Emergency Medical Services Program (EMS/Fire Science)

  • Health, Public Safety & Human Services

How to Enroll

To enroll in JJC EMS or Fire Science programs, please contact the Health and Public Service Secretary at 815-280-2356 or cdeboer@jjc.edu for a faculty advisor appointment prior to enrollment or registration.  This will help students to choose the correct EMS or fire science program for their needs and goals.

What Will I Learn?

Fact: 85 percent of calls run by modern firefighters are medical.

The Emergency Medical Services program at JJC prepares students for careers as firefighter/paramedics, firefighter/EMT's, private ambulance service providers, hospital techs, health staff in local industries, and other healthcare settings.  We have both degree and certificate programs to fit your needs!  Contact our faculty advisors now at cdeboer@jjc.edu for your individualized EMS education plan.

What is Unique About Our EMS program?

EMR?  EMT?  Paramedic?  What's the difference, and what do I need?

EMR (First Responder) is an introductory course (EMS 101) that teaches you the basics of pre-hospital assessment and treatment, including CPR and first aid.  While EMR licensure is available from IDPH, the course is used by JJC primarily as a useful pre-requisite to our EMT class.  A licensed EMR can find work in some industries, police departments, and private medi-van companies.  

EMT (EMT-B) is the lowest level of EMS provider that can staff an ambulance in Illinois.  An EMT provides CPR, patient assessment, limited field diagnosis, and limited treatments (including a few medications) for illness or trauma.  If you want to be a firefighter/paramedic, a paramedic in another healthcare field, or an ER technician, you need to start with EMT licensure.  The EMT class at JJC (EMS 200) is one semester long and is included in ALL JJC fire and EMS degrees and certificates as of Fall 2023.  JJC has boasted an average 100% pass rate on the state and national EMT exams for more than 25 years!

Paramedic (EMT-P) licensure is required by most fire departments in the Chicago area, since most of their calls are not fires, but rather medical emergencies/accidents.  Some departments won't even give you an application until you are a paramedic!  A paramedic trains for a year beyond what is required for an EMT, and can assess patients, provide a field diagnosis, treat patients based on that diagnosis, administer 70+ medications, perform certain invasive procedures, interpret EKG's... a lot of what the ER can do, but on wheels!  Our paramedic program is held in full partnership with Morris Hospital EMS on our main campus.  The state and national exam pass rate in our joint program exceeds the Illinois average!

What Degree/Certificate Can I Receive?


  • Loading... (if you are an entry level student who has not yet met with a faculty advisor, please choose this major when enrolling).
  • Loading... (includes both EMS and firefighter cross training to get you qualified for the field more quickly).
  • Loading... (for working professionals ONLY, with licenses and certs available to credit to the degree).


  • Loading... (This program is not a degree but is designed to provide IDPH EMT licensure within two semesters of study).
  • Loading... (provides EMT licensure and OSFM BOF certification in two semesters of study).

Paramedic Class

  • Paramedic Class

    Joliet Junior College and Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers administer the paramedic education program in FULL partnership, with classes taught on the main JJC campus by Morris EMS instructors. The paramedic program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions (CoAEMSP). The program is 12 months long and begins every August.  

    The JJC/Morris paramedic program is open to all licensed Illinois EMT's and applicants do not need to be currently enrolled at JJC.  However, preference points in the application process are given to JJC EMS students and graduates.  

    The application for the 2024-25 program is now open. Please return your completed application to cdeboer@jjc.edu by Thursday, May 30th, 3:30 pm. 

    2024-25 Paramedic Application

    Essential Job Functions of a Paramedic

Kim Crawford Memorial Scholarship

  • Kim Crawford Memorial Scholarship

    The Kim Crawford Memorial Scholarship is available exclusively for JJC Fire Science/EMS students. Students in their second year who have a GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale and demonstrate financial need can apply. For more information, visit JJC Scholarships page.

  • What Are My Career Opportunities?

    Employment opportunities for EMS graduates are diverse.  A majority of our students move into positions as cross-trained firefighter/paramedics.  But other opportunities include:

    • Private ambulance services
    • Hospital emergency departments
    • Doctors’ offices
    • Immediate care centers 
    • Industrial first aid providers
    • Emergency management agencies
    • Phlebotomists
    • EKG technicians
    • Paramedic/RN bridge programs