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Avera McKennan School of EMS

Physical Location:
3936 S Western Ave
Mailing Address:
1325 S Cliff Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57117-5045

EMT - Emergency Medical Technician

The Avera McKennan School of EMS offers several course options for students interested in becoming Emergency Medical Technicians.

Why EMT?

Why do people take the EMT course?

  • Students take the EMT course for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common are:
  • To serve their local communities as volunteer EMTs
  • To meet the prerequisite requirements for becoming a paramedic
  • To meet the prerequisite requirements for becoming a firefighter
  • To explore the medical profession
  • Other healthcare providers want to supplement their knowledge, i.e. nurses, athletic trainers, physical therapists
  • It's great knowledge to have!


EMT Frequently Asked Questions

People have many common questions about EMTs. This guide offers some answers but if you still have questions please call us at 605-322-2086.

What are EMTs and what do they do?


Prior to the late 1960’s, a person calling an ambulance received very different care than today. Often funeral homes operated ambulance services, and the responders had little or no training in emergency procedures. The patient, therefore, was merely given a fast ride to the hospital.

In contrast to the ambulance drivers of previous years, the goal of today’s Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) is to bring the emergency department to you. It is recognized that the majority of prehospital emergency medical care will be provided by the EMT Basic.

The Emergency Medical Technician Basic course provides the first phase of training in prehospital medicine. It includes all skills necessary for the individual to provide emergency medical care at a Basic Life Support (BLS) level with an ambulance service or other specialized service. Specifically, after successful completion of the program, the student will be capable of performing the following skills:

  • Recognize the nature and seriousness of the patient's condition or extent of injuries to assess requirements for emergency medical care;
  • Administer appropriate emergency medical care based on assessment findings of the patient's condition;
  • Lift, move, position and otherwise handle the patient to minimize discomfort and prevent further injury; and,
  • Perform safely and effectively the expectations of the EMT job description.

The Avera McKennan EMT program exceeds the EMT National Standard Curriculum consisting of 150 hours of class time including lectures, practical skills laboratory, and hospital emergency department or ambulance service observation. Upon completion of the program, graduates are awarded a certificate of graduation and are eligible to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians Written and Practical Examination.

What are the prerequisites for the EMT class?


  • Pre-requisite: Must be 18 years of age to be eligible for the National Registry Exam.
  • Co-requisite: CPR for the Healthcare Provider Certification (this class is offered during the EMT course)

What specialty courses are in the EMT class?


Specialty Courses may be added to the curriculum to enhance professional development:

  • EVOC Emergency Vehicle Operations Course
  • ITLS International Trauma Life Support

Do I need any medical experience?


The EMT course is an entry-level course that is designed for people with no previous medical experience, and minimal knowledge of anatomy and physiology.

Can I get a job as an EMT?


Most EMTs in South Dakota are volunteers for their local ambulance service, and receive little or no compensation for their work. Some paid services, however, do hire EMTs. EMTs may also find work in other businesses, such as hospitals, detoxification centers, and industrial health and safety offices.

Most people that choose Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as a career decide to continue on to paramedic school.



      Contact Us

      For further information, please contact us online or by phone at 605-322-2086.

      Schedules & Registration

      Avera McKennan conducts 4 EMT courses a year.

      • Winter course: January, Monday through Friday, from 9am-4pm.
      • Spring course: February through May, Monday and Wednesday from 6pm – 10pm.
      • Summer course: June through July, Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 8:30am-4pm.
      • Fall course: August through December, Monday and Wednesday from 6pm – 10pm.

      Course Details and Specific Schedules

      Course Tuition: $725

      Textbook: $125

      Click on a course below to view dates and further information on upcoming classes.

      2015 Spring Course Info

      Check this page for ongoing updated course information as it becomes available.

          Apply for an EMT Course

          You can apply for an EMT course by following these instructions:

           To register online:


          • Print out and mail in the Registration Form.
          • Registrations will not be accepted without payment.
          • Mail registration to:
              Avera McKennan School of EMS
              1325 S Cliff Avenue
              Sioux Falls, SD 57117

          If you have questions for our staff, please fill out this form.

          Other EMT Course Information

          Special note about videoconferencing for courses:
          Videoconferencing opportunities for the EMT course is available to interested communities. Please call 605-322-2086 for more information.



          2015 EMS Refresher & Transition Conference

          February 12 - 14, 2015

          For Refresher Conference information, click here.

          To register on line, click here.

          To print out a registration form, click here.

          ACLS Provider

          March 6 & 13, 9am-4pm

          To register on line, click here.

          CPR Instructor Course

          April 21, 9am-4pm

          Prerequisite: CPR for the Healthcare Provider

          To register on line, click here.