Online First Responder Courses and Training Programs

Learn about online and hands-on first responder training schools. Explore education programs, medical emergency coursework and professional certification exam requirements. Schools offering Fire & Emergency Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

If you learn the first-responder who is now rushing to your aid only had his or her training online, you might suddenly lose all hope. Not to worry, however, since the training programs for such personnel won't be completed all online. Along with traditional coursework, practical, hands-on experience and training will also be required.

Online Many options available online but come with practical experience
Programs U.S. Department of Transportation approved first responder certification course, Red Cross emergency response class for first responder card, FEMA emergency responder training course
Courses Airway management, trauma patient assessment, bleeding control, shock management, hazardous materials, childbirth and environmental emergencies, allergic reactions, poisoning

Will I Need Certification or Licensing to Become a First Responder?

A first responder has one level of training above advanced first aid but not as advanced as the training a basic emergency medical technician (EMT) receives. You may voluntarily obtain first responder certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians ( Certification demonstrates that you have fulfilled the national education standards through a recognized course and proven that you possess proficient cognitive and psychomotor skills to perform the functions of a first responder. Certification exams include both a computerized test and a hands-on skills test. State licensing requirements vary, but many states have made national certification a prerequisite to licensure.

What Distance Learning Training Programs Are Available to Me?

Some technical schools offer U.S. Department of Transportation approved first responder certification courses and refresher courses via distance learning. You may also take an American Red Cross ( emergency response class through a state college's distance education program to receive your first responder card.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Center for Domestic Preparedness offers U.S. Department of Homeland Security emergency responder training courses at schools throughout the country ( You may complete some FEMA courses for emergency responders online.

Why Should I Take First Responder Courses?

If there's a chance you might have to be the first to respond to an emergency situation as part of your job duties, you should consider taking a first responder course. If you're preparing to take the national certification exam or want to obtain a Red Cross first responder card, blended classes are available to teach you the skills you need. National certification is valid for a 2-year period, and you must take a continuing education refresher course to be eligible for recertification. The following topics may be covered in an online first responder course:

  • Airway management and oxygen delivery systems
  • Assessment of trauma patients
  • Bleeding control
  • Shock management
  • Hazardous materials
  • Childbirth emergencies
  • Environmental emergencies
  • Allergic reactions
  • Respiration emergencies
  • Poisoning and overdose
  • Emergency response plan for school bomb incidents

How Are Blended Courses Delivered?

Because you will need to apply your training under pressure in urgent situations, very few courses are delivered entirely online. While some classes provide you with simulated exercises and educational virtual reality games, you still need hands-on training to hone your psychomotor skills. For the online portion of the course, you study the theoretical components within a given time frame and take a series of online quizzes and written tests. Your dexterity and practical performance are then tested on-site with your fellow classmates. In order to successfully complete a course, you will have to demonstrate proficiency in both the online and in-class components.

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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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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