The Division of Health Studies offers the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program. The EMS program is designed to prepare qualified applicants in basic and advanced emergency care in clinical and in field environments. Graduates qualify for employment with fire and rescue departments, ambulance services, and industries and emergency departments within medical facilities.

EMS education spans four levels of competency:

  • Emergency Medical Responder (EMR)
  • Emergency Medial Technician (EMT)
  • Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT)
  • Paramedic

Each level of competency meets or exceeds standards identified in the National Emergency Medical Services Education Standards by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and by the State of Alabama Department of Public Health. Students may enroll in the EMS program with the intention of completing only the courses required for each level of EMS education. Students are not required to complete EMR for admission into the EMT program. Upon successful completion of either level, the student will be eligible to apply for registration with the National Registry of EMTs. Graduation from the program, however, does not guarantee Alabama Department of Public Health Office of EMS and Trauma or National Registry of EMTs approval to take the NREMT licensing examination.

Prospective Entry Level Students

Admission to the Emergency Medical Services Program is competitive, and the number of students is limited by the number of faculty and clinical facilities available. Meeting minimal requirements does not guarantee acceptance. Preference will be given to graduates/students of NW-SCC EMT and AEMT Programs. Applicants will be notified by the EMS office of acceptance into the EMS program. The College reserves the right to adjust requirements or use additional criteria to determine admission.

General Course Schedule

  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) courses are offered during the Fall, Spring, & Summer semesters.
  • Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) courses are offered during the Fall, Spring, & Summer semesters.
  • Paramedic courses begin in the Summer semester.

General Admissions Requirements

Meeting minimal requirements does not guarantee acceptance.

  • Unconditional admission to the College
  • Good standing with the College
  • Receipt of completed application for the Emergency Medical Services Program by specified deadline. (Late applications may be considered dependent upon faculty and clinical facilities that are available.)
  • Be a high school graduate or hold a GED
  • Complete the ACT or COMPASS/ASSET placement test
  • Meet the Essential Functions for the Emergency Medical Services Program

Unconditional Admission to the EMT Program

In addition to General Admission Requirements, the student must:

  • Submit EMS Program Application and receive approval by the EMS Program Director
  • Successfully complete Background Check with no findings
  • Complete ASSET/COMPASS/ACT testing
  • Register and submit payment for courses
  • Attend and complete EMS Program Orientation

Unconditional Admission to the AEMT Program

In addition to General Admission Requirements, the student must:

  • Submit EMS Program Application and receive approval by the EMS Program Director
  • Successfully complete Background Check with no findings
  • Complete ASSET/COMPASS/ACT testing
  • Register and submit payment for courses
  • Complete EMT Program
  • Successfully complete NREMT Examination
  • Hold Alabama EMT licensure
  • Attend and complete EMS Program Orientation

Unconditional Admission to the Paramedic Program

In addition to General Admission Requirements, the student must:

  1. Submit EMS Program Application and receive approval by the EMS Program Director
  2. Successfully complete Background Check with no findings
  3. Complete ASSET/COMPASS/ACT testing
  4. Register and submit payment for courses
  5. Completed EMS 189 or BIO 201 with a grade of “C” or better
  6. Completed EMS Program Entrance Examination (Fee is associated with this examination)
  7. Have a minimum of 2.0 for EMS coursework and required academic coursework for the last 24 hours
  8. Attend and complete EMS Program Orientation
  9. If applicable, completed any required remedial coursework for Math 100 and English 101

**Conditional Admission may be granted based upon the discretion of the EMS Program Director. Students allowed to enroll with conditional admission will be assigned to the current cohort for the date when all requirements have been met.**

Prospective Transfer Students

Meeting minimal requirements does not guarantee acceptance.
Students who wish to transfer must:

  • Meet general and unconditional admission and progression requirements for NW-SCC and the EMS program.
  • Successfully complete the program:
    a. Within one year of initial entry for the EMT program (otherwise all EMT courses must be repeated).
    b. Within one year of initial entry for the Advanced EMT program (otherwise all EMT courses must be repeated).
    c. Within two years of initial entry for the Paramedic program (otherwise all Paramedic courses must be repeated).
  • Be a student in good standing with the previous institutions(s).
  • Have a Director of previously EMS program provide a letter of eligibility for progression in previous EMS program.
  • Complete skill validation requirements.
  • Provide clinical documentation (example: FISDAP or data on a signed EMS program letterhead of previous institution) for consideration.
  • Be accepted by clinical agencies for clinical experiences. Note: Northwest-Shoals Community College reserves the right to remove from the program any student who is refused use of facilities by a clinical agency. A student who is refused use of a facility is considered refused by all agencies associated with the program. Therefore, the program is not required to find an alternative site.

The EMS Program does not have Advanced Placement or Experiential Learning opportunities for the paramedic program.


Program Outcomes

CAAHEP Accredited Paramedic Programs and CoAEMSP Letter of Review (LoR) Programs track and report outcome measures annually to the Committee on Accreditation for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP).

The most current CoAEMSP Annual Report was the calendar year 2020.

The most recent success rate for the National Registry of EMT Paramedic/State Cognitive exam was 75%.

The most recent positive placement rate for graduates was 100%.  Positive placement is defined by the CoAEMSP as ‘Employed full or part-time in a related field and/or continuing his/her education and/or serving in the military.’  Positive placement is measured at completion of the program.

The most recent retention rate was 72.7%.


Note to Students Located Outside the State of Alabama:  The EMT, Advanced EMT, and Paramedic Programs at Northwest-Shoals Community College meet the state education requirements for an EMT, Advanced EMT, and/or Paramedic license in the state of Alabama.  Northwest-Shoals Community College has not determined if the EMT, Advanced EMT, and Paramedic programs at Northwest-Shoals Community College meet the state education requirements in any other state, any U.S. Territory, or the District of Columbia.


For more information on the EMS program at NW-SCC, contact Dr. Chris Demorse, EMS Program Director, at cdemorse@nwscc.edu or 256-331-5336.  Completed applications may be emailed to ems@nwscc.edu.

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