EMT FAQ

Please read all of these questions before contacting our office.

How do I know if my Live Scan background check results are in?
It can take up to 6 weeks to receive the results of your background check from the CA DOJ and the FBI. You do not have to wait to start the application process. During the application process you will need to upload a copy of the completed Live Scan form as proof of completing the Live Scan process.
I have a Criminal History; can I become an EMT or Paramedic?
STOP!  Do not enroll in an EMT course until you understand how your arrest and/or conviction may affect your ability to be certified as an EMT.  There are certain crimes for which EMT certification will NEVER be granted to applicants.  There are other crimes which require applicants to wait up to five years before applying for an EMT certificate, and other crimes for which you may be granted delayed, probationary or unrestricted EMT status.  You must apply for your EMT within two years of course completion, so you may waste your time and money if you take an EMT course with a criminal background.  Full disclosure and official documentation are required with the EMT Application. OCEMS receives DOJ/FBI notification when your LiveScan results come back.
 
How do I become an Emergency Medical Technician in Orange County?
  1. You must first complete an approved EMT program – see our webpage for a list of providers.  After that, you will need to complete the LiveScan criminal background check.  Print out the LiveScan form from our website and take it with you when you are fingerprinted.  LiveScan providers are listed on the website.  Once OCEMS receives the LiveScan results from state and federal authorities, you apply online to our office for a California EMT card, and if you want to work in Orange County as an EMT, an Orange County Expanded Scope Accreditation card.  You will also need a valid CPR card, once LiveScan is completed.
  2. What if I am already a California EMT and want to work for an ambulance service or fire department in Orange County? 
      You will need to take the Orange County EMT Expanded Scope Accreditation class (see our webpage for providers) and then apply online for the Orange County Expanded Scope Accreditation card.  At this time, you do not need to complete a separate, additional  LiveScan for Orange County EMT Accreditation.
  3. What if I am a Nationally Registered EMT?
      The National Registry certificate will be accepted without further testing to qualify for a California EMT certificate, but to practice in the state of California you must also have a separate California EMT certificate issued by Orange County, another county or other certifying authority in California.  To work in Orange County you will also need the Orange County Expanded Scope Accreditation card.
  4. I have an out-of-state EMT-I certificate, but not a National Registry certificate, what do I need to do to get certified in California?
      You should complete the EMT Initial application online. You will have to show that you completed an EMT course that meets the U.S. Department of Transportation requirements and pass the National Registry test for Orange County.  You may then apply for a CA EMT card.  To work in Orange County you will also need the Orange County Expanded Scope Accreditation card.
Where is your office and what are your office hours?

    OCEMS does not accept walk-in applications.  Appointments are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8am to 4:30pm.  Please call 714-834-3500 to schedule an appointment. We are located at 405 W. 5th Street, Suite 301A in downtown Santa Ana, corner of Ross and Santa Ana Blvd. Parking is available for a fee in the adjacent structure to the east of headquarters building. Your walk-in application may take up to 30 business days to process. OCEMS does not offer any office services, such as photocopying of documents, scanning of documents, or faxing.You must bring copies of the documents required to be submitted (see below) or your application will not be accepted. Your walk-in application will only be accepted with all appropriate documentation and full payment at that time. NO CASH or Personal Checks accepted. Payment by Visa, Master Card, Discover Card or Debit Cards with the Visa/MC logo. Money order or cashier’s check payable to “County of Orange.” will also be accepted.

    THE OFFICE DOES NOT ACCEPT APPLICATIONS OUTSIDE THE ABOVE HOURS.  NO EXCEPTIONS.

What are the fees associated with becoming an EMT?
  1. LiveScan Providers will charge a fee for the electronic fingerprinting.  Generally, law enforcement agencies are less expensive than private providers but may have limited hours, etc. 
  2. CEU providers will charge a fee for the Orange County Expanded Scope Accreditation course.
  3. CA EMT Certification Card, State Initial Certification  $75.00 (One Time) plus =  $35.00 Orange County Fee
  4. CA EMT State Recertification Fee $37.00  plus Orange County Fee $35
  5. OCEMS EMT Accreditation Card  $40.00 – 1 year

So, for example, if you apply online as a new EMT graduate and also wish to have Orange County Accreditation, you will be charged a $75 state fee, $35 Orange County Fee and $40 for the one-year Accreditation card for a total of $150. 

