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Students measure heart rate and blood pressure in a patient’s home.

Primary Care Paramedic

Closed for Fall 2020

Length: 10 Months
Credential: Certificate
Available: Full Time Classroom

This program will be delivered in a blended format for the Fall 2020 term. The majority of courses will take place online, with certain labs and hands-on learning scheduled on campus.

Program Highlights

Train in all aspects of pre-hospital emergency care, including patient assessment and treatment of medical and traumatic emergencies, for a career in emergency medical services.

Download this program information

Next information session

All information sessions

Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $5,424

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change

Full costs


This is a competitive program. If applicants meet the admission requirements they will be assessed based on additional criteria. Applicants will be offered admission to this program if they’re qualified through the competitive process and space is available.

When can you apply?

  • Applications for fall 2020 are accepted Oct. 2, 2019, to March 31, 2020.
  • This program does not accept international students effective Fall 2020 intake. There are many program options for international applicants – find out more.
Term Program start
Fall 2020 Sept. 8, 2020 

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Make a difference with a career as a paramedic through these extensive programs that provide action-based learning in ambulances and hospitals.

Program Details

This program was formerly named Emergency Medical Technician.

Please note the educational steps for this profession:

  1. Emergency Medical Responder (176-hour certificate of achievement)
  2. Primary Care Paramedic (10-month certificate program)
  3. Advanced Care Paramedic (formely Emergency Medical Technology - Paramedic) (two-year diploma)

Program description

The Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) program provides education and training for pre-hospital care professionals and prepares them to work within a multi-discipline healthcare team. This program is taught by experienced practitioners and covers all aspects of pre-hospital emergency care including Advanced Life Support (ALS) and International Trauma Life Support (ITLS) assistance, patient assessment, diagnostics, treatment and critical interventions.

The Primary Care Paramedic program is a competency-based, blended-delivery program which includes face-to-face and on-line learning components. Students must be motivated and organized as this program is fast-paced and requires a significant contribution of time to be successful.

Students will be required to:

  • Attend an orientation session.
  • Complete all work as assigned.
  • Attend mandatory class days for theory and psychomotor skill acquisition practice.
  • Attend full-time, one clinical (hospital and/or urgent care based) practicum and one ambulance-specific practicum to apply the theory and skills learned under the direct supervision of a preceptor.

Note: Students may have to travel anywhere in Alberta to complete their practica based on practicum spot availability.

Completion of the program is a requirement for continuing into the Advanced Care Paramedic program.

Your career

Graduates are prepared for careers in emergency medical services or on industrial sites in rural and urban settings throughout Canada, as well as internationally.

  • Graduates of the Primary Care Paramedic program have a 86% employment rate.

Student success

  • Students with higher secondary or post-secondary marks usually experience greater success in SAIT’s programs.
  • Students who experience success in this program have effective communication skills in English.
  • Health care practitioners are detail oriented in the care they provide and enjoy working in a team environment.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to refer to the Paramedicine  National Competency Profile and  Alberta Health Service’s F.A.R.E.- Paramedic requirements to ensure that they are able to successfully demonstrate the functional ability skills required to achieve all the competency-based objectives and bona fide occupational requirements for the program and profession. Some examples include:
    • Lift a stretcher with a 95.5 kg (210 lbs)  patient with a partner from a lower level to the load position and back down
    • Lift and carry a long spine board with 95.5 kg (210 lbs) and ascend and descend 10 stairs with a partner
    • Push a stair chair 10 m with 95.5 kg (210 lbs) and ascend and descend 20 stairs with a partner
    • Lift a bilateral side carry of 9 kg (20 lbs) of weight in each hand
    • Front carry 18 kg (40 lbs)
    • Repetitively kneel, crouch, bend, reach, carry, push and pull
    • Perform CPR for 2 min

Credentials and accreditation

After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT Primacy Care Paramedic certificate. All graduates are eligible and required to register with the Alberta College of Paramedics to work in Alberta as an EMT.

The Primary Care Paramedic program delivered by SAIT is accredited by Accreditation Canada at the Primary Care Paramedic level and meets the Alberta College of Paramedics core competency requirements.

Transfer options

The opportunity to advance your education through transferring to, within or from SAIT is available. Visit transfer options to learn more.


Have questions about this specific program?

School of Health and Public Safety

Admission Requirements

Admission and selection

  • Fall 2020 start: applications are accepted Oct. 2, 2019, to March 31, 2020.
  • This program does not accept international students effective Fall 2020 intake. There are many program options for international applicants –  find out more.

Admission requirements

At least 50% in each of the following courses or their equivalents:

  • Math 20-1 or Math 20-2 or Pure Math 20 or Applied Math 20
  • English Language Arts 30-1 or English Language Arts 30-2
  • Biology 30 or Science 30. *
  • All applicants must demonstrate  English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.
  • Students must be 18 years old by Jan. 1 (second semester of the program).
  • Proof of completion of an  Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) certificate or a medical sciences-related diploma or degree or equivalent.

