EMR Emergency Medical Responder


Are you interested in a career in emergency medical services (EMS)? Would you like to take a step towards being an Emergency Medical Technician or Paramedic? The Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) program is the required first level of education and training for EMS practitioners in Alberta. 

EMR is the prerequisite for Emergency Medical Technician/Primary Care Paramedic programs in Alberta. It is also a valuable course for those seeking a career in a fire service.   

Questions?  Want to enrol? Contact us today.

Delivery Full-time (Mondays to Thursdays over 4 weeks) or Part-time (Saturdays and Sundays or Evenings)
Program Length 16 Days
Class Size Maximum 24
Next Program Start Date October 29, 2018

Program Details

Important information regarding the EMR Program

The EMR program will undergo significant revisions in the very near future. These revisions were developed to meet new requirements set by the Alberta College of Paramedics. Some of the major revisions include an increase in length of the program (minimum 240 hours) and a simulated and practical driving component. The program revisions will result in a fee increase for the program. We are currently working on finalizing the fees. The revised EMR program will commence January 1, 2019. 

ESA program dates and fees are subject to change.

Please note:

  • Access to E-Learning is provided upon acceptance to an EMR program, including receipt of a signed and dated Alberta Enrolment Contract.
  • Early registration and pre-study is recommended, as the program can feel fast paced, especially if your high school or post-secondary education is limited.  This allows extra time to complete the pre-study.


EMR 1809 - Saturday, September 8 to Sunday, November 4, 2018 (16 days, part-time)

  • Application Deadline - Friday, August 31, 2018.  No further applications will be accepted after August 31, 2018. 
  • Access to E-Learning - provided with acceptance into program, which is dependent on receipt of a signed and dated Alberta Enrolment Contract
  • ESA Classroom Sessions - Saturday, September 8 to Sunday, November 4, 2018, (Saturdays and Sundays - 0830 to 1630 hrs).
  • No classes -  October 6 & 7, 2018 due to Thanksgiving weekend

EMR 1810 - Monday, October 29 to Thursday, November 22, 2018 (16 days, full-time) 

  • Application Deadline - Monday, October 22, 2018.  No further applications will be accepted after October 22, 2018. 
  • Access to E-Learning - provided with acceptance into program, which is dependent on receipt of a signed and dated Alberta Enrolment Contract
  • ESA Classroom Sessions - Monday, October 29 to Thursday, November 22, 2018;
  • Weeks 1, 2 & 4: Mondays to Thursdays - 0830 to 1630 hrs 
  • Week 3: Tuesday to Friday - 0830 to 1630 hrs - November 13 to November 16, 2018 
  • No Classes - Monday, November 12, 2018 due to Remembrance Day

EMR 1811 - Monday, November 26 to Thursday, December 20, 2018 (16 days, full-time) 

  • Application Deadline - Monday, November 19, 2018.  No further applications will be accepted after November 19, 2018. 
  • Access to E-Learning - provided with acceptance into program, which is dependent on receipt of a signed and dated Alberta Enrolment Contract
  • ESA Classroom Sessions - Monday, November 26 to Thursday, December 20, 2018; (Mondays to Thursdays - 0830 to 1630 hrs)

Changes to EMR in 2019

2019 EMR Dates

A complete description and fees for the new EMR program effective January 1, 2019 will be posted by Friday, October 26, 2018. 

EMR 1901 - Monday, January 7 to Friday, February 1, 2019 (20 days, full-time) 

  • Application Deadline - Monday, December 31, 2018.  No further applications will be accepted after December 31, 2018. 

EMR 1902 - Monday, February 4 to Friday, March 1, 2019 (20 days, full-time) 

  • Application Deadline - Monday, January 28, 2019.  No further applications will be accepted after January 28, 2019. 
  • Graduates of the ESA EMR program will be proficient as per the Paramedic Association of Canada definition of proficiency, to the standards and competencies outlined by the Alberta College of Paramedics Alberta Occupational Competency Profile (AOCP) for Emergency Medical Responder. 
  • Staff, faculty, partners, and students of ESA will be provided with a safe and respectful working and learning environment.
  • Learning at ESA will be supported through provision of access for students to experienced, qualified faculty, and the support and guidance of professional administrative staff.
  • Achievement of proficiency will be supported through access to high quality learning materials and equipment, effective instructor to student ratios, and appropriate practical training environments. 
  • Professional development of ESA students and graduates will be enhanced through ESA’s demonstrated commitment to patient focused, evidence-based EMS, modeling of a team based approach to public safety, and an established culture of accountability to ethical and professional standards.

