Emergency Medical Services (EMS), as a profession, is now barely a generation old. In 1996 the National Highway Traffic Administration’s (NHTSA) Emergency Medical Services Agenda for the Future noted a desire to create a comprehensive plan for EMS education that would result in enhanced consistency in educational quality and greater entry-level student competency. This vision has moved the profession forward to develop a new National Education Standard structured on a competency based educational model.

This vision for the future includes a higher standard of core competencies for the four levels of EMS training, i.e. EMR, EMT, AEMT, and Paramedic. There has been a steady movement over the last 10 years to increase the depth of knowledge and hourly time commitment making EMS training more comprehensive. The most recent recommendation is to integrate the highest level of training (paramedic) with institutions of higher education to gain college credit creating pathways that lead to a degree. 

We do have in place an Articulation Agreement with the University of Pittsburgh. By filing the Letter of Intent, this agreement allows a graduate of this program to become eligible to receive 39 credits that can be applied to the University of Pittsburgh in the Emergency Medicine (EM) Program within the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS).


The Paramedic Training program is a 10-month competency based program, meaning that each of the cognitive, affective and psychomotor learning domain building blocks must be mastered before allowing the student to advance to the next level. Because pre-hospital paramedicine ultimately deals with life and death, it is imperative that each student be trained to the highest of standards.

A. Program Objective

The objective of the University of Washington Paramedic Training Program is to train non-physicians in the principles of evaluation and resuscitation of the critically ill or injured patient. The educational goals of the paramedic student will be to attain advanced knowledge and experience in the evaluation of acute medical emergencies and the psychomotor skills necessary to accomplish this task.

B. Admission Requirements

The Paramedic Training Program is sponsored by the University of Washington and is an extension of the King County Medic One system.  The five (5) King County Advanced Life Support agencies have priority admission into our program. The number of open student positions is currently capped at 24 students per year.  Outside King County agencies will be granted admission on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the University and the sending agency.  

Individual Program Requirements:


Paramedic students are pre-screened by their regional sponsoring (employing) Fire Department or Provider Group. Pre-screening consists of a written examination, oral interview, practical assessment and psychological evaluation. Candidates will then, in conjunction with their sponsoring agency, submit an application and resume to the Paramedic Training Program for review culminating in an interview with the Program Director and/or the Assistant Program Director.

Cover Letter:

Each student must have a brief cover letter submitted by their employer to Paramedic Training recommending admission into the program and to verify ALS employment. The student must have a guaranteed full time Mobile Intensive Care Paramedic (MICP) position with a regional provider group to return to once this training program is completed. The information obtained will be used by the Paramedic Program to assess the candidate’s admission qualifications.


  • Must be Emergency Medical Technician-Basic trained.
  • A minimum of three years of field experience is required, however this requirement may be waived with permission from the Medical Director.
  • Must have a high school diploma.
  • Must have completed college freshman level courses or the equivalent in English Composition and Math; minimum of 5 credits each, (example: Math 098, Math 104 or 107). 
  • A 5 credit Science Course such as Human Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, Microbiology or Chemistry.

Official college transcripts must be submitted reflecting all college level courses taken from accredited institutions. These courses will be reviewed by Paramedic Program faculty.


Students must submit copies of the following records: 

  • A current Washington State EMT card that is valid through course completion. 
  • A valid Washington State driver's license.
  • Verification of health insurance.
  • Current immunizations. 
  • A criminal background check.

C.  ADA Compliance:  Disability Access and Accommodations 

Paramedic Training is compliant with the University of Washington’s ADA policies and governing laws.  Reasonable accommodation will be granted to students consistent with those policies and laws so long as they “do not impose an undue hardship on the University or result in a fundamental alteration to the nature or operation of the institution, program, course, service, or activity.”  Click here for additional information-

D. Certification

The University of Washington School of Medicine was at the time, the only Paramedic Training Program sanctioned (1973) by Washington State Law RCW 18.71.200 to provide Washington State Certification for Paramedics. Since then, we have moved certification to the State. Currently, the UW/HMC/PMT awards certification of successful completion of the Paramedic program, and facilitates Washington State credentialing.

EOverview of Courses

The paramedic curriculum takes place in a fast-paced and intense competency based learning environment. In addition to the classroom lecture, labs, and clinical rotations, students are required to participate in field practicums on Medic One vehicles. This provides extensive patient contact under direct supervision of fire department paramedics and allows for immediate feedback. These field practicums are a substantially large time commitment in addition to the normal classroom studies.

