Frequently Asked Questions
Emergency medical services and the credentialing process for providers is ever-changing. If you are unable to find the answers to your questions here, please feel free to contact us anytime.

What kind of work can I get with an EMT certification?

The majority of EMTs in Yakima County volunteer for their local fire department or search and rescue. Some become employed full-time as a firefighter/EMT or by private ambulance companies. There are also EMTs working in law enforcement.

Employment in a doctor’s office or hospital emergency department is not considered “prehospital care,” and therefore, will not qualify you for EMT certification. However, many individuals work full-time in clinical settings and volunteer with a fire department or other EMS organization in order to keep their EMT certification current.

What are the requirements needed to enter an EMT class?

  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Legible copy of driver’s license or other photo identification.
  • Successful completion of a Washington State DOH approved initial EMT course (course completion certificate needed).
  • Successful completion of the National Registry EMT exam.
  • Affiliation with a Washington State DOH approved agency.

What are EMT certification requirements?

  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Legible copy of driver’s license or other photo identification.
  • Successful completion of a Washington State DOH approved Initial EMT Course.
  • Affiliation with a Washington State DOH approved agency.

Where can I get an EMT class?

We currently offer two EMT courses per year designed primarily for members of Yakima County fire agencies. The courses start in January and March.

If you are currently a member of a Yakima County fire agency, contact your department’s Training Officer for information regarding future EMT courses with the Yakima County Department of Emergency Medical Services.

Application for EMT Training:
- PDF [PDF file 21 KB]
- Word [Word document 51 KB]

Link to EMT Course Schedule - coming soon

Where do I get continuing education classes to keep my EMT certification current?

The Yakima County Department of Emergency Medical Services schedules Ongoing Training & Education Program (OTEP) classes throughout the year. All 6 OTEP modules are hosted at each fire district at least once during a year. There are also make-up OTEP modules scheduled during Spring and Fall months. These classes are open to all Yakima County EMS providers, unless otherwise specified by the fire district or agency. Washington State recertification requirements are consistently met by the Ongoing Training & Education Program.

Calendar of OTEP & EMT courses

Is there a certification level between EMT and Paramedic in Washington State?

Advanced EMT

How do I know when I need to recertify?

Look on your certification card for the expiration date. It is best to come in at least 3 months ahead of time to check on your eligibility for recertification.

What if I lose my certification card?

Washington State Department of Health -
Customer Service - 360-236-4700

What are the prerequisites to become certified as a Paramedic?

You need to contact the paramedic program in order to determine the necessary requirements.

Washington State-approved colleges:

How long does the EMT-Paramedic course last?

TThe average length of times is 2 years, which includes class time and field time.

Who do I contact about the Paramedic course?

Washington State-approved colleges:

Why has the fire department historically responded to calls for medical aid?

Fire departments have been responding to aid calls for nearly 30 years. The reason for this is those fire departments are strategically located throughout your community and therefore have a very quick response time. In addition, local fire departments typically only response to local medical aid calls whereas local ambulance services respond to calls all over Yakima County. This means that the availability of local ambulance services varies from day to day, hour to hour and at times are all busy with other calls, but you will still have your fire department to respond to you when help is needed. A typical medical call requires a significant level of manpower to properly manage. For example, there are patient care tasks (taking vital signs, providing for patient comfort, or chest compressions), there is information to be collected (patient medications list, past medical history, and recent events or complaints), lifting and extrication, scene safety concerns, and special rescue to name a few. For all of these reasons the local fire department plays a key role in the success of a medical aid call.

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