Certified First Responder Course and Training Programs

Certified first responders administer life saving techniques and respond to emergency situations. Find out about the job duties, required training and certification requirements. Schools offering Fire & Emergency Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Certified first responders respond to emergency calls for individuals who are injured or sick and follow established protocols to aid those in need. Certification requirements for this position vary by state and generally require both a cognitive and psychomotor examination. Recertification is required on a regular basis.

Responsibilities Respond to emergencies, assess patients and provide care
Certification CFR certification necessary; requirements vary by state
Training Courses may involve patient assessment, airway, preparatory, circulation, illness and injury and childbirth and children

What is a Certified First Responder (CFR)?

Certified first responders differ from emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in the amount of pre-hospital training they need to begin work. For example, in the state of California, certified first responders are required to complete 54 hours of pre-hospital training, while EMTs must complete 150 hours. Both professions respond to emergency situations and work to save lives; however, EMTs may be able to provide more advanced care to patients.

What Does a Certified First Responder Do?

After receiving an emergency call, certified first responders will be dispatched to an emergency location. Often, certified first responders will determine the cause of injury or illness, check vital signs and perform any necessary emergency care. Certified first responders will also assess the situation and determine whether the individual needs to be transported to a medical facility. In some cases, they may provide EMTs or other emergency services professionals with information on the patient.

What are the Requirements?

Requirements to become a CFR can vary by state. In New York, for example, you can take certification courses as early as 16 years old; however, you will need to have a high school diploma or pass the GED. Typically, prospective first responders must complete a state-approved course that either meets or exceeds the standards set forth by the U.S. Department of Transportation First Responder National Standard Curriculum.

In order to earn certification, you may also be required to pass both a cognitive and psychomotor exam. The cognitive exam covers topics in cardiology, EMS operations, oxygenation, ventilation and trauma. The psychomotor exam offers you an opportunity to demonstrate life-saving skills.

How Do I Recertify?

You can remain certified as a first responder by completing 12 hours of continuing educational requirements. Recertification courses will cover topics in patient assessment, airway, preparatory, circulation, illness and injury and childbirth and children. However, some states may prefer that you complete a refresher course to remain certified.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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  • Kaplan University

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  • Fortis College

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    • Maryland: Online Campus, Baltimore, Hyattsville
  • Saint Joseph's University

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • Northcentral University

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  • Keiser University

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  • Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

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