SAIT accepts  high school course equivalents for admission. If you don't meet the requirements, consider  Academic Upgrading.

SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our  international document assessment service if your education is from outside of Canada. 

*ANPH 209 (Anatomy and Physiology) can be used in place of the Biology 30 or Science 30 requirement. This course is available through  continuing education

Competitive entry: seven-step process

Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above.

Step 3: Review the selection information to understand the process and deadlines.

  • Applications and proof of the admission requirements ( transcripts and/or anticipated final grades) along with all supporting documents must be submitted prior to March 31, 2020, to be included in the selection.
  • Applicants will have one attempt to complete the selection process for this program. If you're not offered admission, you can re-apply for the next intake and you will be required to complete the selection process again.
  • Selection will start in October. 
  • Applicants who apply after the program has been filled will be required to complete the selection process and will be placed on a waitlist.
  • There will be a minimum of 72 seats offered for the fall intake.
  • The program will forward a selection package by email to those that meet the minimum admission requirements.

In the selection process, applicants will be expected to write the Health Occupation Aptitude Exam (HOAE) within three weeks of receiving a selection package. Not completing this step within the timeline will result in you being declined from the program.

Applicants can write this exam at the SAIT Testing Services Centre — email testing@sait.ca to make an appointment. There is a $60 fee to write this exam at SAIT.

Applicants can also arrange to write the HOAE at another educational testing centre approved by the program. Testing arrangements and any additional costs will be the responsibility of the prospective student.

Applicants will be ranked based on their HOAE score:

  • Applicants that meet and exceed the threshold HOAE score set by the program will be offered a seat in the program until the program is full.
  • Once the program is full, applicants will be waitlisted based on their HOAE score.
  • Successful candidates must sign a practicum agreement contract prior to final acceptance. This includes acknowledging you may be placed at any of our practicum sites to complete the practicum components.

Step 4: Apply to Primary Care Paramedic and submit your transcripts.

Step 5: Log in to mySAIT.ca to check your admission status. If eligible, your status will indicate that you're "in selection."

Step 6: Complete the selection package that is emailed to you.

  • The selection package will provide information about writing your HOAE, a career investigation form and program-specific consent forms.

Step 7: Continue to monitor changes to your  application status through  mySAIT.ca.

Failure to meet anticipated final grades for the admission pre-requisites will result in offers being rescinded.

Communication during selection

Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. 

We recommend you add hps.info@sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages. 

Paramedicine National Competency profile

Students are strongly encouraged to refer to the Paramedicine National Competency Profile and Alberta Health Services' F.A.R.E Paramedic requirements to ensure that they are able to successfully demonstrate the skills required to achieve all the competency-based objectives and bona fide occupational requirements for the program/profession. Some examples include:

  • Lift a stretcher with 95.5 kg (210 lbs) patient with a partner from a lower level to the load position and back down.
  • Lifting and carrying a long spine board with 95.5 kg (210 lbs) and ascend and descend 10 stairs with a partner.
  • Push a stair chair 10 m with 95.5 kg (210 lbs) and ascend and descend 20 stairs with a partner.
  • Able to lift a bilateral side carry of 9 kg (20 lbs) of weight in each hand.
  • Able to front carry of 18 kg (40 lbs).
  • Able to repetitively kneel, crouch, bend, reach, carry, push and pull.
  • Able to perform CPR for two mins.

Practicum requirements

The School of Health and Public Safety has many practica partners located within Alberta and across Canada. Practicum placements in Calgary are limited and students may be required to relocate outside of Calgary for practicum. Due to limited practicum spots for the paramedicine programs provincially, some of the practica may not end until August.

Successful candidates will be informed of the allocation of their practicum placement by the program. There is no guarantee that students will be placed at their desired practicum location. Special considerations of personal circumstances will not be given in regards to assigning practicum placements. Students will be responsible for fees associated with practica such as entrance requirements, relocation and travel costs. 

In compliance with the practica agreements with our clinical partners, successful candidates will be requested to provide proof of the following requirements:

  • Current Heart and Stroke Foundation Health Care Provider Level (C) CPR
  • Updated immunization records
  • Security clearance - Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check
  • N95 respiratory mask fitting
  • Health and wellness status

Learn more


    Program outline

    View additional Primary Care Paramedic (formerly Emergency Medical Technician) program information including course-specific descriptions and requisites.