If you are an out-of-county CA EMT who just needs an Orange County Accreditation Card, you will be charged $40 for  one year. The Orange County Accreditation Card expiration will expire when the California State Cards expires. We don’t prorate fees, Example: If you apply for an Accreditation card and pay the $40 fee in July 2013 and your State EMT card expires in November 2013 you will have to re-apply for the Accreditation card and pay the accreditation fee again.

What do I need to upload and attach to my online EMT application?

A driver’s license, passport or other government issued ID, and a copy for your file. 

  1. A copy of the “Course Completion Certificate” issued by the initial EMT program attended by applicant.  The Course Completion Certificate is valid for two years from the date of issuance.  A valid Course Completion Certificate is required to apply for CA EMT Certification.
  2. A copy of the National Registry of EMTs (NREMT) 8 ½ x 11” certificate issued as proof of passing the EMT basic exam. CA EMT certification will be issued to expire two (2) years from the date of passing the NREMT exam.
  3. A copy of your valid CPR card. 
  4. The completedOCEMS application for CA EMT certification/OCEMS Accreditation.
  5. If you wish to get your separate Orange County Accreditation card, you must also bring the course completion certificate from the Orange County Expanded Scope EMT class.

For online payment, we only accept American Express®, Discover®, MasterCard® and Visa® credit cards, or debit cards with the MasterCard® or Visa® logo.

Once I have submitted my completed application packet to OCEMS, with all of the attached documents, and paid the required fees, how long does it take to get my card?
The Department of Justice/FBI Live Scan must be completed prior to turning in your application. You do not have to wait to start the application process. During the application process you will need to upload a copy of the completed Live Scan form as proof of completing the Live Scan process. After your Live Scan has cleared it could take up to 30 business days for the licensing specialist to process your application. It will then be mailed to you.
What types of payment do you accept?
For online payment, we only accept American Express®, Discover®, MasterCard® and Visa® credit cards, or debit cards with the MasterCard® or Visa® logo. Certification fees cannot be prorated for less than one year.
How can I take the EMT certification examination? How can I get an Orange County Ambulance attendant card?
The EMT certification examination is no longer required.  An EMT course completion certificate is required from a state certifying authority.  24 hours of continuing education or a refresher course and a skills competency verification form is required for recertification.  The EMT Expanded Scope of Practice Card replaced the Ambulance Attendant Card.
How long does it take for EMS to get the results of my Department of Justice Criminal/FBI background report?
It can take up to 30 working days or longer, depending on the circumstances.
What happens if I do not disclose an arrest or conviction?
    FAILURE TO DISCLOSE AN ARREST OR CONVICTION IS GROUNDS FOR DENYING AN EMT APPLICATION.

  If you do not disclose an arrest and/or conviction, it is likely that your EMT license will be refused or it may be issued subject to a period of probation. There will be a delay.

I did a LiveScan for the DMV, do I need to do another LiveScan check again and why?
Yes, California law does not allow agencies to share the information they obtain on the Department of Justice (DOJ)/FBI  report. You will also need a new one if it was done in another county and you want to certify in Orange County.
I am planning to work for an ambulance company in Orange County, what do I need to do?

In addition to an EMT State Card, you must have valid a photo identification, a CPR card, an Expanded Scope of  Practice certificate or completed your EMT course that included the expanded Scope of Practice in their course.

The fee for EMT Accreditation is $40 license. If you already have an EMT State card, the expiration date of your EMT Accreditation will be the same as the State EMT certificate.
My EMT State certificate is expiring at the end of the month, do I need to take a test again?
You no longer need to take a written test to re-certify as an EMT in California. You must, however, submit a skills competency verification form as well as either 24-hours of continuing education or a refresher class with your online EMT Renewal application.
I have some CEs I received that are approved by the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN), are they acceptable?
No, the BRN cannot approve continuing education for prehospital care.
My State EMT certificate expires in less than a month, how can I obtain continuing education (CEs) units?
You have several options. If your employer is an approved CE provider, you can obtain CEs there. The California EMS Authority has approved the following on-line CE providers: ems-ce.com, eminet.com, emcert.com, ce3000.com, and mywebce.com. Go to their websites and follow the directions for obtaining 24-hours of continuing education units. We do not endorse or approve these websites.
What are some of the job opportunities / employers in Orange County for EMTs?
Private ambulance companies, medical transportation companies and event medical companies are typical employers of  EMTs in Orange County. In addition, fire departments and lifeguard agencies frequently require an EMT certificate. Some Hospital emergency rooms may employ EMTs in various capacities. Some private business will hire EMTs for safety reasons.
Are there paramedic programs in Orange County?
Yes, in Orange County: Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, 949-582-4581.
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