Prerequisites: Students must have successfully completed a formal, instructor-led 40-hour basic telecommunicator training program and have current certification in CPR from the American Heart Association, American Red Cross or equivalent.

ELIGIBILITY NOTE: This course is one component of APCO’s comprehensive Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) Program, which includes training, dispatch guide cards, quality assurance requirements and documentation. Individuals who successfully complete this course ARE NOT QUALIFIED to provide emergency medical dispatch services unless they are employed by an emergency communications center that has implemented or is implementing APCO’s full EMD Program. For more information, contact [email protected].

Topics covered provide the student with the knowledge and foundation to answer calls for emergency medical service and properly prioritize the response. The course also provides the student with the knowledge needed to convey proper pre-arrival instructions to the caller when needed.

Topics include:

  • Roles, Responsibilities, and Resource Allocation
  • Legal & Liability Issues: National/State Standards
  • Calltaking and APCO EMD Guidecard Information
  • Chief Complain Types Review
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Quality Assurance and Recertification
  • Stress Management

The classroom setting provides practical exercises to help the new EMD become familiar with the theories and practices of EMD and students will practice with either their agency’s APCO EMD Guidecards or the APCO Institute Training EMD Guidecards in simulated EMD calls.

Completion of this course is required for enrollment in the EMD Instructor.

Note: The online EMD course requires students to attend a web seminar in week three and a practical practice conference call in week six. The week three web seminar lasts approximately one hour. The week six practical practice conference call lasts around 1.5 hours. The final practical practice is completed by a one-on-one conference call with the instructor at the end of the course.

These sessions may or may not be during the student’s regularly scheduled work time, especially if the student works overnight. Arrangements will/may have to be made at the agency level to allow the student to attend these required sessions.

CDEs Earned: 32

Recertification Requirements:
APCO certified EMDs must provide proof every two years of 24 hours (12 hours per certification year) of Continuing Dispatch Education (CDE). Complete information on the recertification process is provided at the conclusion of the Emergency Medical Dispatch, 5th Ed., Version 4 course. Recertification requires ongoing continuing education.


Options Term Tuition
  Non-Member Member *
Co-Host 4 days $480 $430
Online 6 weeks $525 $475
Virtual 4 days $545 $495
Contract 4 days Contact us for pricing Contact us for pricing

* You must be a current Associate, Full or Commercial member to receive member discounts on all courses. Online members receive member discounts on online courses only.

** Virtual Classroom Requirements and Expectations

Late fee $25 (applied 10 days prior to course start date)
Tuition includes a comprehensive course manual and all certification fees.
Additional shipping fees may apply for international shipments.

Tuition for live courses does not include travel, lodging, meals or other costs. Online class tuition does not include web access fees or other local internet/web-related costs. Successful students will earn APCO Institute certification.