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Emergency Medical Services

Associate of Applied Science

Emergency Medical Technician treats a patient

Challenging. Rewarding. Fast-paced. State-of-the-art.

TCC's EMS program is all that... and more

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Tidewater Community College has the state's largest program in emergency medical services. TCC’s Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Services is where you can learn the skills and knowledge to serve on the front lines of health care.

TCC's program will prepare you to work in areas such as hospitals, fire-and-rescue departments, military, volunteer services, nursing homes, sports organizations, cruise ships and other fields that require emergency services.

Programs meet National EMS Education Standards and are approved by the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services and the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.

The associate degree is the top EMS credential TCC offers, and you can achieve it in several steps.

Just getting started?
Your first step on the ladder is the open-enrollment, one-semester basic emergency medical technician (EMT - Basic) program, the basis for all higher levels of certification in Virginia. For information about these or other EMS continuing education classes, contact Audrey Pine: 757-822-7335

National Registry Written – 90%*
National Registry Practical Exam – 99%*
Retention – 92%*
Positive Job Placement – 96%*

*Average results for years, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Certify your skills

Earn valuable industry credentials! Course work qualifies students to sit for one or more exams administered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), the American Heart Association, International Trauma Life Support (ITLS), the American Red Cross and Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN).

View program curriculum
Admission Forms and Information

We want you to be aware of these additional requirements and important information for this program.

If you have questions at any time, contact Audrey Pine, administrative assistant: 757-822-7335

If you are a new TCC student, begin your journey by applying for admission and financial aid. On your application, indicate that you intend to pursue the Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

Next, obtain your EMT, which is the foundation for all higher levels of certification in Virginia. To get your EMT you need to sign up for EMS 111 and EMS 120.

Make sure you receive appropriate transfer credits from previous education and work experience.

After you are admitted, you must meet certain conditions for continuance:

1. Submit the Health Professions Physical Examination Form showing satisfactory health status based on a physician’s exam within the previous 12 months.

2. Submit your immunization record showing you have met Virginia’s requirements for health care personnel.

3. Submit documentation of a negative TB test

* Tidewater Community College does not assume any responsibility for obtaining or evaluating the results of a criminal background check, drug screen or other check, maintaining the records of results or for delivering them to clinical sites. It is the decision of the clinical affiliate (health care or medical facility) whether a student will be allowed to participate in clinical activities should there be positive criminal or sex offender results.

** Background check is not required for EMT - Basic 

What does this program cost?

You can complete an associate degree for less than the cost of 1 year at a 4-year college or university.

TCC’s Associate of Applied Science consists of 5 semesters of full-time study, with classes held at the Regional Health Professions Center on the Virginia Beach Campus and at clinical sites.

If your schedule doesn't permit full-time attendance, you may also take classes part time.

Estimated Program Cost*:
66 credits x $185.35 per credit = $12,233.10 (not including textbooks and supplies)
*Based on Fall 2018 in-state tuition. Your actual cost may differ.

Additional costs are a criminal background check ($46) and uniform shirt.

Where can you go?

If you graduate from TCC’s program, you can transfer into the bachelor of health sciences program at Old Dominion University.

Almost all of TCC’s students are working in the EMS field by the time they graduate. Most enter public employment as members of municipal and county fire/rescue squads, but they also find jobs in hospitals nursing homes, sports organizations and other fields that require emergency services.

Is this program for you?

Yes, if you:

  • are able to handle a physically demanding job
  • have excellent communications skills
  • are calm in stressful circumstances
What are the EMS levels of education taught at TCC?

TCC offers the following EMS training and programs:

  • EMT
  • Advanced Emergency Medical Technician, which is only taught on agency contract basis at this time
  • Paramedic
Does TCC offer advanced standing for non-EMS clinicians in EMS classes?

No. RN, RT, Corpsman, PAs, MDs, etc., are not eligible for advanced standing in the EMS classes at this time.

Are Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Life Support (ALS) continuing education classes available?

BLS and ALS refreshers are available for all levels. They are usually scheduled in January and March, but can be contracted by interested groups by calling 757-822-7335 for details.

drawing of a soldier saluting

Veterans, transitioning military, spouses and dependents: TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education provides academic guidance and help in maximizing your GI Bill® and other educational benefits.

Learn more about the CMVE

Fanned-out money

Tuition assistance such as financial aid, scholarships, work-study, grants and loans can help you save money and reduce college debt.

Learn more about paying for college

80% first-attempt pass rate on national registry exam, compared to 60% nationally

All of TCC’s faculty members work or have worked as EMS professionals

All classes offered day and evening. You can attend either, as your schedule permits


A nurse for 41 years, Anne Mach has taught the gamut of EMS courses

National accreditation

The TCC EMS Paramedic Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP).

Program spotlight

Learn how to formulate patient assessments and implement treatment plans for trauma patients in ALS Trauma Care (EMS 157).

* Salary estimate is provided for comparison purposes only and doesn’t constitute a promise of employment or earnings. Salaries were calculated based on related job codes and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.