In order to provide EMS in Pennsylvania, an individual must possess and maintain a current EMS certification issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Health-Bureau of EMS. EMS certification is available at the following levels: Emergency Medical Responder (EMR), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT), Paramedic, Prehospital Registered Nurse (PHRN), Prehospital Physician Extender (PHPE), and Prehospital Physician (PHP). Pennsylvania also offers an EMS Vehicle Operator (EMSVO) certification for those who drive an EMS vehicle.
EMS certifications are permanent, but require triennial (EMR/EMT) or biennial (all other levels) registration to remain current. EMS certification is issued following completion of an applicable course of instruction at that level (or satisfying other educational requirements), and successful completion of a psychomotor and cognitive exam. Psychomotor exams are administered by the Field Services Division on behalf of either the Pennsylvania Department of Health-Bureau of EMS, or the National Registry of EMTs - depending on the level. The cognitive exam for all levels is administered by the National Registry of EMTs.
Once certified, a provider must obtain a prescribed number of EMS continuing education credits per registration period in order to maintain that certification. A portion of those credits must be in Core/Medical/Trauma topics, the balance can be in other topics. A current healthcare provider CPR card is also required at the time of initial certification and re-registration.
The Field Services Division processes initial certifications and re-registrations for all levels of EMS providers, registers EMS continuing education courses, and processes EMS continuing education course rosters.