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Home > Careers & Training > Paramedic Opportunities > Becoming a Paramedic

Becoming a Paramedic

If you are interested in a professional career as a paramedic in Toronto, the following are the prerequisites as per the Ambulance Act of Ontario and Toronto EMS:

  • Must be able to read, write and speak English fluently.
  • Must not have received, during the year immediately prior to employment as a paramedic, four or more demerit points recorded on his or her record by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles under the Highway Traffic Act.
  • Have maintained, during the two years immediately prior to the date he or she commenced employment, and have continued to maintain during his or her employment, a valid driver’s licence under the Highway Traffic Act.
  • Not have, at any time during the three years immediately prior to the date he or she commenced employment or during his or her employment, been prohibited under the Criminal Code (Canada) from driving a motor vehicle in Canada.
  • Must hold and maintain a driver’s licence that authorized the person to drive an ambulance.
  • Must be free of symptoms of all communicable diseases set out in the “Ambulance Services Communicable Disease Standard” published by the Ministry, as amended from time to time.
  • Hold a valid certificate signed by a physician that states that the person is immunized against diseases listed in Table 1 to the document entitled “Ambulance Service Communicable Disease Standards”, published by the Ministry, as that document may be amended from time to time, or that such immunization is contra-indicated.
  • Must not have been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude for which the person has not been pardoned.
  • At the time he or she commences employment and every 12 months thereafter, be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the Basic Rescuer level or the Advanced Cardiac Life Support level or in a course approved by the Director.
  • Must be a graduate of a Paramedic Program from an approved community college or private college in Ontario. Must have successfully complete the A-EMCA examination at the time of employment as a paramedic or within 150 days of completion of a paramedic program.


The Primary Care Paramedic Program runs year-round at various Ontario colleges of applied arts and technology and private community colleges. A list of colleges that offer Paramedic Programs can be found on the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care Web site

Curriculum, program length and structure vary slightly from college to college. Generally, Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) Programs train students in such subject areas as:

  • First Aid
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Community Health Issues
  • Emergency Medical Patient Care
  • Emergency Trauma Patient Care
  • Ambulance Operations
  • Workplace Safety
  • Human Relations
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychology
  • Professional, Moral and Ethical Issues
  • Symptom Relief and Semi-automatic External Defibrillation
  • Physical Education and Fitness

Primary care paramedic programs typically include a combination of theory/didactic learning, hands on/practical learning and internship on an ambulance with qualified and experienced Paramedic Field Training Officers. Upon completion of the college program, the student is eligible to write the Ontario Provincial Advanced Emergency Medical Care Attendant (EMCA) exam.

Paramedics who have obtained their training outside of Ontario can apply for equivalency with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC). Information on the equivalency process can be obtained by visiting the MOHLTC web site

Toronto will be providing their own recruitment process as of 2012. All details regarding any future recruitments will be posted on this website. Successful applicants will be called and directed to report to Toronto EMS Headquarters at a specified time. Toronto EMS will then screen applicants through a testing process which may include any or all the following:

  • A written multiple-choice test
  • Medical and or trauma patient care scenarios
  • Skills stations
  • Lifting evaluations
  • Driving skills
  • Personal interview

As part of the screening process, the applicant is required to submit proof of successful physical ability testing acceptable by Toronto EMS. The top ranking candidates may be offered a position with Toronto EMS.

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