1 Recently Viewed Full-Time Program(s) Download Your Career and Program Guide

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

Primary Care Paramedic

Open for Fall 2020

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

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.

This program was formally named Emergency Medical Technician.

Download this program information

Next information session

All information sessions

Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $4,901
Year 1 (International): $15,943

Year 1: $5,424

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


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 

Check us out

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

Once completed, this SAIT credential may be eligible for transfer credit at another post-secondary institution. Visit transfer options to learn more about the transfer agreements currently available to SAIT graduates and incoming students.

Have questions? Write to us at transfer.options@sait.ca.

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

Admission requirements for fall 2020

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 must be valid for the duration of your practicum. SAIT offers the above CPR course on a continuous basis (CPRS 001 BLS Provider (Level C) CPR). Please note that only the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada CPR certification will be accepted.
  • Updated immunization records: Most practicum sites require students to demonstrate updated immunization status prior to attending practicum. The receiving practicum site has the right to refuse students who cannot prove they have met all the required immunizations.
  • Security clearance: According to the Protection for Persons in Care Act, our practica sites require that students obtain a Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check, prior to going on practicum. Any criminal code offence for which a pardon has not been received may be a deterrent to a student's entry into practicum, and therefore will result in an uncompleted program or non-graduating status. Successful candidates will be asked to provide a clear Police Information Check including Vulnerable Sector Check record to the School of Health and Public Safety main office by orientation day. Please review the security clearance process document for specific details. Be aware that record must be dated no earlier than 90 days prior to your program orientation day (typically orientation day is held the week prior to the first day of class).
  • N95 respiratory mask: Fit testing is done to determine which make and model of N95respiratory mask should be used by an individual. In compliance with Alberta's Occupational Health and Safety Code 2009, students are fit-tested for respiratory masks prior to their practica. Occupational Health and Safety Bulletin, Respiratory Protective Equipment: An Employer's Guide states the effectiveness of the respiratory protective equipment depends on an effective face piece seal to the skin of the face. The mask must be tight enough so that the person is breathing only air which has been filtered. The seal is dependent on facial differences (shape or size) or facial hair. Facial hair must be removed where the mask contacts the face for the test. Failure to adequately fit an N95 mask may result in a restricted practicum and\or limited employment. Additionally, a student may need to be tested again in two years or if there are changes to the face, which impact the ability of the respirator to form an effective seal (e.g. Weight gain/loss, the growth of facial hair, dental surgery, or facial scarring). 
  • Health and wellness status: Due to the demanding nature of the work in the health care field and Occupational Health and Safety requirements, the health care field has a strong focus on health and wellness. Students with a medical condition or disability that may impact them in a practicum setting are strongly advised to discuss concerns with the program academic chair and/or SAIT Accessibility Services as soon as possible upon acceptance into the program. Please review the attached document for guidance on entering an allied health program with a medical condition or disability. 

More details on the practica requirements per program are outlined on a pre-orientation website for successful candidates.


Program outline

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

Semester 1

Course codeCourse nameCredit
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 EMT Lab 1 3.0
EMRG-244 Professional Practice 1 1.5
EMRG-262 Cardiac Emergencies 3.0
Semester 1 total 15.0

Semester 2

Course codeCourse nameCredit
EMRG-227 Traumatic Emergencies 3.0
EMRG-249 Medical Emergencies 1 3.0
EMRG-251 Special Populations 3.0
EMRG-266 EMT Lab 2 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 codeCourse nameCredit
EMRG-265 Professional Practice 2 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.


2019/20 Domestic Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2019/20 total
1 $3,928 $462 $288 $235 $4,913

2019/20 International Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2019/20 total
1 $14,733 $462 $288 $460 $15,943

2020/21 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

*as approved by SAIT's Board of Governors


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*

  • CPRS 001 BLS Provider (Level C) CPR course. Annual update required (CPRS 002 BLS Renewal [Level C] CPR). Call SAIT Life Support Training at 403.210.4009 for further information.
  • There is a fee for the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP) provincial exam and an annual registration fee. Please contact ACP for more information.
  • ACP annual registration fees are approximately $425 (initial registration fee is approximately $475).
  • Students are responsible for any additional expenses related to their practicum including relocation costs to practicum sites outside Calgary.
  • 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.
  • Books and supplies cost approximately $1,900 for the program.
  • Students must also purchase a uniform (jacket, pants, shirt, belt, and boots) for approximately $500-$700.
  • Students are required to have access to a personal computer, printer and Internet. Computers must meet the specifications listed in fees and expenses.
  • Students require a tablet (Apple or Android) to support the CompTracker system. The tablet only needs to have a wi-fi ability. The size of the tablet is at the discretion of the student. Keyboards are advisable but not mandatory. Smartphones are not acceptable devices for CompTracker.
  • There is a $75 CompTracker user fee per semester.
  • 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.


School of Health and Public Safety

Enter Your Search Term Here
Start typing to search SAIT.ca
Refine Results

Search results