Quarters 1 & 2 Schedule

Quarter 1

Summer Quarter

Contact Hours

 Approx. Credit Hours

PMT 451

Anatomy & Physiology








Quarter 2 (aka: Block I)

Autumn Quarter

Contact Hours

Approx. Credit Hours

PMT 401

Introduction to Paramedicine



PMT 402

Airway Management



PMT 403

Patient Assessment



PMT 414

Paramedic Clinical Practicum I



PMT 415

Paramedic Field Practicum I








Quarters 1 & 2 Terminal Objectives

At the completion of these courses, the paramedic student will be able to:

• Define his or her roles and responsibilities within an EMS system, and how these roles and responsibilities differ from other levels of providers.

• Explain and value the importance of personal wellness in EMS and serve as a healthy role model for peers.

• Define the role that ethics plays in decision making in the out-of-hospital environment.

• Apply the general concepts of pathophysiology for assessment and management of emergency patients.

• Describe the legal issues that impact decisions made in the out of hospital environment.

• Integrate pathophysiological principles of pharmacology and the assessment findings to formulate a field impression and implement a pharmacologic management plan.

• Safely and precisely access the venous circulation and administer medications.

• Integrate the principles of therapeutic communication to effectively communicate with any patient while providing care.

• Establish and/or maintain a patent airway, oxygenate, and ventilate a patient by mastering techniques in Bag Valve Mask, Supraglottic Airway and Endotracheal Intubation.

• Use the appropriate techniques to obtain a medical history from a patient.

• Explain the pathophysiological significance of physical exam findings.

• Integrate the principles of history taking and techniques of physical exam to perform a patient assessment.

• Apply a process of clinical decision making to use the assessment findings to help form a field impression.

• Follow an accepted format for dissemination of patient information in verbal form.

• Effectively document the essential elements of patient assessment, care, and transport


Quarters 3 & 4 Schedule


   Quarter 3
   (aka: Block II)

   Winter Quarter

Contact Hours

Approx. Credit Hours

PMT 404

Medical Emergencies I



PMT 405

Trauma Emergencies



PMT 424

 ParamedicClinical Practicum II



PMT 425

Paramedic Field Practicum II








  Quarter 4
  (aka: Block III)           

    Spring Quarter


 Approx. Credit Hours   

PMT 406

Medical Emergencies II



PMT 407

Special Considerations for Paramedicine



PMT 434

Paramedic Clinical Practicum III  



PMT 435

Paramedic Field Practicum III 








Quarters 3 & 4 Terminal Objectives

At the completion of these courses, the paramedic student will be able to demonstrate the knowledge and principles associated with the acute management of medical or traumatic emergencies including:

• Cardiac arrest

• Shock and hemorrhage

• Soft tissue injuries and burns

• Spinal and thoracic injury

• Musculoskeletal injury

• Endocrine emergencies

• Allergic or anaphylactic reactions

• Gastroenterological emergencies and abdominal trauma

• Renal or urologic emergencies

• Environmental and behavioral emergencies

• Infectious and communicable diseases

• Respiratory emergencies

• Cardiovascular emergencies

• Gynecological, Neonatal, and Pediatric emergencies.

• Childbirth and childbirth emergencies

• Emergencies relating to abuse or assault.

• Diverse patients and those who face physical, mental, social, and financial challenges.

• Acute deterioration of the chronic care patient.

• Patients with suspected head injury.

• Patients with neurologic emergencies


Quarter 5 Schedule


  Quarter 5      

 Summer Quarter - A Term

 Contact Hours    

   Approx. Credit Hours   

   PMT 408

   Advanced Certifications



   PMT 444

  Paramedic Clinical Practicum IV     



   PMT 445

  Paramedic Field Practicum IV








Quarter 5 Terminal Objectives

At the completion of these courses, the paramedic student will also be able to demonstrate the professional attributes and skills required to:

• Describe and demonstrate key concepts, cognitive domains and psychomotor skill sets required to care for the critically ill and injured neonate or pediatric patient.

• Describe and demonstrate key concepts, cognitive domains and psychomotor skill sets required to perform standard of care resuscitation of the adult patient with acute coronary syndrome, stroke or cardiac arrest.

• Describe and demonstrate key concepts, cognitive domains and psychomotor skill sets required to perform standard of care resuscitation of the adult trauma patient.

• Integrate the principles of the Incident Command System (ICS) and Multiple Casualty Incident (MCI) management techniques in order to function effectively and safely in fire based EMS systems.

• Integrate the principles of rescue awareness and operations to safely rescue patients.

