Emergency Medical Responders provide basic emergency services, typically in rural and remote areas. EMRs are also relied upon for transporting stable patients in urban settings. All Emergency Medical Responders who respond to 911 calls must be licensed by the Emergency Medical Assistants Licensing Board (EMALB). Licensing is a separate process from your training course.
Do I Need to be Licensed?
Most likely, but not always. If you wish to work under BCEHS as an EMR for the BC Ambulance Service you will need to be Lincesed. If you wish to work for a company that specializes in non-emergency patient transfer services, your employer will most likely require you to be licensed as well. Also, Worksafe BC requires EMRs from BC to be licensed in order to apply for OFA 3 certification.
You may not need to be licensed if you are becoming certified as an EMR as a prerequisite for a PCP program in BC. You also may not need to be certified as an EMR if you plan to work as an attendant for a recreational facility or resort (such as a ski hill) or for events – although some companies may require or prefer licensed candidates anyway. Finally, EMALB licensing is specific to BC so if you are planning to work out of province you will need find out the licensing process for that province, or if licensing is required for what you intend to do there.
In order to become a licensed Emergency Medical Responer (EMR) in BC, you’ll need to do two things. First, you will need to successfully complete a recognized EMR training program such as the Canadian Red Cross EMR course we offer here at Alert First Aid. The next step is to contact the EMALB to schedule and complete their separate licensing exams (written & practical) and apply for your license.
- Register for a recognized Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) course.
The Canadian Red Cross Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) course is recognized by the EMALB and successful completion will allow you to proceed to your licensing examinations. Keep in mind when you are registering that you will have to complete all of your EMALB licensing exams within one year of the course completion date..
- Complete the recognized Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) course.
In order to be successful, you’ll need to attend and actively participate in 100% of the your EMR course. To successfully complete the training course you will need to pass a multiple choice written exam, as well as two practical scenario evaluations. One practical scenario will be based on a medical issue (illnesses and medical conditions like heart attack, stroke, anaphylaxis, and hypoglycemic diabetic emergencies) and the other will be based on a traumatic injury (physical injuries such as burns, femur fractures, tension pneumothorax, evisceration and amputation). These written and practical evaluations will be conducted during class time near the end of the course.
Once you have successfully completed the course, Alert First-Aid (or other Canadian Red Cross course provider if you don’t take your EMR course with us) will upload your information and results to the Canadian Red Cross’s online national certification database. Then you will receive your electronic certificate with a course code that you will need for the next step.
Your Canadian Red Cross EMR certificate will be valid for 3 years, however you will only have one year from the date of certification to complete the BC EMALB EMR Licensing Evaluations.
- Request EMALB Licensing Evaluations.
EMR Licensing Evaluations are arranged and administered through the EMALB directly. The process can take a long time, so it’s best to start this step as soon as possible.
Click here to request an EMR Licensing Evaluation from the EMALB
What you’ll need:
– The date you completed your EMR certification course
– Your EMR course code (course number listed on your certificate, not your certificate number)
– The name of the Training Agency for your EMR Training (For example, the training agency Canadian Red Cross if you completed your EMR training with Alert First-Aid or another Red Cross Training Provider)
Please note that BC EMALB routinely updates their policies and processes. All EMALB policies should be confirmed with BC EMALB directly.
- Complete the written and Jurisprudence exams.
Once your Request for Evaluation has been submitted, processed and approved by EMALB, you will be granted access to the online written exams. The EMR Written Knowledge Exam focuses on clinical EMR skills and principles (like signs and symptoms of specific medical conditions, assessment procedures, treatment options, and medical equipment). The Jurisprudence Exam focuses on jurisdictional information about EMALB policies, legislated responsibilities and local laws that govern EMR protocols in BC.
Both written exams are done online through EMALB’s Online Learning Portal, which you will access through your active BCeID profile. You can use your existing profile if you already have one (a Basic or Personal account) or create a new one for this purpose.
- Complete the practical evaluations.
Once you’ve successfully completed your written exams, you will be invited by email to schedule your practical evaluations. EMALB has pre-planned practical evaluations scheduled throughout the year, at different locations throughout British Columbia, with a EMALB appointed examiner.
In order to complete your practical evaluations within a year from your certification date, you may need to travel. EMALB has an ongoing list of their Practical Examination schedule and locations. Select your top 3 choices of date and location in order of preference, and follow up with EMALB by email if you don’t receive confirmation shortly after submitted your preferred dates.
Your practical evaluation will consist of one medical based BC EMALB EMR scenario (illness or medical conditions such as angina, heart attack, congestive heart failure, or COPD) and one trauma based scenario (physical injuries such as burns, femer fracture, traction splinting, tension pneumothorax, evisceration, amputation, impaled objects, traumatic brain injury, or spinal cord injuries). You must be sucessful in both.
- Complete the License Application and pay fees.
Once you’ve received confirmation that you’ve successfully completed the EMALB Jurisprudence Exam, Written Exam, and Practical Evaluations, you can apply online for an EMALB Emergency Medical Responder License. This process includes paying your actual licensing and examination fees.
British Columbia Application for EMA License
– In ‘PART B: License Requested’, selected the following dropdown options: I am applying for Initial License (trained in BC), and I hereby apply for a licence to practice at the EMR Level.
– Pay Examination and Licensing Fees. As of 2022, these come to $450 for an intial EMR license.
– If this is your initial BC EMALB Licence, you must submit a completed Criminal Record Check (with a vulnerable sector screening component) to EMALB within one year of sumitted your application for licensure. This can take days or weeks for the RCMP to process and give you, so don’t leave it to the last minute.
- Maintain your license.
Your new BC EMALB Emergency Medical Responder License is subject to annual maintenance requirements, including a minimum of 20 patient contacts and 20 continuing medical education credits (CME). These must be submitted, documented and verified through the online Emergency Medical Assistant’s Continuing Competence System (EMACCS).
Provided you meet these yearly requirements, your license will remain valid for a 5 year term, at which point you will need to re-apply for EMR Licence Renewal, and pay the corresponding Licence Renewal Fees. EMR License Renewal Fees are traditionally $50 per 5 year term, and do not require any formal knowledge or practical evaluations.