Primary Care Paramedic

Primary Care Paramedics (PCPs) are integral members of Emergency Medical Services and provide basic life support, 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. Duties vary depending on the employment setting but responsibilities for PCPs include patient assessment, treatment, stabilization, and transportation. 

About the Program

The program is delivered using a blended format that offers students a unique alternative to traditional full-time, face-to-face, on-campus programs by providing multi-modal instruction in a computer-mediated delivery format so students can remain in their home communities for most of the training period. Students attend 10 onsite training weeks in addition to the clinical and field placements during the 40 weeks of training.

Unfortunately, at this point in time, this program is not available to international students. Please click the link to view all of our international students programs.

Eligibility and Selection Dates

Graduates are eligible to write the Canadian Organization of Paramedic Regulators (COPR) exam. Graduates are required to be successful in order to be eligible for provincial registration with the Alberta College of Paramedics.

 Once you fulfill the educational prerequisites and provide the required paperwork, the program advisor will notify you of the exact date and time for the selection assessment. It is mandatory for you to participate in these virtual selection dates.

Career Potential
Primary Care Paramedic graduates may be employed in rural or urban ambulance services, in various industrial settings or with municipal fire departments.


Admission Requirements

  • Biology 30 with minimum 60% 
  • English Language Arts 30-1 minimum 60% or English Language Arts 30-2 minimum 70%
  • Math 20-1 minimum 50% or Math 20-2 minimum 60% 
  • Chemistry 30 strongly recommended

Use this chart to check Provincial high school equivalencies accepted at Portage College. Note: This is just a guide.

Other Requirements:

  • 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.
  • Minimum age 18
  • Must attend mandatory Selection Interview and Exam

Required Documents following successful Selection Interview and Exam:

  • Standard First Aid certification (issued within one year of course start date) or Medical First Responder Certificate or Emergency Medical Responder Certificate
  • CPR - Heart and Stroke Foundation Basic Life Support for Health Care Provider
  • Photocopy of current Class 5 Alberta driver's license OR Portage College Waiver form
  • Class 4 driver's license prior to completion of program or signed waiver stating their understanding of employment requirements for a Class 4 license.
  • Police Information Check and Vulnerable Sector Search dated after June 30 and must be submitted by the start of program
  • Mandatory signed forms: Police Information Check, Immunization, Immunization and Placement Disclosure and Health Status 
  • Ipad, tablet, or smartphone for competency tracking with CompTracker Program. Please contact the program for additional details or questions.
  • Please refer to the following link for Moodle minimum technical requirements: Moodle page.

For those interested in pursuing a career as an Advanced Care Paramedic, registration as a PCP with the Alberta College of Paramedics is a prerequisite for acceptance into Advanced Care Paramedic program.

Program Start/End Dates 
August 26, 2024 to June 27, 2025 (Fall, Winter and Spring Terms)

Application Deadline
April 30, 2024

Program Selection Dates
If you have met the educational requirements you will be contacted by the program advisor with a specific date and time for the selection evaluation.

Lac La Biche Campus

Domestic Student Fees
Application Fee $53.50

Fall Term
Fee payment deadline: August 15, 2024

Tuition $3,221.93
Student Association $116.70
Dental Insurance Fee $158.50
Health Insurance Fee $158.50
Technology Fee $82.71
Recreation Fee $54.57
Program Specific Fees $150.00
Comptracker $63.53
ITLS $168.30
PEARS $3.85
BLS $3.85
TWMFR $36.30
TDG $24.15
WHIMIS $24.15
Driving Course $60.50
PBA Training $275.00
Total $4,602.54

Winter Term
Fee payment deadline: December 15, 2024

Tuition $3,221.93
Student Association $116.70
Technology Fee $82.71
Recreation Fee $54.57
Total $3,475.91

Total tuition & mandatory fees for year: $8,078.45

Visit  Portage Bookstore for textbooks and supplies

Tuition Deposit: $1500 (non-refundable for oversubscribed programs)

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

You may opt-out of the Dental and Health Insurance plan if you provide proof of comparable coverage for an extended health and/or dental care benefits plan.

Any questions regarding SA Fees including the Health and Dental Insurance fees should be directed to the SA Office 780-623-5609.

