EMT-Basic Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Wisconsin Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
Frequently Asked Questions

1) How do I become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in Wisconsin?

All Wisconsin Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers must obtain their initial education at an approved Wisconsin EMS training center. You can contact your local EMS training center for EMT course availability information.  If you currently hold an EMT license in a state other than Wisconsin, you can complete the Reciprocity application process.

2) What are the steps to obtain a Wisconsin EMT license?
  • If you do not have an established E-Licensing account, you will need to create an account (PDF, 2.5 MB) in the E-Licensing system.
  • You will need to successfully complete a Wisconsin EMT educational course at an approved Wisconsin EMS training center. You must obtain your initial EMT provider license within 24 months of successfully completing the EMT course.  You can apply for your EMT license, located in your E-Licensing account, by completing an EMS Initial License application. If you were a licensed First Responder, you will complete an upgrade application.
  • You will need to have and maintain a current Healthcare Provider CPR certification as long as you hold a valid EMT license.
  • You will need to successfully complete the NREMT exams at the EMT level.
  • Your application will be reviewed by the Wisconsin EMS Office for processing.  You will be contacted if there are any issues that need additional documentation to support the application.
  • After your application has been approved, you will receive an email notifying you that your application has been approved and instructions on how to print your EMT license from your E-Licensing account.
  • You will need to complete the Local Credential Agreement (LCA) application inside of your E-Licensing account for the service(s) you wish to be affiliated with.
3) What is an EMT License and why do I need one?

Nearly every profession certifies or licenses its members in some way. Wis. Admin. Code ch. DHS 110 outlines the requirements for issuing each level of certification/licensure.  Certification as an EMT is a privilege, and verifies that the holder has met minimal competencies and, if credentialed (affiliated) with an emergency medical service (EMS) provider, authorizes that individual to provide medical care under medical direction. 

It is the individual’s responsibility to complete the application process and to verify that he or she holds current Wisconsin licensure.  All Wisconsin EMT licenses expire on June 30 of every even-numbered year. An individual's initial certification will be valid for the remainder of the current biennium they complete their education in. Thereafter, the license will be valid for two years and must be renewed each biennium prior to the expiration date. Continuing educational requirements are described in Wis. Admin. Code ch. DHS 110.07.

4) What is a local credentialing agreement (LCA)?

A local credentialing agreement is a written authorization by the Service Director and the Medical Director of a licensed emergency medical services provider permitting a licensed EMT to perform specified emergency medical pre-hospital care while in the service of the provider. 

Once your LCA is complete, which means that both the Service Director and the Medical Director approve the LCA, you will be added to the service's roster. Contact your Service Director and Medical Director once you complete the LCA. This is a real-time process and can be completed as quickly as needed at the local level from your E-Licensing account.

5) Why do Wisconsin EMT’s complete the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam for a Wisconsin EMT license?

The NREMT exam is a requirement for all Wisconsin EMS personnel for initial or upgraded licensure and is a requirement of Wis. Admin. Code ch. DHS 110.06 (1) (d) since January 1, 2011. Certification by the National Registry identifies, for the public, state licensure agencies and employers, those individuals who have successfully completed the Registry’s educational requirements and demonstrated their skills and abilities in the mandated examinations. 

6) I was a Wisconsin licensed EMT before January 1, 2011. Do I have to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) exam to keep my Wisconsin EMT license?

Not necessarily.  The NREMT is an initial requirement for certification in Wis. Admin. Code ch. DHS 110.06 (1) (d) since January 1, 2011. If you received your EMT license prior to January 1, 2011, you are not required to maintain your NREMT status in Wisconsin for renewal of your Wisconsin certification or licensure.

7) I have completed an EMT initial course at my local Wisconsin technical college. Can I respond to 911 calls with my service?

No. Please see the answer to question 2.

8) I have a Wisconsin EMT license. Can I respond to 911 calls with my service?

No, not until you complete the Local Credential Agreement (LCA) for the service you wish to be affiliated with in your E-Licensing account. After both the Service Director and Medical Director approve the LCA, you will be added to the service's roster. Once you are added to the service’s roster, and you have a current Wisconsin EMT license, then you can respond to 911 calls with your service.

9) What is the Wisconsin Ambulance Run Data System (WARDS)?

The Wisconsin Division of Public Health has a secure, web-based reporting system called the Wisconsin Ambulance Run Data System (WARDS). Using WARDS, all EMS providers are able to enter and submit their patient care report information electronically via the Internet. This web-based program is available at no charge to Wisconsin EMS service providers.

10) I am a licensed Wisconsin EMT credentialed with a licensed Wisconsin EMT service. Do we use the Wisconsin Ambulance Run Data System (WARDS) for our responses to patients?

Administrative Rule requires EMT services to complete run reports for any calls where skills are used. Please contact your local EMS Service Director on local policy or procedure for entering service reports into WARDS.

11) Our service is licensed as an EMT service in Wisconsin. What are the medical skills that we can use in our service?

The Wisconsin EMS Scope of Practice for EMT (PDF, 50 KB) defines the procedures, actions and processes that are permitted for the licensed individual. This is the document that lists the allowed skills that an EMT may use if the service has been approved by the Department of Health Services and indicated on the EMS service license.

12) I have been an EMT and now want to upgrade my license level. How do I upgrade my license level in Wisconsin?
  • You will need to successfully complete a Wisconsin Emergency Medical Services (EMS) educational course at an approved Wisconsin EMS training center. You must obtain your initial or upgraded provider license within 24 months of successfully completing the EMS course.  You will apply in your E-Licensing account by completing an upgrade application.
  • You will need to have and maintain a current Healthcare Provider CPR card.
  • You will need to successfully complete the NREMT exams at the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) level to match your completed education.
  • Your application will be reviewed by the Wisconsin EMS Office for processing.
  • Once your application is approved, you will receive an email notification that your application has been approved and instructions on how to print your EMT license from your E-Licensing account.
  • You will need to complete the Local Credential Agreement (LCA) for the service you wish to be affiliated with in your E-Licensing account. After both the Service Director and Medical Director approve the LCA, you will be added to the service's roster.
13) I am a licensed EMT in Wisconsin. I am enrolled in a Paramedic course at a Wisconsin approved EMS training center. Do I have to apply for an EMS Training Center Training Permit?

Yes. All EMS students must hold a valid Training Center Training Permit if the EMS course requires clinical training and provides a clinical setting for educational experiences at a hospital or other health care facility. You can log into your E-Licensing account and complete the EMS Training Center Training Permit.

Last Revised: March 13, 2015