Two Letters Re: Prepping as an Active Duty Servicemember Overseas

Mr Rawles,
Having seen the info on EMT training that has been on your blog recently, I decided to throw in my 2 cents. The National Dept of Transportation (DOT) sets all standards for Emergency Medical Services (First Responder through EMT-Paramedic) for the entire country. These standards include training and standardized interventions for certain trauma and illnesses by EMTs. These can all be found at All questions on certifications, training requirements, etc can be answered there.

Some courses claim that they can accelerate you and get you certified. DOT has requirements that must be met to be nationally certified. These include specific skill sets and minimum hours of training requirements. All states are required to participate in the NREMT Registry. States can require you to complete a written and or skills test to get a state license in addition to the national registry. Some states allow you to do procedures that other states don’t. In Wisconsin, we can insert a combi-tube down your throat in certain situations to help you breath and use a laryngoscope and Magill Forceps to remove a visualized blockage in your trachea.

In other words, “caveat emptor” buyer beware. Make sure the course you are taking or plan on taking meets the Federal DOT guidelines for the National Registry. Be prepared for the NREMT skills test and written test. Both must be passed to become Nationally Registered. The benefit of Nationally Registry is transfer of EMT Licenses throughout the country.

One other thing to remember. In a TEOTWAWKI situation, all the EMT training in the world won’t save you if you don’t have a doctor to complete the treatment for a major trauma or illness. As an EMT, We perform interventions to keep people alive until they can get to the doctor that can fix what’s broken or not working correctly.

I am deeply indebted to you for all the information you have provided and allowed to be posted on your blog. You have made my commitment to my family’s preparedness and survival an easy task. – R.T., Somewhere in the ice and snow in northwestern Wisconsin

Mr. Rawles,
In response to this article. People need to be aware that just because they are a NREMT regardless of the level, basic or paramedic, not all states recognize the National Registry. For instance, I have been an EMT-B for 25 years in the state of Minnesota, and an EMS Instructor for 12 years. Neither Iowa or Wisconsin will recognize my NREMT certification in their state. Just make sure you research which states allow reciprocity and which ones don’t. – Brenda L.