How to become a volunteer emt

Written by barb nefer
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How to become a volunteer emt
Learn the basics to be a volunteer EMT. (Rescue ambulance image by JASON WINTER from

Emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, play an important role in providing first aid, first responder services and supportive care until an ill or injured person can reach a medical facility. Although many EMTs work in paid positions, there are also a large number of volunteer opportunities in the field. If you take the proper qualification steps, you can become a volunteer EMT.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Go through an EMT training program. Community colleges often offer these. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the most basic level of training is EMT-basic. You can continue in an EMT-intermediate and EMT-paramedic program if you choose, but EMT-basic should be enough to qualify you as a volunteer.

  2. 2

    Obtain the proper certification required in your state. The U.S. Department of Labor says that all 50 states require some type of certification, but specifics vary based on location. Most states handle a certification through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.

  3. 3

    Locate the nearest agencies that use volunteer EMTs. Contact your local fire brigades, hospitals and ambulance companies and search online through Volunteer Match (see Resources).

  4. 4

    Contact the local agencies to find out their exact requirements. Find out how many hours they will require you to volunteer in a week or a month. Ask what shifts you will be expected to work. Find out if the schedule is flexible to fit around your work and family schedule and other responsibilities.

  5. 5

    Fill out an application at the agencies that are compatible with your personal schedule and needs. If you apply to multiple agencies and are accepted by more than one, you can either choose the one that works best for you or do some volunteer work at both.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have received your EMT certification and are unable to find a paying job, volunteering will allow you to gain valuable experience that may help you find employment in the field.

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