    Semester 1

    Course code Course name Credit
    ANPH-201 Physiology & Physical Assessment 1.5
    EMRG-223 Basic Pharmacology 1.5
    EMRG-230 Community Integration 1.5
    EMRG-233 Respiratory Emergencies 3.0
    EMRG-236 Primary Care Paramedic Lab I 3.0
    EMRG-244 Professional Practice I 1.5
    EMRG-262 Cardiac Emergencies 3.0
    Semester 1 total 15.0

    Semester 2

    Course code Course name Credit
    EMRG-227 Traumatic Emergencies 3.0
    EMRG-249 Medical Emergencies  3.0
    EMRG-251 Special Populations 3.0
    EMRG-266 Primary Care Paramedic Lab II 3.0
    FTNS-202 Fitness and Wellness 1.5
    PRAC-242 Clinical Practicum 1.5
    Semester 2 - 3 (spans two semesters)
    PRAC-252 Ambulance Practicum  3.0
    Semester 2 total 18.0

    Semester 3

    Course code Course name Credit
    EMRG-265 Professional Practice II 1.5
    Semester 3 total 1.5
    Program total 34.5


    Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.


    Domestic Tuition and Fees*

    Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2020/21 total
    1 $4,202 $682 $288 $252 $5,424

    *Fees and tuition are based on a two-semester full course load structure. There may be additional fees for practicums and terms held outside this time frame.

    SAIT Fees

    Campus athletic and recreation Fee: $171.20
    Universal transit pass (UPass): $310 - Check eligibility here.
    Student support fee: $100
    Student technology fee: $100

    Health and Dental Fees

    Domestic Students 

    • Health Plan: $122
    • Dental Plan: $130
    • For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the Saitsa website for information on opting out.

    International Students 

    • Health and Dental Plan: $460
    • For more information on Health and Dental Benefits for International students please contact the International Centre.

    Books and supplies*

    • Books and supplies cost approximately $1,900 for the program.
    • There is a $75 CompTracker user fee per semester.
    • CPRS 001 BLS Provider (Level C) CPR course. Annual update required (CPRS 002 BLS Renewal [Level C] CPR). 
    • There is a fee for the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP) provincial exam and an annual registration fee.  ACP annual registration fees are approximately $425 (initial registration fee is approximately $475).
    • Students are responsible for any additional expenses related to their practica (i.e. relocation costs if placed outside of Calgary, food, housing, transportation, etc.). 
    • There is a fee associated with obtaining a Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check and is payable to the Police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
    • Students must have their immunizations reviewed by the SAIT Health Clinic. There is a $50 charge to review vaccine history. Any vaccines to be administered will result in additional charges.

    Find out about tuition and financial aid.

    * Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.

    Next steps for incoming students

    Have you been accepted to this program? Here's what you'll need for your first day of classes.

    Important dates and deadlines

    Find important dates applicable to all students, including your transcript and tuition payment deadlines on our Important Dates page.

    Important Dates

    ✅ Plan ahead ❗️

    You are required to complete several health, confidentiality and consent forms before starting your program. All completed and signed paperwork is needed on orientation day. 

    Ensure you complete all three steps below ahead of orientation.

    Get started on pre-orientation requirements

    Fall 2020

    Orientation date

    Wednesday, Aug. 28

    We are expecting to meet you at new student orientation. Important program information is discussed to ensure you are prepared to begin classes which start on day one. Orientation is a mandatory part of your learning experience to ensure student success.


    This program will be delivered in a blended format for the Fall 2020 term due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health and safety guidelines. The majority of courses will take place online, with certain labs and hands-on learning scheduled on campus.

    How to register for classes

    You'll follow a fixed block registration process to enrol in your classes. Learn how to register on our registration and schedules page.

    Computers and laptops

    This is a bring your own device program with a standard hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page

    Required equipment/tools

    You will be evaluated on your level of competency performance using a tracking system called CompTracker. You will require a wi-fi enabled Apple tablet with the ability to run the most up to date operating system to support the CompTracker system. Any size tablet is acceptable. Keyboards are advisable but not mandatory. Smartphones are not acceptable devices for CompTracker. There is a required user license fee billed on a per semester basis. Each program will have a different student fee depending on how the system is used within the program. More information will be shared at orientation.

    Required personal protective equipment (PPE) and uniform

    Print and take the uniform order form to Trademark Workwear Inc. to order your SAIT uniforms. Refer to the form for details and ensure you order your uniform early.


    Other requirements

    • Class 5 Driver's license. Upon graduation, class 4 license will be required to be employed as an PCP.
    • CPRS 001 BLS Provider (Level C) CPR course
    • N95 Mask-fit testing
    • Police Information Clearance with Vulnerable Sector Check
    • Immunization record
    • Health and Wellness Status

    Preparation courses

    To support your success, SAIT offers some short courses before classes start, including PREP 100: The SAIT Experience, ETHI 110: SAIT Ethical Practices and SAFE 165: Safety at SAIT. 

    Required textbooks

    The Fall 2020 booklist will be available about two weeks before classes start. We recommend you wait to buy your books until your first few days of classes and speak with your instructors.


    Phone: 403.284.8481
    Email: hps.info@sait.ca

    Academic chair

    Meena Kumar, Academic Chair
    Email:  meena.kumar@sait.ca

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