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

Primary Care Paramedic


    Course ID: PCP110


    Hours: 240

    Credits: 5

    The Ambulance Placement Course is designed to provide the student the opportunity to integrate knowledge and skills to provide care for diverse patients across the lifespan in an ambulance setting. Under the guidance of a preceptor, students apply the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom to real emergency situations The overall outcome of the ambulance placement is for the student to meet entry to practice PCP competencies.


    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: PCP111


    Hours: 36

    Credits: 1

    The Clinical Placement Course is designed to provide the student exposure to diverse patients across the lifespan to facilitate application of newly acquired knowledge and skills into practice in a health care facility Emergency Department. The clinical placement provides the opportunity for the student to incorporate assessments, pharmacology, and skills in the treatment of patients of all ages. 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.


    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: EMS250


    Hours: 16

    Credits: 1

    Safe driving requires the adoption of an attitude toward operating a motor vehicle known as “defensive driving”. The defensive driver is not timid or overcautious, but is determined to take every reasonable precaution to prevent traffic mishaps, over and above what is required by law. This course gives you the opportunity to learn and apply what is involved in driving defensively, why and how various types of motor vehicle collisions occur, and what it takes to prevent them.


    Course ID: EMRC130


    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 (ACop) and the Alberta Paramedic Association (APA) are core concepts. ACoP Guiding documents such as Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice provide the framework for professional practice.


    Course ID: PCP130


    Hours: 45 Theory 135 Lab

    Credits: 8

    This course provides the knowledge and practical skills to prepare students to perform the beginning skills required of a Primary Care Paramedic (PCP). During the mandatory on-site labs, students integrate theory from this course, knowledge from other foundational courses such as anatomy, physiology and practical skills in a simulated environment to meet the required competencies (NOCPs) at the level of proficiency.


    Course ID: PCP200


    Hours: 45 Theory 135 Lab

    Credits: 8

    The student will apply new theory, previous knowledge from PCP 130, incorporate practical skills, history, assessment, clinical presentation, and diagnostic findings of the ill or injured patient to determine a provisional diagnosis utilizing differential diagnoses and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Students will integrate all knowledge and skills to manage calls for delivery of safe patient care and promote optimal outcomes. Integration of all these components is critical to address the multiple medical and traumatic conditions encountered in the field. The student will demonstrate proficiency in the application of all competencies in a Skills, Scenario, or Simulation environment.


    Course ID: PCP210


    Hours: 45 Theory 30 Lab

    Credits: 4

    This course provides students with knowledge and skills required to provide care to special populations within the context of PCP practice. Obstetrics, pediatrics and geriatrics are the major focus of this course with competency attainment at the level of proficiency during the mandatory on-site labs.


    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. Prerequisite 60% in ELA 30-1


    Course ID: PHRM250


    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course focuses on the theoretical knowledge required for safe medication administration. Knowledge of human anatomy and physiology will be integrated into the curriculum as mechanisms of action, therapeutic effects, adverse effects, and drug interactions are explored. The study of common drug classifications along with selected frequently used medications in each classification will be included. Legislation is reviewed with regards to over-the-counter and prescription drugs as well as political, social, economic and ethical factors will be discussed. Applicable professional practice interventions are examined with supporting rationale.


    Course ID: ACP221


    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    The ability to obtain an accurate health history and perform a systematic physical examination is essential in paramedicine practice. Paramedics must be able to accurately describe and document assessment findings. The student will learn to obtain histories and perform physical examinations when working with patients who are in different states of physical, mental and emotional health. The Physical Examination course is designed for the student to develop skilled, efficient, thorough and systematic histories and physical examinations


    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.

    Pre/Corequisite 60% in ELA 30-1 and BIO 30 BIOL230


    Course ID: BIOL232


    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    This course focuses on the study of homeostasis and how it is altered by physical, biochemical, microbial or genetic factors, providing an in-depth understanding of the mechanism of human body function, pathophysiology (disordered physiology) and disease processes. The course summarizes the normal function of each organ system and then presents a number of major diseases of each system, showing how symptoms and signs of selected diseases are produced by pathophysiology. 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.

    The prerequisites are 60% in ELA30-1 and BIOL230 & 231


    Course ID: PCP220


    Hours: 45

    Credits: 3

    Course Description is currently being updated.

We acknowledge that Portage College’s service region is on the traditional lands of First Nation Peoples, the owners of Treaty 6, 8 and 10, which are also homelands to the Métis people. We honour the history and culture of all people who first lived and gathered in these lands.
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