Frequently Asked Questions

What is First Responder (EMC 100)?

First Responder, similar to Advanced First Aid, is an entry-level course designed for individuals (law enforcement officers, firefighters, security guards, lifeguards, camp counselors, back-country guides, etc.) that are "first responders" to medical emergencies. This 53-hour course (meets one time per week for 3 hours) combines lecture material with skills/scenario practice, and provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to handle medical emergencies during the first few minutes prior to EMTs and Paramedics arriving.


Can First Responder (EMC 100) be taken concurrently with EMT-1 (EMC 104)?

NO. EMC 100 may not be taken concurrently with EMC 103, as it is necessary to obtain the base-line education in EMC 100, prior to moving on to EMC 104


Is there an age requirement to take EMC courses?

YES! In order to take EMC 103 (EMT Basic) YOU MUST BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE. The background check that completed in the beginning of class requires you be at least 18 to complete it.  The background check is mandatory in order to participate in hospital clinicals.


Why does SRJC require a prerequisite of First Responder (EMC 100) for EMT-1 (EMC 103)? Other community colleges, such as Mendocino, Napa, and Marin, do not.

We have been requiring First Responder as a prerequisite to EMT-B for nearly two decades. It is the belief of our faculty and staff that entry-level EMT-B students need a basic understanding of the EMS field and must possess basic knowledge and skills as they enter our EMT-B course. Graduates from our EMC programs have a reputation of being highly skilled and knowledgeable, which equates to a very employable person. The bottom line for us is graduating someone who will make a difference in providing optimum patient care and be a valuable employee to private and public sector employers.


I am interested in becoming a Firefighter Paramedic and want to get "there" as fast as I can. I know I have to take First Responder as a prerequisite to EMT-1, but once I complete First Responder can I enroll in the Firefighter-1 Academy and EMT-1 concurrently?

NO. EMT-B and Firefighter-1 are both very intensive courses, requiring mandatory attendance on given days. We have found that it is not possible to be in two places at the same time, which is what these two classes will require of a student.


If I have received training that meets or exceeds the scope of First Responder (e.g., medic in the military, certified nursing assistant, licensed vocational nurse, public safety training and/or experience), or have taken First Responder or its equivalent somewhere else, can I go directly in to the EMT-1 program?

You may challenge the prerequisite by filing a prerequisite challenge form with admissions and records at SRJC. You will be required to provide supporting documentation that proves you have obtained the entry-level knowledge for EMT-B. If you try to register for EMC 103, you will be "blocked" for not having taken EMC 100. The completed prerequisite challenge form and documentation will be reviewed by the Director of the EMC programs and either be approved or denied based upon the information provided.


I am interested in changing careers or just starting out on a career path in EMS (Emergency Medical Services). I want to ultimately become a Paramedic. How long will it take me to accomplish this goal?

You will need to complete the following courses: First Responder (EMC 100) = 2 units/one semester, EMT-B (EMC 103 = 5.5 units/one semester, Basic Arrhythmia (EMC 114) = 2 units, Human Anatomy (Anatomy 40 or 58) = 3-4 units, Paramedic Academy (EMC 133 A, B, C, D) = 39 units/approximately one year (fall/spring/summer/fall). You do the addition and you will see it is 52.5 units. It will take you approximately two years to complete these courses. If you are looking to become a Firefighter Paramedic, add the Firefighter-1 Academy and you have about 2.5-3.0 years of work ahead of you. The good news is that you only need to add 22 units of the general education requirement and you will be able to apply for an associate degree in Fire Technology and/or Emergency Medical Care.


Where can I take a CPR course?

The SRJC Public Safety Training Center does not offer "stand-alone" CPR courses. Health Care Provider (HCP) CPR training (American Heart Association) is included within the First Responder (EMC 100) training, which is a full-semester course. SRJC does offer an 11-week Standard First-Aid and CPR course (HLE 6) - Go to - "Academics" and click on "Schedule of Classes" or contact Sharon McComb at

If you are looking for "stand-alone" CPR and/or First Aid courses, contact:

  • SRJC Community Education (707) 527-4371
  • American Red Cross (707) 577-7600 or
  • American Heart Association (707) 542-1992
  • Health First (707) 528-3362
  • The HealthSource at KidSake (707) 546-4656
  • Mill Creek Safety Instruction (707) 433-7752
  • Petaluma Valley Hospital-HealthQuest (707) 766-9226
  • Verihealth Training Institute, (866) 890-8899
  • Vive CPR (707) 612-3277


Is there work for a person with an Emergency Medical Technician certificate on an ambulance or in the emergency room or would I be required to become a paramedic to work in this field?

There certainly is work for an Emergency Medical Technician, both on the ambulance and in the hospital, upon successful completion of the EMT-B course. In fact, it is strongly recommended that EMTs go to work and get some patient care experience (a minimum of 6 months full-time experience is recommended) prior to applying to the paramedic academy. If given a choice, it would be preferable to work on an ambulance. However, working in a hospital would definitely be worth the time spent. There are a number of agencies locally and regionally that hire EMTs, and we are eager to share that information with our EMT students just prior to completing the course at our recruitment day.


Where can I buy the mandatory Uniform items required?
  • Good To Go Military Surplus, Cotati
  • Emergency Equipment and Management, Petaluma