Emergency Medical Responder

Emergency Medical Responders (EMRs) are integral to 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 the scene, be the only provider in remote areas, or work collaboratively in a team with other EMS/health care providers, first responders (i.e., Fire, Police), or community support agencies.

About the Program

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.

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.

Ambulance Driver Training

In addition to the theory, labs and clinical placement, students must complete the Alberta Paramedicine Driver Operator Course (APDOC). The Alberta College of Paramedics has mandated this course as part of every Alberta EMR program and it is required for graduation.  EMR Students will receive 40 hours of hands-on, behind-the-wheel ambulance training on our campus.


Students attend 5 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. Still, students may be required to arrange other exams supervised at any Portage College campus or by an approved invigilator when not on site. Students are responsible for all costs of exam invigilation external to Portage College.

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.

Program Admissions

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


Admission Requirements

  • 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%
  • Biology 30 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 & Documents:

  • 18 years of age
  • Students who do not meet admission requirements can contact student services regarding opportunities for placement testing. * Students will need to submit an application to the program to start the process.
  • Standard First Aid Certificate (issued within one year of program start date)
  • Heart and Stroke Foundation BLS (Basic Life Support) Certificate
  • 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 (within 2 months of program start)
  • 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.
  • EAL- 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 Date
August 29, 2024 to January 24, 2025

Application Deadline
August 15, 2024

Lac La Biche Campus

Domestic Student Fees
Application Fee $53.50

Fall Term
Fee payment deadline: August 15, 2024

Tuition $3613.08
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 $63.25
Comptracker $63.53
ITLS $168.30
BLS $3.85
TWMFR $36.30
TDG $24.15
WHIMIS $24.15
Driving Course $60.50
PBA Training $275.00
Total $4,903.09

Visit  Portage Bookstore for textbooks and supplies

Tuition Deposit: $100 (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.

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: 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: 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: 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.


    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: 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: 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

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.
Facebook Instagram Linkedin RSS Twitter YouTube TikTok