See our Calendar of Classes Here.

For other EMS course information, please visit the Virginia Office of EMS.

EMT Training

Not everyone who joins Lakeside comes with certifications. In fact, many of our most dedicated volunteers joined the squad without knowing anything about CPR or first-aid. Some members have even used their training not only to serve Lakeside, but also to further their careers in the medical profession.

Basic Life Support
The first step in EMS training is to learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Rescue squads require certification at the healthcare provider level through either the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. This class covers one and two-person CPR techniques, as well as training in infant and child CPR, how to manage choking situations and, an introduction to automated defibrillators. These classes are usually scheduled for eight hours for first-time students.

After becoming certified in CPR, squad members are eligible to enroll in Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class. This course requires a minimum of 144 hours of classroom and skills instruction and 10 hours of Clinical/Field rotations for a total of 154 hours of training. Virginia certification requires successful completion of a standardized cognitive and psychomotor skills examination. EMT classes provide the foundation for emergency medical care. Students learn how to use oxygen, splint fractures, control bleeding, recognize heart attacks and strokes and much more. A lot of the instruction is “hands-on” so that students get to practice their skills rather than just read about them. They also take part in a brief field internship (usually 10 hours) observing in emergency rooms or on ambulances.

Many Students interested in earning college credit can enroll in EMT classes at J. Sargeant Reynolds; however, these students will have to pay tuition. For a complete listing of current EMT classes in the area, prospective students can contact the Office of Emergency Medical Services at 371-5000 or the Old Dominion EMS Alliance at 285-9111.

Advanced Life Support
Emergency medicine has come a long way over the years. Advanced life support (the use of advanced airway techniques, drug therapy and electrical therapy) has become the standard of care for EMS systems across the nation. While many emergency calls can be satisfactorily handled by personnel with the basic EMT training, this advanced standard leads many volunteers to pursue additional training.

In the Richmond area, the first level of advanced EMS training is EMT-Intermediate. Emergency Medical Technician Intermediate (EMT-I) classes train EMTs to start I.V.s, administer medications, use advanced airways, interpret EKGs and administer electrical therapy. EMT’s should be an EMT for at least one year before applying.

The next level of advanced training is the Paramedic level. There are several paramedic training programs in the Richmond area, including one through the Medical College of Virginia, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, and John Tyler Community College. The tuition for these classes varies.

Both EMT-I and paramedic classes offer a combination of classroom and in-hospital experiences for students, and hold certifying exams on completion of the course.

Specialized Training
Volunteers may pursue other areas of interest through a variety of training classes. These classes include hazardous materials training, emergency vehicle operator course, vehicle extrication, instructor training and more. Lakeside encourages its members to attend a variety of educational programs, including those held during the annual statewide symposium in the fall of each year. Training requirements can be viewed at the Virginia Office of EMS website:

Other Courses
There are a variety of other EMS education courses that help to create more well-rounded EMS providers. These classes go beyond initial EMS training in order to help providers learn more about particular areas of treatment. Some of these courses are offered by our partners throughout the area. See below for a list of these courses.

 (Needs the Adobe Reader)


EMT classes are offered only once a year.  Please visit the Virginia Office of EMS for other class times available in the state.

Virginia Office of EMS