The second level of EMT certification is called EMT-Intermediate, or EMT-I. Students must first successfully complete EMT-Basic, or the first level of EMT training, before proceeding to EMT-I certification.

What is covered in this level of EMT training varies depending on the state in which the student wishes to be licensed. The number of training hours required can also vary greatly. The skills developed through EMT-Intermediate coursework normally include:

  • how to administer fluids intravenously (through an IV)
  • how to use a defibrillator to restart a victim's heart once it has stopped working
  • how to use more advanced techniques and equipment to unblock airways

EMT-Intermediate courses are offered at two levels, that have been set nationally by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).

The first level is the EMT-I/85 course. At this level, students learn the skills listed above, plus they will also be qualified to administer some prescription medications. Typical classes include human anatomy and physiology, pediatrics, geriatrics, and advanced ambulance procedures, among others.

The next level is the EMT-I/99. At this level, the same types of courses are covered, and the same types of skills are developed as in the EMT-I/85 level, but to a higher level. Examples of skills that are developed by an EMT-I/99 include:

  • how to administer drugs to regulate abnormal heart rhythms
  • how to perform an endotracheal intubation, an advanced airway opening technique
  • how to perform chest decompression for victims suffering from a collapsed lung, a potentially life threatening situation

For both levels, students must successfully complete psychomotor and cognitive exams in order to become certified.