• Evaluate hazardous material emergencies, call for appropriate resources, and work in the cold zone.

• Describe awareness of the human hazard of crime and violence and the safe operation at crime scenes and other emergencies.


Student Information

A. Admission Requirement

Student must be employed by an EMS agency or Fire Department, and be selected for the Paramedic Training Program by that agency. 

B. Advising, Counseling and Mentoring,

A strategic plan is in place to advise future candidates wishing to pursue this degree pathway. By approaching people early in their decision making process, we are able to counsel and advise them in the selection of their academic preparatory coursework. The Director and/or the Assistant Director of the program will have responsibility for, or will train and assign other program faculty/staff to make presentations at regional Health Career Fairs; plan, advertise and present information sessions for potential applicants; visit regional Fire Departments and Public Health Districts to speak about preparation for the degree program or speak to local community groups who may provide scholarships for deserving applicants.

In addition, the Paramedic Training staff will identify and mentor individuals over time and assist them in developing an educational plan that will keep them on a track to enter the program with the proper degree requirements. We will assist them in locating courses at their local community colleges that would provide the correct transfer credit needed to be eligible for admission to the degree pathway.

C. Diversity

Paramedic Training enjoys a naturally diverse student body by virtue of the fact that candidates are pre-selected by the agencies that send them to this facility for training.  The paramedic providers in this region are fire and EMS based agencies that are required to follow local and federal regulations with regard to hiring practices.  As a result of equal opportunity employers, the student population is without bias or discrimination with regard to race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or religion.

Due to state mandated hiring practices, we would expect to continue training a fairly broad, consistent, and ethnically diverse group of students each year.  Through our counseling, advising and mentorship we will continue to identify, encourage and advise all candidates in their preparation to be admissible to our program.

D.  Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action

The Paramedic Training Program is compliant with the University of Washington’s Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action policy and governing laws; the Program “Prohibits discrimination or harassment against a member of the University community because of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, pregnancy, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, disability, or veteran status.”   Click her for additional information-

E. Financial Aid & Scholarship

The cost to train one paramedic student in our program is approximately $25,000, however all students are awarded full tuition. Unlike other programs where the student pays their own tuition, student tuition for this program is paid in full by the Medic One Foundation.  Students need only cover their own personal expenses (housing, food, etc.). Some agencies assist with some of these costs. The ability of students to focus solely on the material without the distraction of student debt at the end of the program is a truly unique gift provided by generous donors who give to the Medic One Foundation.  

F. Policy on Advanced Placement

The University of Washington/Harborview Paramedic Training Program does not offer advanced placement.

G. Policy on Transfer of Credits

The University of Washington/Harborview Paramedic Training Program does not accept transfer of credits to our program from other paramedic education programs.

H. Credits for Experiential Learning

The University of Washington/Harborview Paramedic Training Program does not offer credits for experiential learning.


Program Outcomes

Our success needs no introduction, however here is the information specifically pertaining to our students' successes over the past three years. Our numbers being so high, are a testiment to our Senior Paramedics contributions and to the quality of our training program.

Outcomes for 2015-2017
  • National Registry Written Pass Rate 100%
  • National Registry Practical Pass Rate 100%
  • Comprehensive Written Final Exam 100%
  • Comprehensive Practical Final Exam Pass Rate 100%
  • Retention (% completion) 92%
  • Positive Placement (Employed as Paramedic) 100%


The UW/HMC Paramedic Training Program, supported by the University of Washington School of Medicine, was the only Paramedic Training Program sanctioned by Washington State law (RCW 18.73.200) to provide Washington State Certification for Paramedics. We continue to maintain national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

The increase in curriculum content generated by the Emergency Medical Services Education Agenda for the Future and the Paramedic Expanded Scope of Practice has pushed the accrediting body to recommend that certificate programs across the country upgrade to Bachelor Degree status. The good news is, the rigors of the University of Washington/Harborview Medical Center Paramedic Training more than satisfies the strict University standards for a degree program and for that reason, we hope to some day offer a bachelor degree in Paramedicine.


1. Nichol G, Thomas E, Callaway CW, et al. Regional variation in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest incidence and outcome. JAMA. 2008-09-24. Vol. 300, Issue 12; p. 1423-31

2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, EMTs and Paramedics, 
on the Internet at (visited May 10, 2018).

3. Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board; 2008 Strategic Master Plan for Higher Education in Washington. p. 25-26. Accessed November 22, 2008.

4. The Medic One Foundation. Accessed November 22, 2008.