There are definite advantages to taking your EMR training at ESA:

  • The ESA EMR Program has six year approval with the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP).
  • Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP) exam success rates for ESA students are excellent.
  • Low student to instructor ratios for practical training are maintained.
  • ESA instructors are career Fire Fighters, EMTs/PCPs, Paramedics and Registered Nurses.
  • ESA uses a case based program design.
  • Classroom and live learning is supplemented by online E-Learning.  
  • ESA uses an online platform and E-Learning for our EMR Program.  
  • A Professional Driver Improvement Course is included in the EMR Program.
  • As of April 1, 2015, the EMR Program at ESA is licensed by the Private Career Colleges Branch of Alberta Advanced Education.  This licensing is required by the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP) for all EMR programs offered in Alberta.


Students need a minimum of 80% in both the didactic and practical components to successfully complete the ESA EMR Program.   One rewrite is available for students who do not successfully complete the final ESA EMR final exam.

Successful students may then proceed to register as an EMR with the Alberta College of Paramedics within one year.  Registration with ACP is mandatory to work as an EMR in Alberta. 


The ESA Emergency Medical Responder Program has six year approval with the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP) and is licensed by the Private Career Colleges Branch, Alberta Advanced Education.


  • ESA Emergency Medical Responder Certificate
  • BLS Provider Certificate (Heart & Stroke Foundation)
  • PDIC Certificate (Alberta Safety Council)


  • Completed ESA Application Form
  • Minimum 18 years of age.
  • High School Diploma verified by transcripts, GED, or post-secondary education equivalent to or above a grade 12 level as evidenced by transcripts.
  • Basic Rescuer - CPR Level C or Health Care Provider (Heart & Stroke Foundation, St. John's Ambulance or Red Cross) dated within one year as of the first day of classes. ​
  • ​Standard First Aid Certificate dated within the preceding three years.
  • Alberta Student Number

CPR Courses - Search online for a Basic Rescuer course offered in your area.  One recommendation is the Heart and Stroke course.  Complete the fields on their website to see the courses available:  Heart and Stroke Foundation, Alberta.


  • Each student requires access to a computer (Windows or MAC) before and during the EMR Program for the Online Platform and E-Learning. 
  • ​An iPad is not required for use during our EMR classes.  A tablet or a laptop is optional and would be useful during classes.



To apply for the Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) Program at ESA, you must use the ESA application package from this website. There are two files to download near the top of this page.  Click on:

  • Download Alberta Enrolment Contract EMR
  • Download ESA Application 

It is the responsibility of an applicant to ensure an application submitted to ESA is complete:

  • Application is filled out and signed
  • Prerequisites are complete and included
  • Payment is included
  • Alberta Enrolment Contract is completed, signed and dated.  

An applicant is not accepted into an EMR Program until a complete application has been processed and approved by ESA.  This includes a signed Enrolment Contract (a copy may be included in application; original signed copy of the contract must be submitted to ESA before classes start at ESA). 

Applicants will be accepted into the program until the application deadline or until the maximum class size of 24 is reached.  At the maximum, students can be added to a wait list or accept a place in a different session.

Access to E-Learning is provided three weeks in advance of the program.

Mature Students

Mature Students may be accepted into an EMR Program at ESA.

If you do not meet the requirement for existing education (a High School Diploma verified by transcripts, GED or post-secondary education which is equivalent to or above a grade 12 level), forward an advance inquiry to ESA summarizing your education and work experience.  Include the following details in your inquiry:

  • Formal education completed
  • Degrees, diplomas, certifications, courses or other relevant training
  • Work experience
  • Current occupation

Your inquiry will be reviewed by the Registrar of ESA.  You will be advised if you can proceed with an application to an EMR Program as a mature student.

2018 EMR Fees 

  • Administration Fee:     $125.00
  • Program Materials Fee (5% GST included):     $350.00
  • Tuition Fee (including Registration Fee of $500.00):     $1,650.00
  • Total EMR Fees:     $2,125.00

​2019 EMR Fees

A complete description and fees for the new EMR program effective January 1, 2019 will be posted by Friday, October 26/18. 

