Learning Opportunities

Emergency Medical Responder




Emergency Medical Responders (EMRs) are integral members of Emergency Medical Services and provide entry level medical and trauma care in health services and industrial settings. They may be the first to arrive on scene, they may be the only provider in remote areas, or they may work collaboratively in a team with other EMS/health care providers, first responders (i.e. Fire, Police) or community support agencies.

The EMR scope of practice includes, but is not limited to the following: professional responsibilities, communication, health and safety, assessment and diagnostics, therapeutics, integration, transportation, health promotion and public safety.

The Portage College EMR full-time program is provided using a blended delivery model. This program combines online theory courses, onsite labs at the Lac La Biche campus and a clinical placement. This format allows students who are unable to relocate from their home community for the duration of their education program, the opportunity to pursue an Emergency Medical Responder certificate. By using the multi-modal approach to instruction, students can do the majority of theory instruction from home. For each 3-credit course, students can expect to spend an average of 6-10 hours studying per week.

In addition to the theory, labs and clinical placement, students must complete the Alberta Paramedicine Driver Operator Course (APDOC) that includes the use of a driving simulator. The Alberta College of Paramedics has mandated this course as part of every Alberta EMR program and it is required for graduation. This course is offered by various educational partners and students are responsible for all associated costs.

Students attend onsite lab weeks throughout the 20-week program. During the mandatory on-site weeks, practical skills are assessed at the level of proficiency. Some written exams are scheduled during onsite weeks but students may be required to arrange to have other exams supervised at any Portage College campus or by an approved invigilator when not on site. Students are responsible for all costs associated with exam invigilation external to Portage College.

Graduates are eligible to write the Provincial Registration Examination and become a registered practitioner with the Alberta College of Paramedics which is required to practice as an EMR in Alberta.

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