Certifications And Authorizations

Orange County Emergency Medical Services (OCEMS) is the local EMS office for the Orange County Health Care Agency and an authorized EMT certifying entity for the State of California. Levels of EMS professionals in Orange County include EMTs, Paramedics, and Mobile Intensive Care Nurses. EMT’s are State certified and practice an expanded scope in OC provided by the medical director through OCEMS EMT accreditation. Paramedics are licensed by the State and practice a defined scope based on OCEMS Paramedic accreditation. Mobile Intensive Care Nurses are licensed by the State and practice based on local authorization.

State EMT certification is issued by OCEMS Medical Director and is recognized statewide. EMTs provide basic life support at the scene of medical emergencies and during transport to emergency departments and specialty centers. To be eligible for State EMT certification individuals need to complete a EMT training program and pass the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) EMT basic exam. See OCEMS Policy# 510.00 for more information.

A California and federal Department of Justice (DOJ) background check is required for State EMT certification. The background check/Live Scan must be completed by the applicant prior completing an application for certification. After your Live Scan has cleared it could take up to 30 business days for the licensing specialist to process your application. See OCEMS Policy# 455.00 for more information.

OCEMS EMT accreditation is required for an EMT to work for a licensed ambulance provider in Orange County. OCEMS EMT accreditation can be obtained by attending an OCEMS approved EMT training program, a 24 hour refresher course or by an approved continuing education provider. The EMT accreditation course provides an overview of the Orange County EMS system and instruction in the basic life support expanded scope of practice allowed by the OCEMS Medical Director. OCEMS EMT accreditation expanded skills may only be performed while working in Orange County for a recognized EMS provider. See OCEMS Policy#720.00 § 404 for more information.

OCEMS Paramedic accreditation is required for a Paramedic to practice in the OCEMS system. Paramedic accreditation allows a California licensed Paramedic to perform the advanced life support skills and procedures approved by the OCEMS Medical Director. Paramedic accreditation is limited to only those licensed Paramedics employed by OCEMS approved ALS provider agencies. See OCEMS Policy# 430.10 for more information.

A Mobile Intensive Care Nurse (MICN) works within the Emergency Departments of the County’s Base Hospitals and are authorized by OCEMS. In conjunction with Base Hospital Physicians (BHP), MICN’s provide medical direction and pre-hospital instruction to basic and advanced EMS personnel in the field. Authorization as an Orange County MICN requires passing the approved MICN authorization exam and completing the authorization process as defined in OCEMS Policy #400.00. 

Last update: 7/1/2010