Sanford Health offers EMT training

Online structure allows students to attend classes from the comfort of home

EMT professional in ambulance

Sanford Health offers a live online emergency medical technician (EMT) course this winter and spring. The training is ideal for people interested in emergency care, serving with their community ambulance or in pursuing a career as a paramedic or in health care.

“One of the challenges from a global perspective is that there’s a dwindling number of volunteers and EMS (emergency medical services) agency members,” said Travis Spier, director of simulation and pre-hospital care at Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. “When we look at ambulance services in South Dakota and the surrounding states, we also see dwindling numbers.”

The program is open to a broad spectrum of people who join for a variety of reasons — whether it’s for the betterment of their family, their community is short on volunteers and they’d like to give back, or as a stepping stone to get into a paramedic program.

Participants will meet online twice weekly, 6-10 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and one Saturday a month in Sioux Falls from Jan. 28 to May 9.

Learn more and register for the course.

EMT training specifics

EMTs have the basic knowledge and skills necessary to stabilize and safely transport patients ranging from non-emergency to life-threatening emergencies. They function as part of a comprehensive emergency medical services response system and are a key component in the health care system. EMTs provide care to patients with basic equipment and supplies typically found in an ambulance. The EMT fulfills a crucial role as the critical link between the scene and hospital system.

The online structure of the course allows students to attend the weekly classes from the comfort of home. One required Saturday session per month in Sioux Falls provides hands-on skills development and fulfillment of course objectives. Students will complete one 12-hour EMT observation shift in the emergency department at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls. The observation shift will be scheduled toward the conclusion of the class.

“Some people will come and say, ‘I don’t see how I’m going to be able to learn all this information and handle certain situations,'” Spier said. “But through the coursework and hands-on activities, we’ll say, ‘Do you see the mountain that you just climbed and the success you just achieved?’ That’s a big component of it, just having individuals believe in themselves and giving participants the opportunity to apply their knowledge.”

The cost of $800 for the course includes the EMT textbook. Students are financially responsible for the National Registry cognitive exam fee at the conclusion of the class.

For more information on becoming an EMT or a course registration form, contact Sanford Health EMS Outreach at (605) 328-6389 or

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