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Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD)

The EMD course.

Beginning January 2020, the APCO Institute will offer updated versions of its Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) 5.4 and Emergency Medical Dispatcher Instructor (EMD Instructor) courses. Learn more.


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.


  • Roles, Responsibilities and Resource Allocation
  • Legal & Liability Issues: National/State Standards
  • Call Taking and APCO EMD Guidecard Information
  • Chief Complaint 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


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


APCO Institute certified Emergency Medical Dispatchers are required to recertify every two years. 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 Edition, Version 4, course. Recertification requires ongoing continuing education.

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.