMT’s Paramedic credentialing examination(s). However, it is NOT a guarantee of eventual accreditation.

To contact CoAEMSP:
Phone: (214) 703-8445


Projected Program Costs

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