Each EMR student is required to have access to a tablet, laptop or computer before classes for pre-study and during the EMR program for lessons and assignments.  This tablet/laptop/computer is not included in Program Materials and is not part of the EMR Program Materials Fees.

Payment of Fees for EMR:

  • First Payment for EMR - Administration Fee ($125.00) + Program Materials Fee ($350.00) + Registration Fee ($500.00 credited to tuition) for a total payment of $975.00. This payment must be submitted with the Application to ESA.  
  • Registration Fee is credited towards Tuition. 
  • Second payment for EMR - Balance of Tuition Fees $1,150.00.  Due on the first day of classes at ESA.  

ESA may only accept the second payment before the first day of classes at ESA if the fee is paid by a third party such as a government agency approved by the Private Career Colleges Branch.  Third party payments may be made as a single payment covering all fees before classes at ESA.

Refund of Fees

  • The Administration Fee is non-refundable.
  • The Program Materials Fee is non-refundable once E-Learning has been accessed.
  • Registration Fee: If the Enrolment Contract with ESA is cancelled within five business days of signing, the Registration Fee is refunded. After five business days, the Registration Fee is non-refundable.
  • Tuition Fees: The EMR Program at ESA is licensed by the Private Career Colleges Branch, Alberta Advanced Education. Cancellation and refund policies for the EMR Program are made in accordance with Section 17(1) Private Vocational Training Regulation. Any refunds of tuition fees depend on the percentage of training provided as of the withdrawal date and are listed in the Enrolment Contract signed by ESA and the student.

Methods of Payment:  All program fees are payable to Emergency Services Academy Ltd. Payments may be made by cash, cheque, Visa, MasterCard, Amex and Debit Card. Cash payments must be for the correct amount as ESA does not keep any cash onsite.

Funds may be transferred to Emergency Services Academy Ltd. by INTERAC e-Transfer if your bank provides this service.  Please contact ESA by phone 780.416.8822 or email for details about Interac E-Transfer.  Your bank may limit the daily and/or weekly amount payable by E-Transfer.

E-Learning is on the ESA website:  Students are provided with a username and password which allows access to E-Learning three weeks in advance of the first day of classes and for the three months following completion of their EMR program. 

Program Materials are given to students on the first day of classes and become the property and responsibility of the student. Program Materials include:

  • an ESA backpack or book bag
  • any required textbooks
  • BLS book
  • ESA EMR binder
  • two ESA EMS tshirts which must be worn during EMR classes.

Tuition Fees include EMR lectures and labs/scenarios and E-Learning and/or Apple Education.  As of EMR 1503A, a driving component is also included in EMR tuition.

EMR Fees provide accidental health and dental insurance coverage for students while attending ESA classes, off-site training and during practical assignments.  EMR students are not covered under Workers Compensation.


Additional Expenses for the EMR Program & Additional Equipment Required

Access to a Computer 

EMR students must have access to a computer before classes for pre-study and during the EMR program for lessons and assignments.  

A computer is not required during our EMR classes.  A tablet such as an iPad, or a laptop is optional and permitted.


You are required to have your own stethoscope for the EMR Program.  This is not included in Program Materials Fees nor supplied by ESA.
A Littman stethoscope is recommended.  The Littman Classic II is the model used by ESA EMT students.  This model is available online, with prices ranging from $75 to $120.  Details are online:  Littman website.  
Lower priced stethoscopes are also acceptable for the EMR Program.  

Safety Glasses

You need to have safety glasses for use during the EMR Program.
Safety glasses provide protection for your eyes during practical training involving bodily fluids (blood).  They cost from $15 to $100 and are available online and at many retailers such as Home Depot and WalMart.

Optional Expenses

Equipment is provided by ESA for students' use during the EMR Program. Purchase of additional equipment is optional and may include:

  • a pocket mask
  • a mini maglite
  • universal scissors

Post Graduate Costs - ACP Fees

Registration as an EMR at the provincial or territorial level is required before one can work as an EMR in Canada. Procedures vary with each province and territory in Canada. Please confirm requirements and costs with the regional governing body in the area where you plan to work.

In Alberta, EMR graduates must pass the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP) provincial exam and be registered with ACP before they are licensed to work as EMRs in Alberta. The ACP exam must be written within one year of graduating from the EMR Program.

