Emergency Medical Responder (formerly First Responder)

Course Offerings

The Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) course is offered periodically on the  DMACC Ankeny Campus along with other outreach sites in the DMACC service area. This course is offered in a two night a week format from 6-10 PM.

Length of EMR

The EMR course runs for approximately 64 hours over the course of about two and a half months.

Clinical/Field Time

The EMR course does not require any type of clinical or field time to successfully complete the program.

Course Cost

Based on Fall 2016 figures:

Licensure/Certification Practical Exam Fee
NREMT Written/Computer Testing Fee
State of Iowa EMS Application Fee
Total Cost

Prerequisites for the EMR Class

Students must be 17 years of age by the first night of class
Students must have a GED or High School Diploma by the first night of class

Grading and Testing Policies

The EMR course at DMACC is very competitive. Students are required to obtain an 80% on every exam in order to stay in the class for certification testing. All exams are multiple choice and computer based. Students have the opportunity to use a retesting option in the event they do not obtain the minimum score of 80% on an exam. Only one retest option can be used per unit exam. The retest score that is obtained by the student must be 80%. If a student does not score an 80% this will be counted as a strike. Students are permitted to obtain three strikes before they are not able to take the certification examination.

Course Difficulty

The EMR class at DMACC is designed to challenge students. Instructors will typically cover two to eight chapters a week. The examinations are designed to mimic the types of questions that will be seen on the certification exam at the end of the course in an attempt to prepare students for the rigors of this examination. Students should be feel comfortable reading at the 12th grade level . A great amount of studying is required outside of class.

Refunds and Withdrawals

Any student wishing to leave the course is strongly encouraged to formally withdraw from the course to prevent receiving an "unsuccessful" grade. Since this course is not offered for college credit, once the course has begun no refunds will be issued. Students may drop the class two business days prior to the start of the course and receive a full refund.


In order to enroll in this course you will simply need to sign up via online registration or by contacting a member of the DMACC registration team at 515-964-6800. You will need to bring a copy of your GED/High School Diploma to the first night of class. College Diplomas or Transcripts can be accepted as well.

Criminal record

A student's criminal history is examined on a case by case basis by the Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of EMS. The Bureau of EMS in consultation with the Iowa Attorney General's Office, has the final say over whether a student is allowed to obtain certification at the end of the course based on the findings from their investigation. DMACC has no control or influence over this process or outcome and is subsequently not liable for any student that cannot certify due to criminal history.

What if my employer or fire department is paying for my EMR class

If a the cost of a course is being sponsored by someone other than the student, employers may fill out a third party billing form so that they are billed directly for the cost of the course. Please obtain the form at the link below and submit to the DMACC Business Office.

Why should I choose DMACC for my EMS education?

DMACC instructors come to the classroom with over 60 years of combined EMS field and education experience and currently work for some of the largest fire department EMS agencies and trauma hospital based in the state. DMACC instructors have held ranks ranging from Captain to Deputy Chief in metro fire/EMS agencies and in many cases hold the highest level of pre hospital care certification that are available to EMS providers.

Upon successful completion of the EMS education program DMACC graduates have one of the highest pass rates on the NREMT national certification exam in the State of Iowa. DMACC routinely ranks as the first or second EMS education program with the highest pass rate on the certification exam out of 18 EMS education programs in the state.