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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Program Admissions

Career Potential

Registered EMRs may be employed in ground ambulances, clinics, fire services and industrial settings. 



Admission Requirements

Minimum academic requirement or equivalent:

  • 60% in English 30 (30-1), or 70% in English 33 (30-2)
  • 50% in one of Math 20-1 or Pure Math 20, or a minimum 60% in Applied Math 20-2
  • 60% in Biology 30
  • Chemistry 30 strongly recommended

Other Requirements & Documents:

  • High School transcripts or equivalent; or CAAT-D testing with a 6 Stanine in Math & English and achieve a minimum of 60% on the Biology 30 challenge exam
  • Standard First Aid Certificate (issued within one year of program start date)
  • CPR certificate for Health Care Provider or Level C (issued within six months of program start date)
  • Class 5 Alberta driver's license (GDL is acceptable) and a signed waiver stating understanding of employment requirements for a Class 4 license for some employers
  • Police Information Check and Vulnerable Sector Search (issued within 3 months of program start date)
  • Signed Police Information Check waiver form
  • Signed Immunization form
  • Signed Immunization and Placement Disclosure waiver form
  • Signed Health Status form
  • Please refer to the following link for Moodle minimum technical requirements: Moodle page.
  • ESL - ALL students whose first language is not English must meet one of the following:
    IELTS Academic Format with minimum scores as follows: Listening 7.5; Reading 6.5; Writing 7.0; Speaking 7.0.
    TOEFL iBT (internet Based) with minimum test scores as follows: Listening 23; Reading 21; Writing 25; Speaking 22.
    Note: Testing must have been completed within two years prior to application to the program.

Transferability: N/A

Program Start/End Dates
August 27, 2020 to January 22, 2021 (Fall Term)

Lac La Biche Campus

Domestic Student Fees
Application Fee $53.50

Fall Term
Fee payment deadline: August 14, 2020

Tuition $2830.35
Student Association $116.70
Technology Fee $68.48
Recreation Fee $0.00
Total $3,015.53

Visit  Portage Bookstore for textbooks and supplies

International Student Fees
Application Fee $160.00

Fall Term
Fee payment deadline: August 14, 2020

Tuition $8491.05
Student Association $116.70
Technology Fee $68.48
Recreation Fee 0.00
Total $8,676.23

Visit  Portage Bookstore for textbooks and supplies

Need help funding your education? Check out our  funding options.

Other purchases may be necessary in order for students to complete their courses/program.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most Portage College programs will be delivered online. students will need regular access to a computer with a webcam and an internet connection. High speed broadband access is highly recommended for the optimal learning experience.

For technical requirements, visit our Moodle page.

2020 - 2021

Audit Fee - 50% of Course Fee

Document re-issuance Fee - such as, student ID, meal card, certificates etc. (Non-refundable)
Fee is per document - $10

GED Exam Fee (refundable if writing is cancelled)
Writing Fee - $200
Re-write Fee - $190

Invigilation Fee (Non-refundable)
Administration Fee - $25
Invigilation Fee per hour - $25

Prior Learning Assessment Fee (Non refundable)
Cost recovery, minimum $250/course

Supplemental/Deferred Exams (Non-refundable) - $25

Transcript Evaluation Fee - not applicable to dual credit high schools (non-refundable)
External Advanced Credit  - $50

Transcript Fee - $10

Tuition Deposit (non-refundable for oversubscribed programs and international only)
Domestic Students - $100
International Students - $500
Paramedicine - $1500

Emergency Medical Responder


    Course ID: BIOL230

    Name: ANATOMY I

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course provides an in-depth study of the structures of the human body and their interrelationships using a systems approach. The correlations between structure (anatomy) and function (physiology) are noted. Major topics include body organization, the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic, digestive, endocrine, urinary and reproductive systems, the general and special senses, and human development. This course is designed to prepare students in medical fields of study for advanced courses in their respective fields, as well as other university transfer students.


    Course ID: BIOL231


    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course provides a study of the overall function of the human body. Major topics include fundamental chemistry, homeostasis, cytology and cell physiology, cell signaling and communication, and muscle, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic, digestive, endocrine, urinary and reproductive physiology, as well as fundamental genetics as it applies to human physiology. This course is designed to prepare students in medical fields of study for advanced courses in their respective fields, as well as other university transfer students. PREREQUISITES: 60% in BIO 30 and 60% in ENG 30-1, BIOL 230


    Course ID: COMM135


    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course explores basic and therapeutic communication skills for the health professional. Communication skills required for the development of caring relationships and to overcome barriers will be discussed, as well as, the skills needed for interprofessional practice, group and family communication. Conflict resolution, self-reflective practice and health teaching are key components of this course. PREREQUISITE: Admission to a Health & Wellness program


    Course ID: HEED105


    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course will introduce you to the physical, social, mental, occupational, emotional, environmental and spiritual dimensions of personal health and wellness. These dimensions are described within the context of the Canadian Health Care System and your own individual community. Topics include primary health care, nutrition, exercise, stress management, weight management, eating disorders, common health issues and their prevention. You will be expected to integrate knowledge of the seven dimensions of health and apply this knowledge to a self-analysis of your own health and physical fitness. Finally, you will incorporate change management theory to develop, implement and evaluate a personal wellness plan. The intent of this course is to promote a healthy lifestyle. By examining determinants of health, the current health care system, the seven dimensions of health and applying these concepts to your own lifestyle, you will be better equipped to function as role models and act as change agents for health promotion in your community. Prerequisites: 60% in ENG 30-1


    Course ID: EMRC105


    Hours: 138

    Credits: 5

    This course provides the knowledge and technical skills to prepare students to perform the duties required of an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR). During the mandatory on-site labs, students integrate theory from this course, knowledge from other foundational courses such as A & P and technical skills in a simulated environment to meet the required competencies at the level of proficiency.


    Course ID: EMS250


    Hours: 8 Theory, 8 Lab

    Credits: 1

    Students complete the provincially recognized driving course for EMS providers in Alberta. Certification is provided upon successful completion. *This course will require additional time using a driving simulator to complete all requirements for the driving component as required by the Alberta College of Paramedics.


    Course ID: PCP140


    Hours: 15

    Credits: 1

    In this first professional paramedics course students learn about the history and evolving role of paramedics. Values, ethics, legalities and legislation that affect paramedic practice are introduced. Topics include legislative requirements under the Health Professions Act (HPA), the role and responsibilities of the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP) and the Alberta Paramedic Association (APA) are core concepts. ACP Guiding documents such as Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice provide the framework for professional practice.


    Course ID: EMRP125


    Hours: 56

    Credits: 1

    The EMR Placement Course is designed to facilitate student application of newly acquired knowledge and skills into practice with diverse patients in a health care setting. Students will act as a member of the multidisciplinary heath team and develop an awareness of the roles and responsibilities of other health professionals while developing strategies to work effectively within a team setting. The overall outcome of the EMR placement is for the student to meet entry to practice EMR competencies.

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