Certified First Responder Career and Certification

Get information on the training you'll need to become a certified first responder, someone who provides services in emergencies. Learn what you should study, find out about continuing education courses and explore 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 crises and stabilize wounded people. In order to become a certified first responder, you will need to be certified, and different states have different requirements for certification. Continuing education and recertification are also required.

Responsibilities Communicating with other first responders, CPR, patient assessment
Courses Patient care, bleeding control, wound management
Certification Required; specific requirements differ by state

What Is a Certified First Responder?

Certified first responders are among the first ones on the scene in disasters, both manmade and natural. They must work under extreme conditions and under severe stress. In this position, your duties may include communicating with other first responders, providing CPR and assessing the patient.

In order to become a certified first responder, you'll first need training in these areas to meet the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) first responder and emergency first responder certification requirements. Although you may complete related studies for this position, certified first responders aren't considered emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics or other types of responders, since those professionals have more training.

What Should I Study?

Specific certification requirements for first responders vary for each state. For example, in New York, completing an approved certified first responder course and passing written and practical certification exams can prepare you for certification. You'll generally need to complete a state-approved course, which can be completed in person or online. Hybrid courses are also available and will require you to visit the campus or classroom for some components of your studies.

If you're already a licensed first responder in your state, you can also find refresher courses. Some courses provide laboratory training in addition to the lecture portion. Your first responder courses will cover a variety of general topics, similar to the following:

  • Patient care
  • Bleeding control
  • The emergency medical services (EMS) system
  • Cardiac care
  • Wound management
  • Identification of life-threatening injuries
  • Medical interventions
  • Patient assessment
  • Proper use of equipment

Will I Need Continued Education?

According to the NREMT, recertification is required for all certified professionals in this field. You can recertify by meeting requirements that include 12 hours of continuing education. You can find campus-based and online refresher courses designed for first responders. The NREMT also notes that you can complete continuing education topical hours in areas like patient assessment, childbirth, injury, and circulation.

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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