The Center for Emergency Programs is part of the University of Utah Department of Health Promotion and Education and trains over 1200 people per year.

We provide training in pre-hospital emergency medical care, disaster paramedic, and wilderness medicine. Classes range from basic CPR through EMT and can be taken for University credit, non-credit or certification. Disaster preparedness classes include personal, community and corporate preparedness.

Classes are offered every semester following the academic calendar as well as in short formats. All classes can be offered by contract at your facility and according to your schedule.

Mailing Address

Center for Emergency Programs
1901 E. South Campus Dr. #2142 Annex
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112

Office Address

Annex Room 2066
Phone (801) 581-4512
Fax (801) 585-3646
email: UUCEP@utah.edu

***If you have questions or need help with the courses in our program please feel free to contact Les Chatelain, les.chatelain@utah.edu.

While the first use of a cart to transport injured soldiers was in the 1400s and "ambulances" were used in the 1800s, the modern EMS system had its beginnings in the mid 1960's when automobile accidents were recognized as a major health problem and guidelines and regulations were developed to guide ambulance service throughout the United States. The task of developing these guidelines and regulations was assigned to the Department of Transportation, because the problem related to automobile accidents. This responsibility still rests with the DOT and the guidelines and curriculum are focused on traditional ambulance response. As other professions recognized the importance of this training, EMTs became common in many settings including fire service, hospitals, and industry.


The primary role of EMTs is ambulance response. Agencies vary greatly. These services can be private, non-profit, or government operated. They may be hospital, fire department or community based. The employees may be volunteers, paid volunteers, or paid employees and may be full or part-time employees. Full-time paid EMTs earn between $6 and $10 per hour starting wage.

Fire Service

Almost all fire fighters are cross trained as EMTs also. They are often the first responders in their community. Some fire agencies transport patients, but most stabilize the patient until and ambulance service arrives to transport. Fire fighters may be volunteers, paid volunteers, or paid employees and may be full or part-time employees.Full-time paid fire fighters earn between $10 and $15 per hour starting wage.


Many hospitals hire EMTs as "Techs" to assist with patient care and transport. They are often found in the Emergency Department but may be in radiology, clinics, or transport services. Many hospitals also provide helicopter and fixed-wing emergency response, but these are generally staffed by nurses, and paramedics with many years of experience. Starting wages in hospitals are generally between $6 and $10 per hour.


Free standing "emergicenters" and many clinics hire EMTs to function similar to medical assistants or nursing aids. In this area, full-time paid EMTs earn between $6 and $10 per hour starting wage.


EMTs are hired in a variety of wilderness settings. These are often seasonal jobs, but full-time employment can be found. These jobs are usually with groups that take people out into the wilderness such as scout camps, troubled youth treatment programs, river guides and wilderness guides, but can also be with ski patrol, search and rescue, state or national parks, fire crews or work crews. Salary varies tremendously in this setting.

Community Based

EMTs are often hired in high risk industries such as utilities, manufacturing, oil fields, mining, and construction or where hazardous materials are commonly used. Companies that hire large numbers of employees often have in-house response teams. Security agencies hire many EMTs to provide emergency care to companies that they provide security services to. Salaries will vary depending on setting, responsibility and risks.

If you are interested joining our team, send a resume, cover letter and at least three letters of recommendation to:

Les Chatelain

Center for Emergency Programs
Health Promotion and Education Dept.
1901 E. South Campus Drive, #2142
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112

Phone (801) 581-4512
Fax (801) 585-3646

email: mike.ditolla@utah.edu

Upcoming Courses

Heartcode Skills session CPR Classes

  • This is the skills session associated with the American Heart Association Heartcode Healthcare provider CPR course. You must complete the online Heartcode course through the American Heart Association, http://onlineaha.org/courses/84.
  • You will be required to complete the online Heartcode course prior to attendance in the skills session.
  • 9am-12pm: Dec. 12, *Jan. 16, *Jan. 23, Jan. 30, Feb. 20, March 26, April 23, *May 21, May 28, June 18, July 09

Contact Umarket to register, https://umarket.utah.edu/um2/uucep/ (if link does not work please copy and paste into the address bar) 

* courses for currently enrolled EMT students only

Emergency Medical Technician

Wilderness Medicine

Avalanche Rescue

Swiftwater Rescue

High-Angle Rescue

Climbing Self-Rescue

Last Revised: 06/2016

Do I have to be a University of Utah student to take classes?
All of our classes may be taken by anyone in the community and can be taken for University credit if you are degree seeking or for non-credit if you just want the information. Certification is not affected by whether you take the class for credit or not.

Why earn a degree with emphasis in EMS?
The future of Emergency Medical Services is rapidly moving toward requiring a degree. While initial entrance into this field does not require a degree, professional movement within the profession is much enhanced by having a Bachelor's Degree. Many health care professions such as physicians, physician assistants, and occupational and physical therapists require a degree for entry into their programs. This degree is very competitive when applying for those programs. For more information visit Degree Programs.

How much are EMTs paid?
EMT pay varies tremendously from unpaid volunteers to salaried firefighters who with a few years of experience are earning over $30,000 a year. Many EMTs work as "paid" volunteers, where they are on-call and only paid if they are called out. Most full-time EMTs earn around $10 per hour. Pay will vary greatly based on the setting you are working in and your years of experience.

How does the certification work?
All of our classes provide certificates of completion and most provide local, state, or national certification. The EMT classes qualify you to take the state certification exams offered by the Utah Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. Most of the first aid classes provide certification through the National Safety Council. CPR certification is generally through the American Heart Association or the National Safety Council. For more information on the certifying agencies click on the "related web sites" button.

What are the options for EMT continuing education?
We offer EMS continuing education in a variety of formats. This allows individuals to meet their own specific needs. Programs are available to obtain all of the required CME hours or any portion that you may need. Hours can be obtained in lecture, practical labs, through case review or article review, or on the web. We can also provide training to response agencies at your location. For more information visit our EMT Classes.