ACP fees for 2018 are listed on the ACP website

  • ACP Application                      $100.00
  • ACP EMR Exam Fees              $800.00
  • ACP Annual Registration        $525.00

Regional provincial exam dates are scheduled by ACP throughout the year and are independent of training at ESA. Exam dates and current fees can be obtained by phoning ACP: (780) 449-3114 or (877) 351-2267 and are listed o­n the ACP website Alberta College of Paramedics.


The EMR Program at ESA is not eligible for Canada Student Loans and provincial loans and grants, as the period of study is shorter than the minimum 12 weeks required under these programs.   

For suggestions for alternate funding such as RESPs, please refer to Student Services on this website:

E-Learning Module

ESA's EMR Program has an E-Learning module which is to be completed in advance of the first day of classes at ESA.

Access to E-Learning is provided three weeks in advance of the first day of classes. 

E-Learning or pre-course/classtime preparation includes an orientation with an outline and review of the program materials, course preparation and study.  Access to E-Learning will be available for three months following the end of the program.

The EMR classes at ESA consists of sixteen days or 112 hours of instruction:

  • Theory and lectures using an online platform and E-Learning.  Access to a computer after classes is required.  Use of an iPad or similar computer (Windows or MAC) during classes is an option.
  • Practical training (scenarios and labs)

Additional study time is also recommended as the program is intensive.

EMR Program Content

The following lessons and labs are covered in classroom theory and practical lab sessions:

  • CPR
  • Introduction to Pre-hospital Care
  • Legal Considerations
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Primary Assessment
  • Airway Management
  • Respiratory Emergencies
  • Spinal Trauma
  • Automated External Defibrillation
  • Moving the Patient (Self Study)
  • Chest Trauma
  • Secondary Assessment
  • Abdominal Injuries
  • Abdominal Emergencies
  • Head Injuries
  • Special Senses Emergencies
  • Seizures
  • Unconscious Patients
  • Shock
  • Soft Tissue Injuries (Self Study)
  • Musculoskeletal Injuries (Self Study)
  • Burns
  • Cold Emergencies
  • Heat Emergencies
  • Diabetic Emergencies
  • Poisonings and Overdoses
  • Bites and Stings (Self Study)
  • Obstetrics
  • Pediatric Emergencies
  • Psychological Support
  • Communications/Patient Care Reports
  • The Ambulance
  • Aeromedical Patients
  • Patient Management Simulation (Scenarios)
  • Cardiovascular Emergencies
  • Hazardous Materials (Self Study)
  • Multi Casualty Incidents (Self Study)
  • Geriatric Emergencies
  • Vehicle Extrication Theory
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Psychological Support
  • Pharmacology for the EMR

The most recent change to the EMR program in Alberta and required by ACP was the addition of a Professional Driver Improvement Course (PDIC) or driving component. At ESA, this content was added in March, 2015. This course is all didactic or theory and does not include any practical driving.  Topics covered:

  • Principles of defensive driving
  • The driver (attitude, fatigue, distractions, etc.) 
  • Vehicle care and inspections
  • The road and its users
  • Intersections
  • Winter conditions

Certificate Awarded: Upon successful completion of the Professional Driver Improvement Course, students will receive a Certificate issued by the Alberta Safety Council (ASC).  

Students who are successful in the ESA EMR Program may apply for Provisional Registration as an EMR with the Alberta College of Paramedics. Once registered you may apply to take the Provincial Registration Examination. Upon successful completion of the Provincial Registration Examination, you will receive an EMR Practice Permit and be added to the General Register.

Referral Fees for New EMR Students Are Paid to Former or Current ESA Students

If a new student is accepted into an EMR, EMT/PCP or Professional Fire Fighter Program at ESA, and lists the name of a former or current ESA student on their original application form in response to the question "How did you learn about ESA?", then we will mail the former/current ESA student a cheque.

Referrals for EMR are $50.

Employment Standards

ESA is committed to providing a quality program that will produce a confident and competent EMR. Our graduates are employed by industry, ambulance services and fire departments.

EMRs work in all areas including rural and remote locations where they may provide the highest level of pre-hospital care. Many are involved with volunteer service organizations.

EMR is often a prerequisite for employment in a fire, ambulance or combined fire/ambulance service in Canada.  

