Public Health Department (PHD)

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Can I transfer my EMT Certification to California, and if so, what is required?


Answer: Out-of-state EMT Certification with National Registry Certification will receive reciprocity upon completion of the application process with Santa Barbara County EMS Agency. The EMT Certification expiration date will be the same as the National Registry Certification.

Q: What are the recertification requirements for an EMT?


Answer: In order to re-certify in Santa Barbara County an EMT must have a current EMT Certification. S/he must have taken 24 hours of continuing education or a 24-hour refresher course and have passed a state approved skills exam (state verification of skills form) within the past two years. Course completion certifications for continuing education credit must have an EMT provider number.


Q: Does Santa Barbara County require a background check for EMT certification?


Answer: Yes. An EMT applicant is required to do a one time Live Scan Background Check; complete both a California DOJ Live Scan and FBI Live Scan. The EMS Agency normally receives the Background Notification with 2-5 days of submission.


Q: Do I have to complete a background check if I've completed one with another agency?


Answer: Yes, agencies are not allowed to share information. If you have not done a background check for EMT certification with Santa Barbara County EMS, then you will need to complete the process in order to become certified in the county.


Q:What happens if my EMT certification has lapsed?


Answer: The following is required based on length of time lapsed:


0 to 6 months since lapse : 24 hours of training, skills verification, and the application process (this is the grace period).


6 to 12 months since lapse: 36 hours of training (12 additional hours of training), skills verification, and the application process


12 to 24 months since lapse: 48 hours or training (24 additional hours of training), written and skills verification (National Registry Exam), and the application process.


Greater than 24 months since lapse: Must complete the entire EMT Basic Course.


Q: What Continuing Education (CE) is acceptable for re-certification in Santa Barbara County?


Answer: : Any Continuing Education hours that have been approved by the State EMS Authority are acceptable. Course completion certificates must have a continuing education provider number for EMT. At least 50% of the total hours must be in a format that is instructor based. Examples of state and locally approved CE are:

  • Approved EMS CE provider education in California (i.e., hospitals, ambulance, fire departments).
  • Online or media based (internet, magazines, etc.). An Instructor must be available 24 hours/day through phone, fax, or email. Online courses must be CA EMS State approved (check CA EMS Authority website).
  • EMT instructor hours, not to exceed 50% of total hours.
  • Precepting or field training (FTO) hours, not to exceed 50% of total hours.
  • Advanced topics outside the EMT scope of practice (i.e., ACLS, PALS) that are directly related to emergency medical care.Advanced hours must have an EMS provider number on the certificate (RN and MD CE hours are not accepted).


Question: What CPR cards are accepted for EMT certification?


Answer: Health Care Provider (American Heart Association) and Professional Rescuer (American Red Cross), are accepted CPR cards. All other CPR Cards must be CA state approved (check CA EMS Authority website in the First Responder Chapter 1.5 for the list of CA approved CPR classes). Online programs are NOT accepted.


Q: Where can I go to fill out paperwork for my EMT certification?


Answer: Applicants should call for an appointment and go to:
Emergency Medical Services Agency
300 N. San Antonio Road, Building 1- Room A112
Santa Barbara, CA 93110
(805) 681-5274
Hours: 8:00– 4:00 PM  Monday - Thursday

Q: Can I recertify by mail?


Answer: No, you must to come in person to process your paperwork in our office. Mailed applications will NOT be accepted.


Q: If I have a current card issued by another local EMS Agency in California will it be honored in Santa Barbara County?


Answer: EMT certification issued within California is recognized throughout the state. 


Q: My wallet was stolen, how do I get a replacement for my EMT card?


Answer: You will need to make an appointment to come in a pick up a new certification card. Our office will verify your identification in the Central Registry and issue you a new printed card. There is a $10.00 processing fee.

Santa Barbara County approved EMT Training Programs 



Contact Person

Type of Training

Allan Hancock College

Michael Messina, EMT-P

EMT- Initial

800 S. College Drive

Director EMT

EMT - Recertification

Santa Maria, CA 93454

(805) 922-6922


Santa Barbara City College

Chris Mailes, EMT-P

EMT- Initial

721 Cliff Drive

EMT - Recertification

Santa Barbara, CA 93109

(805) 897-3506


NCTI Santa Barbara

Mike McDonough, EMT-P

EMT- Initial

5385 Hollister Avenue Building 9

Santa Barbara, CA 93111

Program Director

EMT – Recertification

Paramedic Program

(888) 609-6284 (Toll Free)

Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Josh Cazier, Captain

EMT - Recertification

4410 Cathedral Oaks Road


Santa Barbara, CA 93110


In house training for personnel only

Montecito Fire Department

Stu Pfister

EMT - Recertification

595 San Ysidro Road


Santa Barbara, CA 93108


In house training for personnel only

Santa Barbara City Fire

Chris Mailes, EMT-P

EMT - Recertification

121 West Carrillo St.


Santa Barbara, CA 93101


In house training for personnel only

Carp./Summerland Fire Dept.

James D. Emerson, EMT-P

EMT - Recertification

1140 Eugenia Place Suite A


Carpinteria, CA 93013


In house training for personnel only

Lompoc Fire Dept

Mark Clayton, Battalion Chief

EMT - Recertification

115 South G St.


Lompoc, CA 93436


In house training for personnel only


For local policies and protocols go to:
Santa Barbara County EMS:

For state statutes and regulations go to:
Emergency Medical Services Authority (CA):


Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services Agency
300 N. San Antonio Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93110
Tel (805) 681-5274 - Fax (805) 681-5142  map