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Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD)

The EMD course.

The APCO EMD Course is based on the NHTSA’s National Standard Curriculum for EMD. Completion of the APCO Institute EMD Course means that the student has met all of the requirements of National Standard Curriculum—an important point for states that require compliance with the national curriculum.

Topics covered provide the student with the knowledge 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.


  • EMD Roles and Responsibilities
  • Legal and Liability Issues in EMD
  • National and State Standards for EMD
  • Resource Allocation
  • Layout and Structure of the APCO Institute EMD Guidecards
  • Obtaining Information from Callers
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Chief Complaint Types
  • Quality Assurance & Recertification
  • Stress Management

The classroom setting provides practical exercises that help the new EMD become familiar with the theories and practices of EMD. Students practice with their agency’s EMD Guidecards in simulated EMD calls. Completion of this course is required for enrollment in the EMD Instructor course.

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


Requires completion of a formal, basic 40-hour telecommunicator course or training and current CPR certification from the American Heart Association, American Red Cross or equivalent.


To recertify, all APCO Institute Certified Emergency Medical Dispatchers must provide proof every two years of 24 hours (12 hours per certification year) of approved continuing dispatch education (CDE), proof of a current CPR certification as stated above and must pass the EMD recertification exam.

Options Term Tuition


Full and Commercial Members

Co-Host 4 days $389 $369
Online 6 weeks $439 $419
Agency 4 days $0 (cost of student manuals only) $0 (cost of student manuals only)
Contract 4 days Contact us for pricing Contact us for pricing
* As of May 25, 2017. Class tuition may change so be sure to check the amount in your shopping cart.