ESA Graduates

Recent graduates from the ESA Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) Program are working for various ambulance services and industries in Canada. Many of our EMR graduates have also taken the ESA Professional Fire Fighter Program, and with the two certifications are successful in their applications to work for large emergency services.

Employment places for ESA EMR graduates include:

  • Alberta Health Services - Gateway Station, Edmonton AB; Central Zone AB; Calgary Trail, Edmonton AB; Provost AB
  • Arctic Response Canada Ltd., Yellowknife NT
  • Associated Ambulance
  • CALA Safety, Lac La Biche AB
  • Calgary Fire Department, Calgary AB
  • Canadian Industrial Paramedics, Edmonton AB
  • City of North Bay Fire Department, North Bay ON
  • Devon Fire Rescue, Devon AB
  • Echo Medical, Safety & Training, Edson AB
  • Edmonton Emergency Response Department, Edmonton AB
  • Edmonton Fire Rescue, Edmonton AB
  • Firemaster
  • HSE Integrated, Whitecourt AB; Grande Prairie AB
  • Interhospital Ambulance Services (IHAS), Edmonton AB
  • IPSEMS, Nisku AB
  • Koala-T First Aid Services, Dawson Creek BC
  • Leading Edge Medical Services
  • Marmot Ski Basin, Jasper AB
  • Maskwacis Ambulance Authority
  • Mud Creek Medics, Rocky Mountain House AB
  • Rocky Mountain Medical Mobile Services, Edson AB
  • Scott Safety
  • Stantec Consulting Ltd., Edmonton AB
  • Strathcona County Emergency Services, Sherwood Park AB
  • Team Alberta Lacrosse Medical
  • Vegreville Emergency Services, Vegreville AB

​If you are a graduate of our EMR Program and successful in finding employment, would you please contact ESA so that we can maintain current records.

  • Coworkers who work in the emergency services told me that ESA was "the king of all EMR schools". And, that ESA prepares its students the best for their ACP exams.  (Sarah, EMR 1501C)
  • I really enjoyed the knowledge and expertise that the instructors possessed. They created a focused environment with the drive to learn and develop. (Ian, EMR 1501B)
  • Instructors were great. Doing hands on scenarios was very helpful. (Morgan - EMR 1104)
  • Excellent instructors and facilities, and extremely professional. Loved the course and was very well prepared for the ACP Exam. (Andrea - EMR 1107)
  • I learned a lot and I am looking forward to taking my Professional Fire Fighter program and EMT course at ESA in the near future! I will highly recommend ESA for EMS/Fire training to anyone interested. (Adam - EMR 1104)
  • [I enjoyed] the hands on learning and different perspectives of the instructors. I was also pleased with the pre-study quizzes. They really encouraged the students to be diligent and stay on course. If we were having trouble with anything, it was very clear that extra help was always available. (EMR 1107B)
  • I'm convinced that ESA's tough love learning system is the best in Alberta. (Michael - EMR 1301C)
  • Fast paced program with good delivery. (Gordon - EMR 1311A)
  • I really enjoyed the EMR program.  It was very challenging but I felt it prepared me well both for the ACP exam and for the EMS industry. (Kirsetn - EMR 1311B)
  • Your program was awesome.  I had found training related employment before joining the army as a Medical Technician, and am currently stationed in Borden, Ontario.  (Naomi - EMR 1207)
  • Working in industry is very eye-opening.  I was one of the very, very few EMRs to work in a clinic...with Paramedics who were willing to teach and help me along.  (Jesse - EMR 1305)
  • I really enjoy my career as an EMR.  I work full-time in the Oil & Gas industry.  Thank you for the excellent training.  Cheers! (Connie - EMR 1308)
  • Really good instruction! Wouldn't change anything about having different teachers everyday. It's nice to fill the toolbox from everyone!
    (Linda - EMR 1503B)
  • The instructors are great, they're fun, share lots of real life experience, and give the class a relaxed atmosphere. The "real" scenarios and MCIs were an amazing shift in perspective from the stiff word for word surveys we practiced,to learning to apply it effectively in stressful and dynamic situations.
    (Michael - EMR 1503B)


"The instructors are all career firefighters and have valid insight and entertaining stories to hammer home learning points."
- Ryan, Fire 1308