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Alberta Supports Contact Centre

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Emergency Medical Responder

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Emergency Medical Responders (EMRs) are an essential part of the foundation of Emergency Medical Services in Canada. EMRs are often associated with volunteer emergency services organizations, and in rural or remote areas may be the sole provider of emergency services in a community. Often termed "first responders", EMRs may be responsible for initial assessments, the provision of safe and appropriate care, and arranging or providing the safe transport of a patient to the proper health-care facility.

This 267-hour certificate program is approved and meets the training program standards set by the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACoP), and prepares you with entry-level skills/knowledge/attitude (competencies) required to work in emergency prehospital care as an EMR in Alberta. Delivered by qualified instructors, the program combines online-managed self-study of theoretical concepts with mandatory classroom lab days where you'll be assessed and taught practical skills. You must be motivated and organized to learn the required material through self-directed study and skill practice.


Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the components of, and requirements for the emergency medical services (EMS) profession including the ethical and legal responsibilities specific to an emergency medical responder (EMR).
  • Exhibit physical strength and fitness consistent with the requirements of emergency medical responder (EMR) practice including safe lifting and patient handling.
  • Define strategies to maintain mental health and apply principles of a safe work environment on the job.
  • Use appropriate terminology to define and describe the anatomy and physiology of human body systems; describe pathophysiology and recognize the common body responses to disease and impact of disease on patients.
  • Understand basic pharmacology and administer medications as per EMR Scope of Practice guidelines.
  • Use scene information and patient assessment to identify and manage life threats/trauma and injuries as per EMR Scope of Practice guidelines.
  • Define the equipment and vehicle operation requirements to function as an emergency medical responder (EMR) in the community.
  • Use professional communication techniques with colleagues, patients and for transition of care to other health providers and demonstrate interpersonal communication skills appropriate to the setting.

Upon successful completion of this program, participants will be eligible to write the AcoP provincial registration exam. Successful completion of this program also prepares participants for admission into the SAIT’s 10-month, full-time Primary Care Paramedic certificate program.

Professional Certificates and Designations

To work as a designated EMR professional in Alberta, you must be registered with the ACoP and hold an active practice permit. You must complete the registration application process including examination within one year of having completed the EMR Certificate of Achievement program.


Learn more about how to finance your training and education.

Career Opportunities

Upon successful completion of this program and with an active practice permit from ACoP, you may find employment as a registered EMR working in the following settings:

  • Ambulance services/medical clinics
  • Hospitals (emergency departments)
  • Fire departments
  • Government departments and agencies
  • Manufacturing firms
  • Mining companies and other private sector establishments

If you want to work as a Primary Care Paramedic and/or eventually as an Advanced Care Paramedic in Alberta, you’ll need to complete further education and training to meet AcoP licensing requirements for PCP and ACP designations. Contact SAIT’s School of Health and Public Safety at for more information about the full-time Primary Care Paramedic certificate program and Advanced Care Paramedic diploma program.


Office of the Registrar
1301 16 Avenue NW
Calgary, Alberta, T2M0L4, Canada

  • Program Type Occupational
  • Credential Type Certificate *
  • Length 1 Year(s)
  • Part Time Only
  • Cooperative Education
  • Continuing Education Only
  • Distance Learning

* Certificate of Achievement

Admission Requirements

Admission for this program is on a first-qualified, first-registered basis and payment is required upon registration (by Visa or Mastercard.) You can start this program before you turn age 18 but will need to be 18 by the time you apply to become a licensed EMR with AcoP.

Before you can register for the first course, EMRG-001 Emergency Response Fundamentals, you must email documented proof (scan of original transcripts, certificates, licences, etc.) that you meet the course prerequisites at least seven days before the start date of your selected course section. EMRG-001 is a mandatory prerequisite for EMRG 003 Advanced Emergency Response and EMRG 102 ITLS Basic Provider. It is possible to complete this program in a four-to-six-month period.

Transfer(s) Eligibility

Search Transfer Alberta for course and program transfer information including transfer agreements between post-secondary schools in Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon.

Transfer(s) available outside of Transfer Alberta: Not available

Updated September 08, 2023. The information contained in this profile is current as of the date shown.

Educational program information is provided as an introduction and for general reference. For current information about programs and school requirements or policies, check the school calendar, visit their website or contact the school directly.
The Government of Alberta is working in partnership with the Government of Canada to provide employment support programs and services.

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