Certification & Licensure

Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)

A Kentucky certified Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) is a person who has completed an approved course and received certification by KBEMS in providing pre-hospital care for both medical and trauma emergencies. They have a higher level of skill than those trained in basic first aid.

First Responders can support Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics by providing basic medical care for soft tissue and bone injuries and assisting in childbirth. They are also trained in packaging and transporting patients.

The term "certified Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)" is often confused with "first responder", which is a generic term referring to the first medically trained responder to arrive on scene (police, fire, EMS). First Responders include but are not limited to Fire, Police and Emergency Medical personnel.

Learn about becoming a First Responder in Kentucky.

If you are currently an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), you may find information about recertification here: EMR Recertification.

Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

People's lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).

Incidents such as automobile accidents, heart attacks, falls, childbirth, and gunshot wounds require immediate emergency medical care. EMTs provide this vital service as they care for and transport the sick or injured to the appropriate medical facility.

In an emergency, EMTs are quite often dispatched to the scene by a 911 operator, where they often work with police and fire fighters. Once on the scene, EMTs assess the patient's condition, while trying to determine the nature and severity of any pre-existing medical condition. Using pre-determined protocols, they provide emergency care, and transport the patient to the appropriate medical facility.

EMTs operate in emergency medical services systems where a physician provides medical direction and oversight. EMTs use special equipment, such as backboards, to immobilize patients before placing them on stretchers and securing them in the ambulance for transport to a medical facility. They typically work in teams of two or more. During the transport of a patient, one EMT drives, while the other monitors the patient's vital signs and gives additional care, as needed.

Learn about becoming an EMT in Kentucky.

If you are currently an EMT, you may find information about recertification here.

Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT)

The major focus of the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) is to provide basic and limited advanced emergency medical care to those patients who are in need of more care than can be offered by the EMT Basic. The AEMT possesses the knowledge and skills necessary to provide patient care and transportation. AEMTs function as part of a holistic EMS response and operate under medical oversight. They perform interventions with the basic and advanced equipment typically found on an ambulance. The regulations and course requirements for implementation of the AEMT in Kentucky are currently under development.


The Paramedic must be a confident leader who is able to accept the challenges responsibilities that are associated with in the position. The Paramedic must have excellent judgment and be able to prioritize decisions and act quickly in the best interest of the patient. He or she must be self disciplined, able to develop patient rapport, and recognize and utilize communication unique to diverse multicultural groups and ages within those groups. Furthermore, the Paramedic must be able to function independently in a non-structured, minimally supervised environment that is constantly evolving.

Even though the Paramedic is generally part of a two-person team working with an EMT, it is the Paramedic who is held responsible for safe and therapeutic administration of drugs and other advanced interventions. Therefore, the Paramedic must not only be knowledgable about medications but must be able to apply this knowledge in a practical sense.

People's lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care of Paramedic. Incidents as varied as automobile accidents, heart attacks, drownings, childbirth, and gunshot wounds all require immediate medical attention. Paramedics provide this vital attention as they care for and transport the sick and injured to a medical facility. In an emergency, Paramedics are typically dispatched to the scene by a 911 operator and often work with police and fire department personnel. Once they arrive, they determine the nature and extent of a patient s condition while trying to ascertain whether the patient has preexisting medical problems. Following strict rules and guidelines, they give appropriate emergency care and, when necessary, transport the patients.

Some Paramedics are trained to treat patients with minor injuries at the scene of an incident without transporting the patient to a medical facility. Emergency treatment for more complicated problems is carried out under the direction of medical doctors by radio preceding or during transport. Paramedics provide the most extensive pre-hospital care. In addition to carrying out the procedures described above, they may administer drugs orally or intravenously, interpret electro cardiograms (EKGs), perform endotracheal intubulations, and use monitors and other complex equipment.

Learn about becoming a Paramedic in Kentucky here.

If you are currently a Paramedic, you may find information about relicensure here.