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Emergency Medical Services


Office of EMS

Modern EMS in Tennessee was created by state legislation in 1972.  This law authorized the training of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and mandated the creation of standards for ambulances and medical equipment. The Office of EMS was formed to coordinate training and certification of EMTs, implement ambulance licensing standards to include vehicle inspection and permitting and plan EMS system development. An EMS Advisory Council was established to advise the Department of Health on EMS policy and regulations.

In 1973 legislation mandated the training and certification of Paramedics. In 1977 legislation authorized the creation and management of a statewide system of EMS radio communications. This completed the legal authorization for the initial development of Tennessee’s EMS system.

In 1983 the EMS Advisory Council and the Department of Health sponsored legislation to create the state EMS Board. The legislation passed and the first EMS Board in the U.S. met in June of 1983. The Board is comprised of thirteen persons appointed by the Governor. It is authorized to establish all EMS rules and to serve as an appeals body for cases the Department brings against EMS providers.

Since 1983 the Board has regulated the EMS system through a consensus process involving several standing and ad hoc committees. EMS providers thereby have input into the rules that govern EMS.

Today the EMS Office, operating under the rules of the EMS Board, oversees a statewide EMS system comprised of thousands of Paramedics and EMTs who work for 210 ambulance services that operate 1,300 ambulances that make more than 1,000,000 patient transports annually.

Office of EMS
665 Mainstream Drive
Nashville, TN  37243
Fax: 615-741-4217

 Online Renewal System Launched on March 22, 2018

On March 22, 2018, our online licensure renewal system will change as we transition to an integrated licensure database.  Here is what you can expect:

  • Uninterrupted access to renew your health profession license online
  • Better paperless management of your  professional license, including:  
    • Change of address applications
    • Name change applications
    • Requests for duplicate certificates or wall licenses
  • Remittance of fees, where required, by debit or credit card and E-check
  • Additional licensure applications not previously available online:
    • Renewal for: EMD, EMR, EMT, AEMT, Paramedic 
    • Reciprocity Applications
  • Other changes to the online licensure renewal system will now allow for:
    • Ambulance Service licensure renewals
    • Add Ambulances to Services 

We are excited about these changes designed to expand online access and improve the management of your professional license.  Thank you for your patience during this transition.  Feel free to contact your Office of EMS with any questions or concerns at:  615-741-2584 or Toll Free 1-800-778-4505.


Tennessee Department of Health
Office of Emergency Medical Services



Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice

Commission Meeting May 22, 2018  630pm  EST   

Featured Topics

The Department has contracted with CE Broker as the continuing education (CE) tracking system of the Tennessee Board of Emergency Medical Services.

All licensed personnel are provided a free Basic Account, with helpful CE tracking tools right at your fingertips.

With the free Basic account, you will have access to upload your personal continuing education history and course certificates. The data is tracked with your license profile and can easily report any missing elements you require before license renewal.

The data is available to you and the Office of EMS to assure seamless compliance tracking.

Your 1st step is to set up your account.

See the link for details.


Board Information

The Emergency Medical Services Board consists of 13 board members who are appointed by the Governor:

  • Two physicians,
  • One registered nurse,
  • One hospital administrator,
  • One member licensed as an EMT, EMT-P, registered nurse, or physician (who is affiliated with a volunteer ambulance service),
  • Two operators of ambulance services (licensed as an EMT or EMT-P),
  • One rescue squad member (licensed as an EMT or EMT-P),
  • One professional firefighter (licensed as an EMT-Paramedic),
  • One member affiliated with emergency management (licensed as an EMT or EMT-P),
  • Two officials of local governments that operate ambulance services, and
  • One paramedic instructor from an accredited paramedic program in Tennessee.


Four members are appointed from each of the state's three grand divisions, as well as one at-large member. Members are appointed for a term of four years, with the Board chair elected from among the members of the board. A quorum is seven members.

The Board is empowered to approve schools and prescribe courses for EMS personnel, promulgate regulations governing licenses and permits, and establish standards for the activities and operation of emergency medical and ambulance services. The Board conducts hearings to review and decide disciplinary matters presented by the Department and may suspend, revoke or otherwise discipline any authorization required for emergency medical personnel and ambulance services.